Seventy per cent of UK organisations are not very confident of their ability to fully recover their systems or data after downtime or data loss, a new survey has found. 

At the same time, more private and public sector organisations in the UK than the rest of Europe admitted to suffering a systems downtime in the last 12 months.

Nearly 73 per cent of UK organisations experienced downtime, according to the survey by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by EMC. This is compared to an average of 43 percent in Europe, with Russia reporting the lowest downtime at 29 percent.

The most common reason European organisations cited for the downtime was hardware failure. UK firms were more likely to give this reason (66 percent) than the rest of Europe (54 percent on average).

Other reasons given for systems downtime were loss of power (38 percent of European organisations) and software failure (31 percent).

In addition, the survey found that it takes UK organisations two days on average to return to full operational status.

Hardware failure was also the most common cause of data loss. However, hardware failure was less of a reason for UK organisations (47 percent) than other European firms (for example 68 percent in Russia).

Thirty percent of UK firms admitted to experiencing a data loss in the last 12 months, which was higher than the European average of 25 percent, but less than France’s 32 percent. Germany reported the lowest number of incidents, at 18 percent.

Data corruption (36 percent of European firms) and loss of power (30 percent) were other common reasons for the data loss.  Meanwhile, around a fifth of all European organisations said that security breaches and user error had caused the data loss.

Despite 73 percent of UK organisations admitting to downtime, only 55 percent reviewed and changed their IT systems back-up and disaster recovery processes following a systems failure.

A quarter of UK organisations increased their spending on the processes, but the proportion of the IT budget spent on back-up and recovery was only at around nine percent.

In terms of the methods used for disaster recovery, the survey found that most UK firms (89 percent) stored a back-up copy of data offsite, and were as likely to use disk-based storage system as they were tape. Tape was the preferred option in Italy and Benelux, while disk was more popular in France, Germany, Spain and Russia.

Vanson Bourne surveyed 1,750 IT decision makers in total, 250 in each of the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux and Russia for the ‘European Disaster Recovery Survey’.

Disaster recovery spending not a top budget priority