Tech/Engineering

What do remote office / branch office scenarios look like?

August 22, 2019 Derek E. Brink, CISSP Vice President and Research Fellow, Aberdeen Group Adjunct Faculty, Harvard University and Brandeis University

For an organization’s IT staff, remote office / branch office (ROBO) scenarios — i.e., an enterprise that consists of multiple sites, each of which has its own number of employees and their associated data — can be especially challenging when it comes to data protection.

It should go without saying that all enterprise data should be backed up, available, and swiftly recoverable — but remote offices and branch offices commonly lack the people, processes, and technologies necessary for timely and cost-effective data backup and recovery. In my own experience, “Mike, the IT guy” is (a) usually in some other location, (b) always willing to help, but (c) perpetually in a reactive, “whack-a-mole” mode of responding to the latest problems with the organization’s computing infrastructure.

To provide some fact-based context for what ROBO scenarios look like more generally, I did an analysis based on Aberdeen’s extensive visibility into current technology installations — in this case, current installations of data protection technologies. Across more than 10,000 sites at more than 2,000 enterprises in 14 industry sectors, this yielded the following insights about what ROBO looks like:

  • The number of unique sites per enterprise (i.e., the number of remote offices / branch offices) ranges from 1 to 35, with a median of 3
  • The number of employees per site ranges from 1 to 2,000, with a median of 25

From a data protection perspective, virtually all ROBO sites need data backup and restore capabilities for enterprise endpoints — and larger ROBO sites also need data backup and restore capabilities for enterprise server rooms / data centers.

Clearly, data backup is an essential activity — but successful and timely data recovery is what actually delivers the business value. Unplanned disruptions to the availability of enterprise data can happen for any number of reasons, from malicious (e.g., ransomware), to technical (e.g., hardware failure), to accidental (e.g., human error). Regardless of the reason, the three most basic questions that enterprise users need the organization’s IT staff to address are:

  • Is our data backed up?
  • Is our data recoverable — do we have good data to restore?
  • How quickly can our data be restored and recovered?

Speed of recovery is a key factor in reducing the total business impact of data disruptions. While data is not available, enterprise users lose productivity … and the customer-serving, revenue-generating activities of the organization grind to a halt.

In Aberdeen’s traditional benchmark research, respondents identified the following as the top three pressures driving their investments in cloud-based data protection solutions:

  • Increasing need for data storage capacity (63%)
  • Increasing need for a data backup and restore / disaster recovery solution (52%)
  • Increasing need to support additional enterprise users and services (44%) — without corresponding growth in IT staff

In other words, organizations see a move to cloud-based data protection strategies as a flexible, consistent, and cost-effective way to address their relentless requirements for growth (e.g., in data, users, applications) while also addressing their increasing risks (e.g., availability).

Additional analysis shows that these organizations are right!

In a new research report on The Value of Cloud Data Protection for Remote Office / Branch Office, Aberdeen has quantified how the faster, more scalable time-to-recover enterprise data provided by a cloud-based backup and restore capability reduces the business impact of unplanned downtime by more than 95% compared to traditional, on-premises approaches.

Check out the report or tune into Druva’s webinar “Why Cloud Data Protection Provides the Best Value for Remote Offices” and learn how you can reduce the business impact of unplanned downtime by about 90%.