UK Lags EMEA on Business Continuity

UK businesses may be taking risks with an indifferent attitude towards business continuity, according to an independent survey commissioned by Hitachi Data Systems. The survey of 950 companies across EMEA found that only 19 per cent of UK businesses rate disaster recovery and business continuity as an important driver behind their storage investment, while six per cent said it was not important at all.

This was in stark contrast to the rest of EMEA, where nearly a third of companies surveyed considered business continuity a top driver behind storage investment.

The research also revealed that 13 per cent of UK companies surveyed do not actually have a formal strategy for disaster recovery and business continuity, by far the highest in all EMEA, where the average was just 2 per cent. Only 25 per cent of UK companies had tested their business continuity strategy within the last 12 months, the lowest of any other country and behind the EMEA average of 80 per cent.

Steve Murphy, UK Managing Director for Hitachi Data Systems, says: “This is definitely a wake-up call for UK businesses. Data is the life-blood of any organisation, and every company should prioritise business continuity and have a tried-and-tested disaster recovery plan in place to ensure that they can meet the challenges of an unforeseen incident.”

Green credentials increasingly important Encouragingly, all companies surveyed across the EMEA regions reported that environmental concerns are now becoming an influencing factor when deciding on IT investments. 31 per cent of UK companies agree that green credentials increasingly influence their decision-making, just behind the EMEA average of 33 per cent, while a further 14 per cent rate this as such a key priority that it is specifically requested in tender documents (EMEA average was 17 per cent).

Steve continues: “It’s encouraging to see that IT buyers are starting to focus on operational power consumption and are challenging storage vendors about the environmental footprint of IT equipment. As well as the environmental impact there’s also an economic consideration with electricity prices increasing and the threat of power shortages. Unlike most vendors, Hitachi is a vertically integrated company, taking product from concept to manufacture to sale – ensuring that our own supply chain is as eco-friendly as possible from start to finish.”

Inconsistent data policies leaves UK businesses exposed Many UK businesses are dangerously exposed when it comes to protecting sensitive and confidential data. Incredibly, only 39 per cent of UK companies have an internal policy for the security of corporate data stored on mobile devices such as PDAs, laptop computers and USB flash drives, far behind the EMEA average of 53 per cent.

UK companies scored higher on implementing policies for classification of data for data protection (80 per cent do), but surprisingly low on having policies for data deletion and data protection (only 52 per cent and 38 per cent do, respectively).

54 per cent of UK businesses have an enforced company policy regarding the storage of non work-related data such as music or holiday snaps (just behind 60 per cent of Israeli companies and 60 per cent of United Arab Emirates companies), which led them to have the region’s lowest levels of non-work related data stored on the company infrastructure.

On a more positive note, UK companies are among the most concerned when it came to better data availability, increased data demand and regulatory compliance, showing a more mature approach to storage management. A very high 35 per cent of UK businesses report that they re-evaluate their storage strategy at least once a year and purchase a planned amount of storage every quarter to stay ahead of demand, compared to the EMEA average of just 26 per cent. They are also more likely to perceive storage to be a vital part of their IT infrastructure, planning up to three years ahead.

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