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Leading Industry Research Firm Identifies Greater Demand for Modern Data Protection

Data-driven organizations must evaluate evolving requirements for backup and disaster recovery to combat emerging workload challenges

Zerto, an industry leader in cloud data management and protection, announced the full findings of the IDC White Paper, sponsored by Zerto, “The State of Data Protection and Disaster Recovery Readiness: 2021.*” The study, which took place in Q1 2021 during the COVID-19 outbreak, revealed that a majority—94.7%—saw an impact to their work-from-home (WFH) data protection as a result of COVID. The survey also unearthed that 90.8% of respondents point to modernizing data protection, including backup and disaster recovery (DR), as a top IT priority that is crucial to their organizations’ overall digital transformation.

“CDP is a technology that is gaining traction in the industry. This technology, which is a part of modern backup solutions, can significantly lessen the potential for data loss regardless of cause, while reducing the time to recovery and simplifying recovery, CDP is the solution the industry requires.”

Additionally, the survey found many organizations are modernizing their infrastructure as 80% of new applications will be deployed in the cloud or at the edge, where most cloud applications will either be SaaS or cloud-native containerized applications, thus potentially creating a data management gap. Not only do these factors further contribute to data becoming siloed and requiring separate data protection, DR, and other solutions, but they also add infrastructure costs and staffing inefficiencies.

More specifically, the report identifies the top three IT priorities for organizations as they modernize backup and disaster recovery: cloud-first deployments, IT transformation, and implementing cloud-based DR.

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Consequences of Data Disruptions

However, as organizations modernize and move to the cloud, the research finds that threats to data are increasing rapidly, and the consequences are becoming more serious. The survey revealed that a disturbing 95.1% of organizations have suffered a ransomware or malware attack in the past 12 months with more than 80% indicating at least one attack resulting in data corruption, 43% experiencing unrecoverable data within the past 12 months, and more than one third (36.6%) having suffered more than 25 attacks during that time. These threats have become so common that the likelihood of being a victim has become a matter of when, not if.

As these threats increase, the consequences become more costly. Nearly one third (31.1%) of respondents reported a direct loss of revenue, and 35% suffered from instances of unrecoverable data. The indirect cost in terms of people may have been even more costly with 45.4% reporting a loss of employee productivity and nearly half (49%) incurring employee overtime to combat the attack and get businesses back online. Coupled with other IDC research showing that the cost of downtime ranges from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour (varying by industry and organizational size), organizations are faced with greater revenue and employee implications.

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One key point uncovered by the research is the cause of data loss when organizations experienced unrecoverable data. The number one reason was that data was lost in the gap between backups. This can be attributed to the length of time between backups being too long and an over reliance on snapshots, replicas, and standard backup schemes with recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) in hours versus seconds.

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Move to the Future

But there is good news. This study found that many organizations are now going to invest in their backup and DR plans as more than half (52.1%) plan to invest in both backup and DR improvements. As the report highlights, one of the key technologies now emerging to help IT organizations improve data protection, reduce data loss, and recover data more quickly is continuous data protection (CDP). CDP can reduce service levels— both RPO and RTO— from hours to minutes or even seconds. In fact, CDP is becoming a key means of driving toward near-zero RPO and near-zero RTO. Moreover, the highly granular nature of CDP recoveries can assist organizations in recovering to a point just prior to a cyberattack to assure recovery with the least amount of data loss possible.

“These survey results indicate that modernizing data protection, including backup and DR, are high priorities for many IT organizations,” commented Phil Goodwin, research director, IDC. “CDP is a technology that is gaining traction in the industry. This technology, which is a part of modern backup solutions, can significantly lessen the potential for data loss regardless of cause, while reducing the time to recovery and simplifying recovery, CDP is the solution the industry requires.”

“We’re experiencing unprecedented times, requiring organizations to focus resources on providing ‘always-on’ data protection, especially as they deal with an increase of downtime due to various planned and unplanned disruptions,” said Caroline Seymour, vice president of product marketing, Zerto. “This research from IDC shows why CDP is important for organizations as they look to modernize their backup and disaster recovery to overcome the hurdles they face and ensure they are always protected and can focus on accelerating digital initiatives.”

White Paper Research Methodology

The survey, conducted in early 2021, involved 506 senior IT and business leaders from medium-to-large scale organizations. The research was conducted to learn about the evolving requirements for backup and disaster recovery and how organizations are dealing with emerging challenges. Respondents are from North America and Europe and represent 18 vertical industries. Survey respondents constituted primarily senior IT and senior business leaders.

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