Report Says UK are Cutting Corners IT Backup Plans

Businesses in the UK, more than in any other country, are struggling to back up their growing number of virtual servers, according to a worldwide report into disaster recovery launched today.

The Global Disaster Recovery Index, reveals that 60 per cent of UK firms back up virtual servers less frequently than physical servers, compared to 11 per cent of organisations in Sweden, the survey's top performer in this metric.

But when it comes to confidence in their overall disaster recovery plans, UK IT managers score slightly better than their counterparts in France, Italy, Australia and the US.

Based on a survey by industry analysts at the Ponemon Institute and published by backup vendor Acronis, the Index compares IT managers' confidence in their backup and recovery plans across a number of European and Scandinavian countries, Asia, Australia and the US (see chart).

To create the Index, each country is ranked on the aggregated responses to 11 questions about their backup readiness, capabilities and practices.

The questions gauged IT managers' confidence in their recovery plans based on their ability and willingness to adopt new technology; confidence in their procedures and policies; level of executive support; qualification of employees devoted to backup; and their ability to recover rapidly after downtime.

The Index leaders - Germany and the Netherlands - weren't the highest spenders on backup products, but they did reveal a high-level of senior management buy-in to their business continuity plans.

"Executive buy-in is a critical factor," Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute told Computing. "People pay attention to what their boss cares about."

Organisations from the Index leader countries also show a propensity for adopting virtualisation technologies, said David Balckman, general manager for Northern Europe at Acronis.

After the UK, businesses in France and Italy - which performed worst overall in the Index rankings - were most likely to admit they do not back up their virtual servers as often as their physical servers.

Thirty-nine per cent of French and 53 per cent of Italian businesses claimed to spend nothing on backup or disaster recovery. Consequently they are the least likely to be able to recover quickly from downtime, at 27 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, compared to an Index average of 50 per cent.

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