SMEs are wasting more than £4bn a year finding and restoring data that has been lost because of human error or IT failure, according to a survey by data storage company Adaptec.
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IT managers alone spend an average of five working days a year finding and restoring business data, while the time lost by employees forced to down tools until data is restored amounts to more than 60 million working days a year.
The resulting cost to SMEs in terms of lost productivity is calculated at more than £4bn a year, based on average salaries according to the Office for National Statistics.
Adaptec said it had commissioned an independent survey of 100 UK SMEs, which found that the average UK SME suffered some form of data loss five times a year. Restoring the lost data typically took 6.62 hours each time.
This amounts to more than 33 hours of annual IT downtime, which potentially affects the productivity of all employees.
The survey also found that 77% of respondents still backed up their data to older, slower-performing tape storage systems, rather than newer, quicker-performing disk-to-disk systems.
Adaptec said this was one of the main reasons it took SMEs so long to fully restore their data.