Manufacturers risking downtime and lost data

Just 40 per cent of small and mid-sized European manufacturing companies reckon they could recover lost data within a morning, according to a survey of computer backup practices.

Another 16 per cent estimate that it could take them up to a week to recover lost data - or that they would not be able to recover it at all - said David Blackman,  general manager for northern Europe at backup software supplier Acronis, which commissioned the survey. The remainder said it could take them up to a day.

The results also showed that UK companies were worse at backing up workstations than their counterparts in France and Germany, said Blackman. He argued that this was particularly worrying given the amount of valuable data that resides on laptops.

On the positive side, manufacturers recognise more than any other sector that losing data could also lose you both revenue and customers. However, Blackman warned that, with all sectors of business now so heavily reliant on automated systems, companies which trimmed back on costs during the recession need to revisit their plans for recovering from an IT disaster and make sure they are keeping pace with the risks.

He advised that as part of this update, companies should ask three key questions of their IT department or IT/backup provider:

- With the restore process being the critical part, not the backup, when did you last test restoring the system?
- Do you image the entire system for immediate restoration, or just backup the data, which will require additional time to get up and running?
- How often does a backup take place?

The survey was carried out for Acronis by specialist research company Vanson Bourne, and questioned those responsible for IT within 600 organisations, all of which had less than 1000 employees. It included general commercial, financial services, retail and distribution, transport, and manufacturing companies.

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