MANILA, Philippines — When push comes to shove and their IT systems go down for some reason, at least four in five Philippine companies might not be able to recover from incidents of data loss or downtime, data from a recent study published by IT vendor EMC revealed.
In a survey of 2,500 companies across Asia Pacific–about 250 of which came from the Philippines — the study entitled “Disaster Recovery Survey 2012: Asia Pacific and Japan” found that though incidents of data loss and downtime are prevalent, Filipino firms aren’t fully equipped to tackle them.
According to the study, conducted by research company Vanson Bourne as commissioned by top-tier enterprise storage provider EMC, 74 percent of firms surveyed have experienced data loss or downtime in the past year but only 14 percent feel they are capable of recovering after such incidents.
EMC said the startling figures highlight how firms need to put intensified efforts in ensuring the integrity of their backups and disaster recovery efforts.
According to the study, companies are aware of the damage data loss or downtime is causing them, with firms saying these incidents have led to loss of employee productivity, loss of customer confidence, and even loss of revenue.
However, the situation lends itself to irony as the survey revealed that almost half of Filipino companies are not required to have a disaster recovery plan, which makes them vulnerable in times of uncertainty.
Nonetheless, companies surveyed said they have reviewed and changed their backup and disaster recovery procedures because of untoward incidents, although most of them still lag behind their Southeast Asian counterparts particularly in spending money to improve their systems.
The EMC study, in fact, showed that only 6.71 percent of companies’ total IT budgets are spent on system backup and recovery, compared with 11.20 percent for the overall Southeast Asia, or about $0.90 million only.
It also pointed out how majority of firms are still stuck using tape-based backup media (47 percent) and CD-ROMs (51 percent), two antiquated technologies that are nearing obsolescence.
“Based on the survey, the major problem is the higher propensity of [firms] to spend less, especially with the perceived higher cost of moving out of tape [backup],” said Ronnie Latinazo, country general manager at EMC Philippines.
Latinazo pointed out how the backup and disaster recovery industry is rapidly moving out of tape-based backups, primarily due to the high cost of transporting them –around $75 to $400 a month just moving and storing tapes — as well as the general unreliability of the medium.
“Even consumers are moving out of tape-based storage. [Companies have the] perception of higher cost of moving to other technologies, which based on our studies is not the case,” he stressed.
EMC said deploying next-generation backup and recovery systems, including data deduplication and network-based replication technologies, is important to prepare the companies for routine disruption or other significant incidents.
“The survey shows the reaction after disruption is to spend more on backup and recovery, but the damage is done in terms of time and money during a downtime as well as longer-term damage to customer loyalty,” it added.
“Asia Pacific and Japan is not immune to the uncertain economic times facing the rest of the world,” stressed Shane Moore, director for backup and recovery systems for APJ at EMC.
“Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure that they are protected against system downtime and data loss or they are to withstand the damaging effects of loss of productivity and revenue,” he added.