News/Trends, Tech/Engineering

ESG Research Reveals New Modern Data Protection Trends for 2017

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It’s critical for individuals in the technology field to remain constantly up-to-date regarding what others in their roles are doing to protect their critical data as well as what IT trends are being driven by business priorities. To provide the necessary insight into the current data-protection trends landscape, ESG surveyed 387 IT professionals who are responsible for data protection decisions in their organizations. In order to provide a comprehensive overview, ESG selected individuals from both midsize companies of 250-999 employees as well as enterprise environments comprising over 1000 people.

What Are the Challenges?
According to survey respondents, data protection and recoverability are major concerns for their organizations. As part of its survey, ESG asked respondents how confident they felt in their current protection strategy for various types of data.

For example, only slightly more than one-third of respondents (36 percent) indicated they are very confident that on-premises servers are well protected, while the remaining 64 percent of respondents were less confident to varying degrees with their current data protection. Conversely, approximately one-third of the survey respondents indicated that they are very confident in the level of data protection on servers, databases, email, and on-premises virtual machines.


A second tier of challenges hovered around 25 percent very confident including SaaS applications, company-owned endpoint devices, and cloud-based virtual machines.

Respondents felt least confident with the security of employee-owned BYOD devices, with only 18 percent very confident responses.

When ESG asked respondents to identify their biggest data protection challenges with current technology, the cost of backup was at the top of the list, with 35 percent of respondents citing it as their number one concern as many organizations are looking to the cloud to address this issue. Other critical challenges identified by the survey included the need to protect virtual environments, improve recovery reliability, and reduce overall backup times.

Mandates from Leadership
When asked about top priorities from IT leadership, respondents ranked recovery speed, recovery reliability, backup speed or frequency, and reducing hardware costs as primary concerns. A quarter of the 387 respondents told ESG that recovery speed is a primary mandate from management.


Other key priorities include improving data retention, reducing software costs, improving service levels for data, reducing associated labor costs, increasing usage of cloud services for backup and archiving, and improving disaster recovery overall.

Backup Strategy Trends
The survey noted several key trends in backup and recovery:

  • Most organization uses more than one backup strategy.
  • About 43 percent use two applications.
  • Only 27 percent indicated that they use a single software backup solution.

For the respondents who said they use multiple software backup solutions, the primary reason given for doing so was that different backup solutions are better suited to specific applications or workloads. The need for additional features such a cloud backup and supporting legacy software were also cited as key reasons for using more than one software backup solution.

When it comes to length of deployment for backup, three-quarters of respondents have been working with their current solution for between one and seven years. The respondents were evenly split between users with three or fewer years invested in their current platform, and those with four to seven years of using their current backup. Given the pace of advancement in the backup space, it is also worth noting that 18 percent of respondents have been using their current backup solution for eight or more years. Even with the fairly long usage of their current solutions, 47 percent of respondents indicated that they are working with the most current version of their backup product.

Data Protection Trends
Respondents were also asked about data redundancy, specifically the number of copies that are being created for data protection and management.

  • One-third of respondents had between 5 and 10 copies of their data in total.
  • 19 percent indicated they had between 11-15 copies and 16-20 copies of data.
  • 13 percent of respondents indicated having fewer than five copies of data.

With so many copies of data stored, it’s no surprise that the most compelling concerns regarding the current data management capabilities cited by survey respondents were reduced storage footprint (25 percent) and consolidation of various data protection tools into a single solution (19 percent) of respondents.

Get More From The Experts
To get the top results of the ESG data protection trends report, and what they could mean to you, check out our webinar: The Top 10 Modern Data Protection Trends for 2017.