The Global Data Protection Index 2020 Snapshot carried out by Dell Technologies found that organisations in the Asia Pacific and Japan on average are managing 64% more data than they were a year ago.
With this surge in data comes inherent challenges. The vast majority (77%) of respondents reported their current data protection solutions will not meet all of their future business needs. The Snapshot, a follow-on to the biennial Global Data Protection Index, globally surveyed 1,000 IT decision-makers across 15 countries at public and private organisations with 250+ employees about the impact these challenges and advanced technologies have on data protection readiness.
Of the 1,000 IT decision-makers, a fourth were from Asia Pacific and Japan.
The regional findings also showed positive progress as an increasing number of organisations in APJ – 75% in 2019, up from 74% in 2018 – see their data as valuable and are currently extracting value or plan to in the future.
“The exponential data growth combined with increasing data value is creating opportunities but also new risks as organisations grapple with how to reliably and sustainably protect their information,” said Alex Lei, vice president, Data Protection Solutions, Asia Pacific & Japan, Dell Technologies.
Costly disruptions rise at alarming rates
According to the study, organisations in APJ are now managing 13.31 petabytes (PB) of data, a 64% increase since the average 8.13PB in 2018, and a 693% increase since organisations were managing 1.68PB in 2016. The largest threat to all this data seems to be the growing number of disruptive events, from cyber-attacks to data loss to systems downtime. The majority of organisations (84% in 2019 compared to 80% in 2018) suffered a disruptive event in the last 12 months. And, an additional 70% fear their organisation will experience a disruptive event in the next 12 months.
Even more concerning is the finding that organisations using more than one data protection vendor are almost four times more vulnerable to a cyber incident that prevents access to their data (42% of those using two or more vendors versus 11% of those using only one vendor). But, the use of multiple data protection vendors is on the rise with 83% of organisations choosing to deploy data protection solutions from two or more providers, up 25 percentage points since 2016.
The cost of disruption is also increasing at an alarming rate. The average cost of downtime in the last 12 months surged by 61% from 2018 to 2019, resulting in an estimated total cost of US$794,308 in 2019, up from US$494,869 in 2018. The estimated cost of data loss also increased from US$939,703 in 2018 to US$1,301,524 in 2019 on average. These costs are significantly higher for those organisations using more than one data protection vendor – nearly four times higher downtime-related costs and almost twelve times higher data loss costs, on average.
Emerging technologies challenge data protection solutions
As emerging technologies continue to advance and shape the digital landscape, organisations are learning how to use these technologies for better business outcomes. The study reports that almost all APJ respondents’ organisations are making some level of investment in newer or emerging technologies, with the top five being: cloud-native applications (64%); software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications (58%); artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) (50%); 5G and cloud edge infrastructure (49%); and Internet of Things/end point (45%).
Yet, three-quarters (75%) of respondents believe these emerging technologies create more data protection complexity while 72% state that emerging technologies pose a risk to data protection. More than half of those using newer or emerging technologies are struggling to find adequate data protection solutions for these technologies, including:
- 5G and cloud edge infrastructure (75%)
- AI and ML platforms (72%)
- Cloud-native applications (64%)
- IoT and end point (59%)
- Robotic process automation (56%)
The study also found that 77% of respondents believe their organisations’ existing data protection solutions will not be able to meet all future business challenges. Respondents shared a lack of confidence in the following areas:
- Recovering data from cyber-attacks (70%)
- Recovering data from a data loss incident (66%)
- Meeting compliance with regional data governance regulations (65%)
- Meeting backup and recovery service level objectives (60%)
Data protection joins forces with cloud
Businesses are taking a combination of cloud approaches when deploying new business applications and protecting workloads such as containers and cloud-native and SaaS applications. The findings show that APJ respondents’ organisations prefer public cloud/SaaS (46%), hybrid cloud (38%) and private cloud (36%) as deployment environments for newer applications such as these. Also, 76% of organisations surveyed say it is mandatory or extremely important for data protection providers to protect cloud-native applications.
As more data moves to, through and around edge environments, many respondents say cloud-based backups are preferred, with 60% citing private cloud and 59% citing public cloud as their approach for managing and protecting data created in edge locations.