Disaster Recovery Hampered by Budgets

In the findings, half of the Australian government agencies surveyed had significant concerns about their backup and disaster recovery solutions.
The outstanding issue identified by 80 per cent of the public sector agencies across the nine surveyed countries (Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden/Norway, United Kingdom and United States) was the need for comprehensive solutions that link physical, virtual and cloud environments.
Associated with this, was a call for reliable, easier to use enabling technologies.
The responses in the Index revealed how crippling the complexity of backup and disaster recovery (DR) was in the current hybrid world of the three infrastructure environments.
The lack of comprehensive onsite and offsite backup and DR solutions implemented by many is leaving them open to the substantial damage inflicted to accountability and service levels when they are impacted by IT disaster.
A staggering 40 per cent of Australian local government and smaller Federal and State agencies revealed they had no offsite backup as part of their recovery strategy.
Of the countries surveyed, the responses from Australian government agencies tended to be grouped with their counterparts in Italy and France, which are the least confident countries about backup and DR in the Acronis Global DR Index; the UK had similar perspectives to those in the USA.
Only 51 per cent of Australian public sector organisations believe backup and DR was given sufficient priority, compared to 82 per cent within the Nordic countries, with the UK and US slightly below Australia at 47 per cent.
According to the vendor, budgetary constraints and lack of resources were cited as the most significant reasons why the public sector was lagging behind the world’s leading nations in adopting sound strategies and practices for the protection of their information systems.
On average, Australian public sector organisations spent nine percent of their budgets on backup operations, compared to 16 percent in the Nordic countries.
The move to the cost savings and efficiencies of virtualization and cloud should be made hand in hand with investments in backup and DR and its consideration as a vital element of the ICT strategy.
In Australia, only 12 per cent of government agencies had their IT infrastructure in the cloud while the majority of other countries surveyed are about 20 per cent.  Australian agencies expected their take up of cloud to climb to 20 per cent next year.
The survey also revealed that more than half the Australian public sector respondents (56 per cent) have plans to move to cloud based backup within the next 12 months.
The lowering of costs was seen as the greatest benefit of migrating backup and DR to the cloud – with Australia at 49 per cent and Germany at 64.
This was above any other factor with resourcing, better quality infrastructure and reliability rated in the low teens across the Indexed countries.
The benefits were countered by their top three concerns; the speed of data recovery (a 49 per cent average across the Index), the impact on workload due to the complexity of the hybrid environment (38 per cent) and security at 32 per cent.
The process was being made increasingly and unnecessarily complex with seven in 10 acknowledging they are wasting time and budget by using up to four different applications to back up local and remote data on their organisations’ laptops, desktops, physical and virtual servers.
The smaller instrumentalities in Australia’s Federal and State and Local government sphere surveyed for the Index  are clearly struggling to keep pace with the pressures of technological change.
Awareness-building at the executive level and top down commitment to backup and DR was needed to bring about change in both action and perception, Acronis said.
Proven backup and disaster recovery technologies for the hybrid environment have arrived – it’s now a matter of priority and budget.
The way was open for smaller government agencies to have the same level of confidence in their IT structures as well as the reliable service delivery and accountability of their larger counterparts.
The findings come from a study commissioned by the vendor and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, an international research firm and respected think-tank on data protection trends.
The Index was based on responses from IT practitioners in government organizations in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.