The disconnect between business expectations and IT’s ability to deliver has never been more impactful, according to a Veeam report, which found that 89% of organizations are not protecting data sufficiently.
The report found that 88% of IT leaders expect data protection budgets to rise at a higher rate than broader IT spending as data becomes more critical to business success and the challenges of protecting it grow in complexity. More than two-thirds are turning to cloud-based services to protect essential data.
The report surveyed more than 3,000 IT decision makers and global enterprises to understand their data protection strategies for the next 12 months and beyond. This study examines how organizations are preparing for the IT challenges they face, including huge growth in use of cloud services and cloud-native infrastructure, as well as the expanding cyber-attack landscape and the steps they are taking to implement a Modern Data Protection strategy that ensures business continuity.
“Data growth over the past two years [since the pandemic] has more than doubled, in no small part to how we have embraced remote working and cloud-based services and so forth,” said Anand Eswaran, CEO at Veeam.
“As data volumes have exploded, so too have the risks associated with data protection; ransomware being a prime example. This research shows that organizations recognize these challenges and are investing heavily, often due to having fallen short in delivering the protection users need. Businesses are losing ground as modernization of ‘production’ platforms is outpacing their modernization of ‘protection’ methods and strategies.
“Data volumes and platform diversity will continue to rise, and the cyber-threat landscape will expand. So, CXOs must invest in a strategy that plugs the gaps they already have and keeps pace with rising data protection demands.”
The data protection gap is widening
Respondents stated that their data protection capabilities cannot keep pace with the demands of the business, with 89% reporting a gap between how much data they can afford to lose after an outage versus how frequently data is backed up. This has risen by 13% in the past 12 months, indicating that while data continues to grow in volume and importance, so do the challenges in protecting it to a satisfactory level. The key driver behind this is that the data protection challenges facing businesses are immense and increasingly diverse.
For the second year in a row, cyberattacks have been the single biggest cause of downtime, with 76% of organizations reporting at least one ransomware event in the past 12 months. Not only is the frequency of these events alarming, so is their potency. Per attack, organizations were unable to recover 36% of their lost data, proving that data protection strategies are currently failing to help businesses prevent, remediate and recover from ransomware attacks.
“As cyberattacks become increasingly sophisticated and even more difficult to prevent, backup and recovery solutions are essential foundations of any organization’s Modern Data Protection strategy,” said Danny Allan, CTO at Veeam.
“For peace of mind, organizations need 100% certainty that backups are being completed within the allocated window and restorations delivered within required SLAs. The best way to ensure data is protected and recoverable in the event of a ransomware attack is to partner with a third-party specialist and invest in an automated and orchestrated solution that protects the myriad data center and cloud-based production platforms that organizations of all sizes rely on today.”
Businesses face a data protection emergency
To close the gap between data protection capabilities and this growing threat landscape, organizations will spend around 6% more annually on data protection than broader IT investments. While this will only go some way to reversing the trend of data protection needs outpacing ability to execute, it is positive to see CXOs acknowledge the urgent need for Modern Data Protection.
As cloud continues its trajectory to becoming the dominant data platform, 67% of organizations already use cloud services as part of their data protection strategy, while 56% now run containers in production or plan to in the next 12 months.
Platform diversity will expand during 2022, with the balance between data center (52%) and cloud servers (48%) continuing to close. This is one reason 21% of organizations rated the ability to protect cloud-hosted workloads as the most important buying factor for enterprise data protection in 2022 and 39% believe IaaS/SaaS capabilities to be the definitive attribute of modern data protection.
“The power of hybrid IT architectures is driving both production and protection strategies through cloud-storage and Disaster Recovery utilizing cloud-hosted infrastructure,” concluded Allan. “The benefits of investing in Modern Data Protection go beyond providing peace of mind, ensuring business continuity and maintaining customer confidence. To balance expenditure against strategic digital initiatives, IT leaders must implement robust solutions at the lowest possible cost.”
Other key findings
- Businesses have an availability gap: 90% of respondents confirmed they have an availability gap between their expected SLAs and how quickly they can return to productivity. This has risen by 10% since 2021.
- Data remains unprotected: Despite backup being a fundamental part of any data protection strategy, 18% of global organizations’ data is not backed up — therefore, completely unprotected.
- Human error is far too common: Technical failures are the most frequent cause of downtime with an average of 53% of respondents experiencing outages across infrastructure/networking, server hardware and software. 46% of respondents experienced cases of administrator configuration error, while 49% were hindered by accidental deletion, overwriting of data or corruption caused by users.
- Protecting remote workers: Only 25% of organizations utilize orchestrated workflows to reconnect resources during a disaster, while 45% run predefined scripts to reconnect resources running remotely in the event of downtime and 29% manually reconfigure user connectivity.
- Economic drivers remain critical: When asked about the most important factors when purchasing an enterprise data solution, 25% of IT leaders are motivated by improving the economics of their solution.