Data recovery top priority for IT managers

Protecting data still vital to healthcare trusts, survey shows

Data recovery is still the number one priority for healthcare IT managers, according to research published this week.

In its second annual survey, Bridgehead Software has revealed that protecting key medical data takes priority over virtualisation, cloud computing and digitising paper processes among healthcare professionals around the world, with 55% putting it among their top three priorities for the coming year. This is an increase on last year, when it was still the key driver for investment, but among 44% of those questioned.

Jim Beagle, chief executive of BridgeHead Software, said of the findings: “These survey results confirm what we expected; disaster recovery is becoming more of a priority, not less. This is largely due to the fact that hospitals continue to generate massive amounts of different types of data via a variety of systems – from PACS and RIS to accounting and administration. Amid this technological complexity and unstoppable date growth, the first step towards a robust data recovery strategy is not an easy one to define.

Amid this technological complexity and unstoppable date growth, the first step towards a robust data recovery strategy is not an easy one to define

“We believe the foundation for effective data recovery in hospitals is to understand date volumes as well as the type of data you are managing. If you don’t know these answers, it will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to implement an effective data recovery strategy that can reliably protect vital data in the case of a system outage, loss, corruption or disaster. I find it intriguing that more than a third of respondents, all of whom were healthcare IT professionals, did not know or were uncertain how much data they were managing on primary storage facilities. Another third did not know whether their data volumes had increased decreased in the last year.

“For those hospitals that do not have a full account of their data volumes, we recommend using an analytic tool that profiles a hospital’s data and provides a report to help them make informed business and IT decisions.”

We believe the foundation for effective data recovery in hospitals is to understand date volumes as well as the type of data you are managing. If you don’t know these answers, it will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to implement an effective data recovery strategy that can reliably protect vital data in the case of a system outage, loss, corruption or disaster

In all, 64% of those questioned said their organisations had a disaster recovery strategy in place, but only 26% of those were ‘robust, tried and tested’. And a total of 68% of respondents said their data volumes had grown over the last year, 30% were unsure how they had changed, and 2% said volumes had increased. Other findings included 60% of managers said they were looking after more than 1TB of data in primary store, 45% said their organisations were planning a major storage upgrade in the next year, and 55% said some applications had archiving abilities, but only 16% had a full archiving policy that migrated data to the appropriate storage tiers.

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