The disconnect between business expectations and IT’s ability to deliver has never been more telling.
According to the Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2022, about nine out of 10, or 89%, of organizations are not protecting data sufficiently.
Veeam Software, a US-based data protection company, found that 88% of IT leaders expect data protection budgets to rise at a higher rate than the 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. The 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 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, chief executive officer 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, he said, adding that CXOs must invest in a strategy that plugs the gaps they already have and keeps pace with rising data protection demands.
According to the report, 84% of Indian organizations suffered ransomware attacks, making cyber-attacks one of the single biggest causes of downtime for the second consecutive year. The report further highlights that 95% of Indian organizations experienced unexpected outages within the last 12 months.
“It is critical now more than ever for businesses to remain confident their data is protected and always available, whether it’s on premises, at the edge or in the cloud. With the intent to address the challenges that have surfaced due to the growing threat landscape, 93% of the respondents plan to increase their data protection budgets during 2022 – spending an average of around 7% more than in 2021,” said Sandeep Bhambure, vice president, Veeam Software, India & SAARC.
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 frequency but also potency of these events were alarming. Following each 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. For peace of mind, organizations need 100% certainty that backups are being completed within the allocated window and restorations delivered within required SLAs,” said Danny Allan, CTO at Veeam.
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 the 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 centre (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.
Other key findings from report include:
- 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.