In its fifth edition, the Veeam Availability Report, from Veeam Software reveals that 84% of senior IT decisions-makers (ITDMs) across the globe admit to suffering an ‘Availability Gap’ (the gap between what IT can deliver and what users demand). This number, which is a 2% increase from 2014, costs businesses up to $16 million a year in lost revenue and productivity, in addition to the negative impact on customer confidence and brand integrity.

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“84% of IT decisions-makers admit to suffering an Availability Gap”

The research shows that despite numerous high-profile incidents last year, enterprises are still not paying enough attention to the needs of their users. It is forecasted that by the end of 2020, there will be almost 21 billion connected devices, thus the need to the need to deliver 24/7 access to data and applications has never been more important. However, according to the research, it seems that enterprises have not received that message despite more than two-thirds of respondents stating that they have invested heavily in data center modernization specifically to increase availability levels.

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Ratmir Timashev, CEO, Veeam Software

“When you talk to more than 1,000 senior ITDMs you expect that there will be some that are still struggling to deliver on the needs of the Always-On Enterprise – the Enterprise that operates 24/7/365, but these findings are alarming,” stated Ratmir Timashev, CEO, Veeam. “Modern enterprises are becoming software-driven businesses, so IT departments can no longer get away with services that are ‘ok’; always-on availability is paramount. However, since our last study, the number of annual unplanned downtime events have increased (from 13 to 15) and they are also lasting longer and taking a far greater amount of time to recover.  In today’s economy, where speed and reliability are imperative, this is unacceptable. If this trend continues, I fear for the companies we surveyed.”

Enterprises in the UAE were also surveyed as part of the global report and 70% of respondents (senior IT decision makers) in the country admitted to an Availability Gap, which costs businesses up to US$5.5 million a year in lost revenue and productivity, in addition to the damage to brand integrity and loss of employees’ confidence.

In this context, Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software affirmed that availability is crucial and the Internet of Things is vital to attain this target. “The availability gap is in how people are doing things and how they are going to do things in the near future. We can see that enterprises started to realize the importance of availability solutions and the role of cloud and cloud based services. Thus, the status of enterprises has to be Always-On through more frequent real time interactions between customers, partners, suppliers and even families. This guarantees a 24/7 access to applications, especially with the increased adoption of mobile devices.”

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Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software

Gregg also highlighted the importance of modernizing data centers and increasing the level of automation for decision makers. “99% of IT decision makers report that their organization is modernizing their data center by investing.”

 

Key findings from the UAE in 2016 Veeam Availability Report:

 

Availability is of paramount importance… yet enterprises are failing

  • Users want support for real-time operations (50%) and 24/7 global access to IT services to support international business (43%).
  • When modernizing their data centers, lower operational costs for IT (70%) and enabling 24/7 always-on business operations to cater to increasing user demands (40%) are the two most sought-after capabilities; however, cost and lack of skills is inhibiting deployment.
  • Organizations have increased their service level requirements to minimize application downtime (100%) or guarantee access to data (77%) to some extent over the past two years, but the Availability Gap still remains.
  • To address this, however, respondents stated that their organizations are currently, or are intending in the near future, to modernize their data center in some way – virtualization (76%) and backups (93%) are among the most common areas to update for this purpose.

 

Data at risk

  • 70% of respondents (senior IT decisions-makers) in the UAE admitted to an ‘Availability Gap’ (the gap between how fast you can recover applications and how fast you need applications to be recovered) and cannot meet end-users’ requirements for an always-on business.
  • Respondents report that the organization’s written Service Level Agreements (SLAs) average for recovery point objectives (RPOs) for its mission-critical applications is 40 minutes and for non mission-critical applications is a little over 1 hour. Respondents say that their organizations can recover mission-critical data in an average of 50 minutes for its mission-critical applications and 1 hour 20 minutes for its non mission critical applications. As a result, a gap remains.
  • A high 50% of respondents revealed their organizations’ applications encounter unplanned downtime caused by IT failures, external forces or other factors 21 to 30 times a year. On an average, organization’s applications encounter unplanned downtime 22 times a year.
  • On an average, each individual instance of unplanned downtime of mission-critical applications lasts for 1 hour 22 minutes. The same for non mission-critical applications is over an hour and a half
  • When IT services fail, an important consideration is whether back-ups can be recovered with certainty. The recovery of organizations’ backups fails in an average of nearly 40% of cases.
  • An average of only 1.18% of back-ups are tested for recoverability each quarter by organizations. Long gaps between testing increase the chance of issues being found when data needs to be recovered – at which point it may be too late for these organizations.

 

‘Financial’ impact is substantial

  • As a result, the estimated average annual cost of downtime to enterprises can be up to $5.5 million.
  • Average per hour cost of one mission-critical application downtime is a little under $ 70,000.
  • Non-backed-up data will be lost in the event of IT failure. The average per hour cost of data loss, i.e. data that is proved to be unrecoverable in the event of one critical application downtime is over $66,000
  • Damage to brand integrity (77%) and Loss of employee confidence (70%) were the top two ‘non-financial’ results of poor availability cited.