It’s no secret that data loss can have a huge impact on a company. Nowadays, the majority of businesses rely on data for the daily running of their business. If they were to suddenly suffer data loss then it’d likely have huge consequences. But just what sort of impact would it actually have? There are many statistics floating around that purport information about data loss, but are they actually true?
One of the most popular data loss statistics is that a certain percentage of businesses will close within a certain number of months. Those figures vary depending on the site, but it’s usually something like “80% close within two years”. However, the reliability of these statements is questionable.
First of all, if that many companies actually closed down after data loss then there’d be very little left trading. It’d be tricky to find a business that hasn’t suffered loss of data in some way. While that could just be a single file being deleted accidentally or an entire hard drive failing, data loss is difficult to avoid forever.
The problem is that these statistics get recycled without proper attention paid to where they actually originated from. In a lot of cases, they simply get repeatedly quoted until it starts to become trusted. You’ll probably often see disaster recovery vendors quoting the statistics – it benefits them to offer the worst possible look at data loss because they’re trying to sell solutions.
Of course, that’s not to dismiss the impact of data loss. There’s no question that data loss can actually have a major impact, especially if a proper backup plan isn’t in place. While it is possible that some businesses could find themselves cease trading if they don’t have any backups or can’t recover their data, the fact that 80% of them close sounds ridiculous when you think about it for a moment.
Back in 2008, Continuity Central sought Mel Gosling (managing director of a company specialising in business continuity solutions) and Andrew Hiles (managing director of a continuity consultancy) to explore the truth behind these statistics.
The pair researched many permutations of the fabled statistic, including “80 percent of businesses suffering a computer disaster, who have no disaster recovery plans, go out of business” and “60 percent of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.”
However, they couldn’t find any validity for these statements. Often the articles quoting them would refer to sources which, upon investigation, never seemed to claim such a truth. The earliest source they could find for the statistics go back to 1988 and they suspect they’ve been recycled and unattributed ever since. Indeed, many of the statistics quote different figures and there’s little consistency in the information being spread.
While the moral isn’t to take everything you read online at face value, it certainly isn’t to dismiss the value of a strong backup. Recovering from data loss can be a timely and costly procedure, there’s no denying that, and having a backup solution in place will ensure a lot less stress.
Be Wary of Fake Disaster Recovery Statistics
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