IT managers distrust distributed backups

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Proliferation of data representing a major challenge.

Two-thirds of IT managers cited 'loss of business critical data' and 'downtime of key IT systems' as the greatest risks in IT planning, according to new research.

A study released today by Computer Associates suggests that the proliferation of data represents a major challenge for many IT managers, as it must be stored in various locations and on various systems with guaranteed recovery.

Almost two-thirds of respondents expressed concerns about managing distributed data storage. About one-third of IT managers lack faith in the decentralised storage of business critical information on servers, PCs and mobile devices.

The research on IT data risk management, conducted for CA by research and analysis firm Freeform Dynamics, included responses from 715 IT managers in Europe and the Middle East.

The study highlighted a "disconnect" between IT managers' awareness of risk and the action they take.

While 86 per cent of respondents said that losing business data would hurt their company, 32 per cent have not implemented a suitable service level agreement to mitigate the risk of data loss and set acceptable recovery time objectives.

Duncan Fisken, EMEA vice president of solutions management at CA, said: "To effectively understand and address business risk, IT managers must understand the service-level requirements of the business and the potential operational impact that infrastructure events can have on those service levels.

"Managers who fail to develop this understanding will not be able to design or implement appropriate data storage, management and recovery processes."

According to the CA study, information management technologies like email archiving and retrieval, workflow and document management, central coordination of records management policy and federated search and discovery are found in fewer than half of companies.

"Risk management should form the core of any strategy to manage and protect distributed data within a company," said Jon Collins, service director at Freeform Dynamics.

"There are a wide variety of parameters to consider depending on the type and location of data, so data protection can become a nightmare if it is not planned and tackled in an integrated fashion."
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