The 2017 Veeam Availability Report, a survey of more than 1,000 senior IT leaders from 24 countries paints a grim picture of the ability of enterprises around the world to counter security, recovery and availability challenges.
The report, which is now in its sixth year, found that the reputational and financial cost to companies reached US$21.8 million over the past year.
Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam, says these costs are hindering the ability of many of the businesses to execute their digital transformation strategies.
"Availability has become a stumbling block. You need to make sure that your business is up and running and that service are available. There is no time to stop in today's businesses. We speak about innovation but the problem comes when you experience downtime and you take the funds meant to be put into innovation for use in sweeping up the mess. You see losses for those types of initiatives in the effort to keep a business functional. That's a 36% increase from last year's report in terms of the loss for an organisation."
The 2017 report also found that the impact of downtime or a loss of data went further than money as consumer confidence in the event of downtime plummeted by up to 48% along with related damage to an enterprise's brand integrity, loss of employee confidence and diversion of project resources.
Downtime is often attributed to cyber-attacks, infrastructure failures, network outages, and natural disasters according to the report.
"Businesses usually presume that they do not have an availability gap until it is proven otherwise. Organisations of all sizes often rely on what they think is a resilient solution until the day a disaster happens. The day you find out whether it is adequate is the day everything goes wrong. We are encouraging businesses to ask themselves if system X were to fail how long would it take for us to recover'. You need to have all the details."
The report also shows that more companies are considering cloud as a viable springboard to their digital agenda, with software as a service investment expected to increase by over 50 percent in the next 12 months. Almost half of business leaders (43%) believe cloud providers can deliver better service levels for mission-critical data than their internal IT processes.
Investments in Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) are expected to rise according to the report as organizations combine them with cloud.
Schuck says Veeam is looking to grow its business across Africa through training of partners in different countries in order to avert the negative impact of downtime for various economies while growing the business' scale and reach on the continent.
"In Sub-Saharan Africa, we had about thirty percent growth year-on-year for Veeam, although there was a lot less growth in South Africa because we are a lot more established here. In countries like Namibia, we managed more than 100% growth. In Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe we are finding north of fifty percent and that speaks to a maturity of the market because in the past backup and recovery was a grudge purchase."
Jason Buffington, Principal Analyst for data protection at the Enterprise Strategy Group says the results of the 2017 Veeam Availability report show that enterprises are still finding it difficult to sustain themselves, especially as more businesses create a virtual presence.
"The results of this survey show that most companies, even large, international enterprises, continue to struggle with fundamental backup/recovery capabilities, which along with affecting productivity and profitability are also hindering strategic initiatives like digital transformation. In considering the startling availability and protection gaps that are prevalent today, IT is failing to meet the needs of their business units, which should gravely concern IT leaders and those who answer to the board."