Availability Gap inhibits Digital Transformation and costs enterprises in the Middle East US$21.8 million each per year, shows CIO research
Source: Procre8; Veeam Software , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon May 8, 2017 10:33 am

UAE.  96 percent of organizations in the Middle East have Digital Transformation initiatives on their roadmap and more than half of those initiatives are in process now[i].

There is obviously a huge appetite across enterprises to utilize innovation for competitive advantage, and this places a huge burden on businesses to deliver access to IT services, data and apps, at any time and from anywhere 24.7.365.

However, according to the latest industry data released today from Veeam® Software, the innovative provider of solutions that deliver Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™, there is a major disconnect between user expectations and what IT can deliver, and it is hindering innovation.

In fact, 82 percent of regional enterprises admit to suffering an ‘Availability Gap’ (the gap between users demand for uninterrupted access to IT services and what businesses and IT can deliver), which is impacting the bottom line to the tune of $21.8 million per year, and almost two thirds of respondents admit that this is holding back innovation.

Now in its sixth year, the 2017 Veeam Availability Report surveyed more than 1,000 senior IT leaders from 24 countries including Saudi Arabia and UAE, the two biggest IT markets in the Middle East.

The survey shows that 74% of enterprises in the Middle East feel that Availability, that is continuous access to IT services, is a requirement for Digital Transformation; however, the majority of senior IT leaders (72 percent) feel these initiatives are being held back by unplanned downtime of services caused by cyber-attacks, infrastructure failures, network outages, and natural disasters (an average of 90 minutes per server each year).  

While many regional organizations are still “planning” or “just beginning” their transformational journeys, 72% of respondents agree that these initiatives are critical or very important to their C-suite and lines of business.

Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and SAARC at Veeam Software says, “Moving forward, reducing downtime and data loss will require business decision makers (BDMs) to acknowledge that downtime and data loss have costs, so doing nothing will almost assuredly cost more than any solution.

"Meanwhile, technical decision makers will need to reimagine that Availability and protection really are attainable, if they first stop using legacy approaches and embrace an IT strategy that is underpinned by agile virtualization and complemented with cloud-services wherever possible, with reliable protection and rapid recovery as foundational elements of the design. Only with those elements accomplished can the organization transform its digital strategy to accomplish its greater goals.”

The Business Cost of an Outage: More Than Lost Revenue
The 2017 Veeam Availability Report reveals once more the true impact of downtime on businesses. While downtime costs vary, the data shows that the average annual cost of downtime for an organization in the Middle East in this study[ii] amounts to $21.8 million.
Downtime and data loss now cause enterprises to face public scrutiny, in ways that cannot be measured by a balance sheet.

This year’s study shows that more than half (57%) of regional enterprises see a loss of customer confidence, and 48 percent experienced damage to brand integrity, which affect both brand reputation and customer retention. Looking at internal implications, nearly half of respondents (43%) see diminished employee confidence and 30 percent have experienced a diversion of project resources to ‘clean up’ the mess. 48% say impact is reduced stock price, which along with loss in customer confidence is their biggest concern.

The Multi-Cloud Future
Unsurprisingly, cloud and its various consumption models are changing the way businesses approach data protection. The report shows that more and more companies in the region are considering cloud as a viable springboard to their digital agenda, with software as a service investment expected to increase by 78% percent in the next 12 months. Indeed, almost half of IT Leaders (46 percent) believe cloud providers can deliver better service levels for mission-critical data that their internal IT process.  Investments in Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) are expected to rise similarly as organizations combine them with cloud.

Protection Gap Creates a Challenges
In addition, 83% percent of enterprises in the Middle East are seeing what Veeam has identified as a ‘Protection Gap’ (an organization's tolerance for lost data being exceeded by IT’s inability to protect that data frequently enough), with their expectations for uptime consistently being unmet due to insufficient protection mechanisms and policies.

Although companies state that they can only tolerate 34 minutes per year of data loss within ‘high priority’ applications, Veeam’s findings show that respondents actually experience 191 minutes of data loss, a discrepancy of over two and a half hours.  This poses a major risk for all companies and impacts business success in many ways.

Supporting Quotes
“Today, immediacy is King and consumers have zero tolerance for downtime, be it of a business application or in their personal lives. Companies are laser-focused on delivering the best user experience and whether they realize it or not, at the heart of this is Availability.  Anything less than 24.7.365 access to data and applications is unacceptable. However, our report states such ubiquitous access is merely a pipedream for many organizations, suggesting new questions need to be asked of transformation plans and a different conversation started about existing infrastructure. Enterprises are facing a major crisis from competitors that are able to offer this uptime and combine that with user experience.”
-          Peter McKay, President and COO of Veeam Software

“The results of this survey show that most companies, even large, international enterprises, are not prepared for Digital Transformation. The emergence of the Protection Gap and the fact the Availability Gap remains high are worrying factors for IT decision makers, and for those who answer to the Board.”
-          Jason Buffington, Principal Analyst for data protection, preservation and availability at Enterprise Strategy Group

About the Report
Veeam commissioned Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a leading IT analyst, research, and strategy company, to develop and execute the survey for this report. ESG conducted a comprehensive online survey of 1,060 ITDMs from private  and public sector organizations with a minimum of 1,000 employees, in 24 different countries, in late 2016. The countries surveyed include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the UAE, UK and the US.

Photo Caption: Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and SAARC at Veeam Software

About Veeam Software
Veeam® recognizes the new challenges companies across the globe face in enabling the Always-On Enterprise™, a business that must operate 24.7.365. To address this, Veeam has pioneered a new market of Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™ by helping organizations meet recovery time and point objectives (RTPO™) of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data, through a fundamentally new kind of solution that delivers high-speed recovery, data loss avoidance, verified recoverability, leveraged data and complete visibility. 

Veeam Availability Suite™, which includes Veeam Backup & Replication™, leverages virtualization, storage, and cloud technologies that enable the modern data center to help organizations save time, mitigate risks, and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs, while always supporting the current and future business goals of Veeam customers.

Founded in 2006, Veeam currently has 45,000 ProPartners and more than 230,000 customers worldwide. Veeam's global headquarters are located in Baar, Switzerland, and the company has offices throughout the world.

To learn more, visit https://www.veeam.com.

[i] Source: ESG Research Report, 2017 IT Spending Intentions Survey, March 2017”
[ii] The average size of company surveyed had 7,500 employees.



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