iland released the findings of its research into organizations’ disaster recovery readiness. The study found that as organizations work diligently to support evolving business needs, while at the same time battling cybercrime and other threats to critical data, the majority of disaster recovery solutions are not tested on a regular basis. More importantly, as the IT estate changes over time, the survey indicated most disaster recovery solutions would not meet recovery objectives.

The research, “When Plan B Goes Wrong: Avoiding the Pitfalls of DRaaS” surveyed 150 technical and business decision makers from organizations drawn from a wide cross-section of U.S. enterprises, each employing a minimum of 500 people. The objectives of the research were to establish what DR systems organizations currently have in place, how often plans are tested and whether enterprises are confident in their ability to recover from disaster as swiftly and easily as possible.

Key findings include:

  • Just over half (54%) of respondents had a documented, company-wide DR plan in place.
  • Failures and outages are more common than people realize. Seventy-three percent reported experiencing failure at some point. Almost two-thirds of that group had experienced the outage within the last 12 months and almost half of those within six months.
  • Fifty-seven percent have a second on-premise data center for DR purposes.
  • DR testing frequency is very low. Just 50% are testing only annually or at less frequent intervals, while seven percent did not test their DR at all.
  • Of the organizations testing less frequently, half said their disaster recovery plan may be inadequate based on their most recent DR test, while 12% encountered issues that would result in sustained downtime.
  • Zero respondents said that their DR test was completely or moderately successful. Everyone reported experiencing issues.
  • Of the issues experienced, most reported networking issues (67%), service unavailability (67%), data integrity problems (50%), application performance issues (50%) or missing critical workloads (50%).
  • Those testing more regularly are far more likely to have ambitious objectives for data recovery than those who test less frequently. Thirty-two percent expected to recover data in seconds or minutes and 23% actually did so.
  • Hardware failure represented the most frequently reported cause of a recent data recovery need, with 38% citing it.
  • The most frequently encountered problem with failback to original sites was networking problems, experienced by 62%.

“With the rise in remote work and the frequency and impact of cybercrime growing each year, having a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy in place is critical to ensure organizations can defend, protect and quickly recover from data loss,” said Scott Sparvero, CEO at iland. “As we found in our research, disaster recovery implementations are on the rise, but regular testing is falling behind. This means that as IT teams deploy new resources to support increasing workload requirements, the disaster recovery plan needs to be updated in kind. Regular testing can quickly uncover any potential disaster recovery shortfalls.”