Two of Five Indian Businesses Lack Disaster Recovery Plans: Think Teal Research

Cyber-attacks emerge as the number one disaster concern for IT leaders in India, replacing natural calamities or any other political unrest.

Despite rapid digitization, Indian enterprises have alarming levels of complacency in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) planning, a new survey of Indian businesses by leading enterprise IT analyst firm Think Teal has revealed. Nearly 50% of Indian businesses review or revisit their BCDR strategy only once in three years, the survey has found. More worryingly, almost 40% of companies say they do not have any detailed BCDR strategy or plans, while a similar proportion have limited expertise in managing BCDR. 

The findings are based on interviews with over 220 CIOs and IT decision-makers of large enterprises and are part of Think Teal’s Tealscope “2024 State of BCDR, India” report. These enterprises each have a minimum of 500 employees and represent diverse industry verticals, including BFSI, IT, ITeS, Manufacturing, Government, Media, Healthcare, and Retail. 

A whopping 79% of the survey respondents said that cyberattacks are the top concern for their businesses when planning a BCDR strategy, replacing other risks, including employee negligence, natural disasters, or political unrest. 

“As organizations embrace the advantages of an interconnected world, the need to safeguard against cyber threats becomes paramount. BCDR, once tailored to address traditional disruptions, had to swiftly adapt to confront the intricacies of cybersecurity challenges. In this context, the evolution of BCDR mirrors the unfolding narrative of a digital era, where resilience is not just about mitigating physical risks but also navigating the complexities of a cyber-threat landscape,” – says Apalak Ghosh, Founder and Chief Analyst, Think Teal.

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Figure 1: Types of disasters that businesses are most worried about, Tealscope “2024 State of BCDR, India” report (N=220)

BCDR in the SaaS Age 

According to Think Teal’s survey, with the rapid growth of SaaS applications, which do not necessarily come with inherent backup solutions, the demand for BCDR is rising. For 63% of the survey respondents, protecting data stored in SaaS applications was among the top reasons for having a BCDR strategy in place. In comparison, 86% mentioned mitigating ransomware attacks as their number one reason. 

The continuing shift to the cloud further corroborates this factor. As per the survey, the proportion of businesses with at least half of their data stored on-premise will shrink from 79% to 61% within the next two years. 

Further, more than 60% of the companies building new applications are doing so on the cloud. Around 80% of organizations already have over 30% of their data on cloud. 

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Figure 2: Top Reasons for Having BCDR Strategy in Place, Tealscope “2024 State of BCDR, India” report (N=220)

IT Leaders in India need to look at the Bigger Picture

A commonly observed phenomenon among most Indian enterprises today is the siloed working of the security and the backup functions, the Think Teal report notes. 65% of enterprises still have security and backup functions operating in isolation. As per Think Teal research, more than 85% of ransomware attacks categorically target the backup repositories, as cyber miscreants have the dual advantage of easily targeting and attacking the very core of the business.

“Tighter IT budgets often restrain businesses in India. Businesses face challenges in prioritizing and allocating resources to several key areas, including Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR). The financial limitations, in general, force decision-makers to focus on immediate operational processes rather than on needs related to risk mitigation. As a result, aspects like Business Continuity Planning (BCP) are not frequently revisited and, in some cases, are known to be neglected altogether”, according to Nithin Uttarkar, Associate Director at Think Teal.

In the past, companies often adopted a reactive approach to their data recovery and business continuity needs, highlighting the necessity for a comprehensive strategy. “The evolving threat landscape and increasing frequency of disruptions among Indian enterprises is gradually changing the view of most IT decision-makers. They acknowledge the importance of overcoming budgetary constraints and are investing in resilient BCDR strategies and solutions,” Nithin added. 

While most enterprises express their initial concerns about high upfront costs, the long-term benefits of safeguarding data, tackling downtime, and ensuring business continuity influence the thought process, and businesses see BCDR as a strategic necessity.

Image Source: Freepik

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