DR survey reveals Asia/Pacific challenge

In a recent survey across the Asia/Pacific markets, analyst firm IDC claims less than one third of organisations interviewed would be able to restore more than 50% of their applications in real-time should a disaster strike. This means most organisations would have less than half of their systems running in the event of a disaster.

"In light of recent catastrophic events in the region, the question we are left with is: With information technology being such a critical part of our day-to-day lives, is this level of availability sufficient, not just for those organisations that responded to our survey, but for the rest of us as well, to sustain normal daily operation?"

"Take the examples of the two major outages that occurred in 2010 across the region. DBS Bank Singapore had their systems offline for 7 hours in July 2010 and Virgin Blue was out for even longer in September 2010. Whilst there was clearly an impact to each of these business as a result of these outages, more important was the impact to the thousands of customers that each of these businesses had," said Matt Oostveen, Associate Director, Infrastructure at IDC.

Further analysis of the survey showed that only 11% of respondents would be able to restore any of their systems in real-time. With the respondents drawn from many industries, it is possible that for some of them, their IT systems are needed as critically as others. And obviously there would be some financial impacts to these organisations, even if the systems were offline for a short time, especially if the point-in time is a critical one for these systems to operate.

To counter such issues, many governments across the region have issued some sort of guidelines to ensure these types if outages occur less and less frequently. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, for example, has mandated that 4 hours is the maximum window that IT servers can be offline. Unfortunately for DBS they exceeded this window and were penalised accordingly. IDC suggests governments to do more in these areas where access to IT systems are critical, not just for the organisations who own and manage them, but also considering those customers that are impacted by these systems.

More information on this survey and other data management concerns will be discussed in the upcoming IDC's Transformative ICT Conference 2011. The Sydney leg of the roadshow will be held at The Shangri-la Hotel on Thursday 12th May 2011. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.idc.com.au/events/ictsyd2011/index.asp