The Acronis Global Disaster Recovery Index 2012 has revealed that despite the global political, economic and environmental upheaval of the last 12 months, more than half (55%) of all health sector companies are still not confident they could recover from a disaster. With a third (33%) confessing they couldn’t recover quickly and a further 42% saying they would suffer substantial downtime. It’s clear that should a disaster occur patients’ lives would be put at risk.
The survey highlighted that the tough economic climate is putting IT departments under increasing pressure. One in five (22%) health companies reported a lack of IT resources as one of the biggest challenges in regards to their backup and disaster recovery (DR). The findings also reveal that the health sector spends the least, compared to other sectors such as the public sector and finance, of their IT budgets on backup and DR operations. Over a third (34%) admitted to spending nothing at all on backup and DR in 2011.
With virtualisation promising to cut costs, the vast majority (84%) of health companies have embraced virtualisation to some degree. 29% state the reason for doing so is to increase efficiency. One in five (27%) already have more than 50% of their servers in a virtual environment. However, almost two in five (18%) don’t back up their virtual servers as often as their physical, putting critical data at risk. Two thirds (65%) carry out a backup of their virtual servers weekly or even less. This could in part be attributed to the fact that over half (61%) of health and pharmaceutical organisations admit to using separate solutions.
It’s only likely to get more complex as organisations start to integrate cloud into their IT infrastructure to lower their IT operating costs. The health sector is positive on its outlook on cloud services with a third (33%) predicting that more than 50% of its IT infrastructure will be cloud based in the next year.
Like other sectors, health companies are struggling with managing data in a hybrid environment. 36% currently use three or more applications to back up their data. The majority (73%) agreed that a comprehensive solution that links physical, virtual and cloud protection would improve their backup and disaster recovery strategy.
“Dealing with sensitive life-critical information, the health sector is governed by strict regulations and standards. Data such as patient records are required to be kept securely for the long-term,” said David Blackman, general manager Northern Europe and MEA, Acronis. “Organisations in this sector are under a great deal of pressure to cut costs but still maintain the same level of data protection. It’s clear looking at the findings that they are still working out how to do that efficiently without letting their backup and DR processes slip. New technology such as cloud and virtualisation can help alleviate some of these pressures, but they need to make sure they consolidate and centralise their backup and DR.”
Notes to the editor:
The survey was conducted by the Ponemon Institute across 18 countries in September and October 2011. Over 6,000 IT practitioners were surveyed in organisations with no more than 1,000 seats. Details of how the index was calculated and where each country appears can be found here: