March 31st is World Backup Day. World Backup Day was inaugurated in 2011 to create awareness about the importance of data backup and recovery. We celebrate this day at CAPS every year because offsite data backup is one of the core IT infrastructure services we offer from our data center in Shelton.

Yet, even today, a surprising number of organizations do not regularly backup their data. The World Backup Day website includes a graphic that states 21% of businesses have never executed a data backup. This figure matches results from a 2020 Infrascale survey of 500 executives at small and medium sized businesses. Another survey of 6,600 IT managers in 2022 by Acronis found an even higher percentage of negligent organizations. Per that survey, 10% backup their data every day, 15% do so once or twice a week, and 34% backup monthly. That leaves an astounding 41% that rarely or never backup.

Risky Business

This is risky given the increasing exposure to data loss we are experiencing due to rising instances of cyber breaches. Data can also be lost due to human error, equipment failures, and environmental disasters. Many seem to be relying on the hope they will not need to recover their data.

Though hoping for the best is not an effective way to manage risk, it does seem to be a common practice. In many cases organizations have decided to take a chance rather than dedicate the funds needed for adequate data backup and recovery.

CIOs and CTOs have an ongoing challenge getting funding for various IT projects. Disaster Recovery is one of the hardest things to get funded. Senior management, looking to avoid spending money, frequently underfunds data backup initiatives. They convince themselves the odds of a serious outage are low. “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”. These words, coined by the poet Alexander Pope in 1733, describe the approach taken by many executives today regarding investments in data backup.

World Backup Day focuses on data backup but simply backing up data is not enough to minimize risk. The frequency of data backup is critically important. Per the survey cited earlier, 34% of the organizations only back up their data once a month. That means up to 4 weeks of data can be lost if a breach occurs just before a monthly backup.

Data Recovery Is Most Important

Most important is the ability to recover data so that systems can be restored and brought back online. Some believe making multiple backups in different locations and on different storage mediums is sufficient. However, unless the ability to recover these backups in a timely manner has been tested there can be no assurance the backup plan will work when needed.

So why do we think digitalization could foster more investment in data backup and recovery? Digitalization, as defined by the Gartner Group is “the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.”

Digitalization is one of the top things on the minds of CIOs and CTOs as well as the senior management that dole out the funds for IT investments. Though there are not many examples of successful digitalization projects yet; the number is growing. IT leaders that create a new revenue source for their organization are far more likely to get approval for their funding requests. As they transition from a cost center to a profit center their ability to get financial support increases.

Funding Data Backup

We hope you take time to contemplate data backup and recovery on March 31st. If your senior management have not been supportive of your data backup funding requests in the past we hope you bring a digitalization project to a successful completion in the year ahead. In so doing you will increase the likelihood of funding your data backup and recovery ini