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Data protection report finds 'availability gap' hurting IT growth

Many organizations face the danger of falling through data protection gaps, according to a recent survey.

Eighty-two percent of organizations agreed or strongly agreed that they have an “availability gap” between how fast they recover applications and how fast they need apps to be recovered, according to a data protection report produced by Enterprise Strategy Group for Veeam Software. Seventy-seven percent agreed or strongly agreed that they have a “protection gap” between how often they can back up applications and how often they need applications to be backed up.

Sixty-six percent of the approximately 1,000 organizations surveyed in the sixth annual Veeam Availability Report said digital transformation initiatives are hindered by unplanned downtime or insufficient application availability.

“For organizations to achieve their business goals, they are looking to digital transformation and the cloud to deliver more efficient, agile and reliable services to meet user needs,” according to the data protection report, written by ESG principal analyst Jason Buffington. “As part of this transformation, IT teams have to do an increasingly better job to ensure their systems’ availability and protection.”

As IT becomes more complex and security vulnerabilities increase, the importance of the availability and protection gaps increases, said Peter McKay, president and COO of Veeam. “Companies are still coming to grips with it,” McKay said. “Just acknowledging that there’s a gap would be step No. 1. From there, what’s the magnitude of that?”

Consequences of data protection issues and where to go from here

Most executives acknowledge that “availability issues could cause their organizations to suffer from problems such as a reduction in customer and employee confidence or damage to brand integrity,” the data protection report said.

The availability gap is slowing down organizations’ IT advancements because of the risk involved, McKay said. IT is not ready to advance from availability, security and budget perspectives.

“Gaps in either availability or protection invariably hinder today’s operating environments, the virtualization strategies and deployments that are modernizing today’s data centers, and ultimately the digital transformation initiatives that so many institutions are relying on to ensure their market relevance moving forward,” the report said.

The data protection report suggested organizations quantify their service-level agreements and convert gaps into business impact analyses.

McKay said he considered it a positive result that customers are becoming more aware of the gaps.

“People are starting to get it, and understanding this is an exposure and impacting the business,” McKay said, and some know they have to play catch-up.

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