How COVID-19 Impacted Data Protection

March 24th, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic impacted virtually every aspect of business – including data protection. Data from Veeam’s Data Protection Report 2021, the largest survey of its kind with more than 3,000 business leaders around the world, found that 96 percent of organizations already started accelerating cloud usage, and more than 50 percent accelerated their digital transformation plans. More data stored and used in the cloud, driven in part by remote work and other changes to operations due to the pandemic, means more data to backup and secure.

Additionally, businesses have vaulted “business continuity” and “meeting customer expectations” to the top of their priority lists if they weren’t already there. After the stops and starts of 2020, growth in 2021 is vital for many businesses and protecting data while ensuring it’s always available and accessible is an important part of the strategy.

Continued Changes Impacting Data Protection and Challenges that Lie Ahead

Veeam not only asked how enterprises adapted their IT environments in 2020 – the survey also asked what their plans are for 2021. Key findings include:

Notably, only 4 percent of businesses surveyed anticipate no significant changes to IT.

Veeam also asked the challenges that businesses anticipate.

Asked if there was a gap between how fast you can recover vs. how fast you need to recover.

  • 80 percent say they have an “availability gap.
  • 76 percent say they have a protection gap, between how frequently they backup vs. what they can afford to lose.

Summary: The solutions that most businesses have in place today aren’t enough to protect data, improve RTO’s, and be perceived to be cost-efficient.

In 2020, when they could least afford it, 37 percent said up to half their servers had at least one outage.

On average, 37% of the time, organizations showed that their backup jobs ended up with errors or could not complete in their allocated backup window. That means potentially over one-third of all backups may not be restorable. The research also showed that one-third (34%) of all restorations fail to restore within the expected SLA.

What does this all mean? It means that with current legacy data protection, only 63% of backups will be successful AND 66% of restores will be successful, and ultimately, you’ll be able to recover less than half of the time (42%).

The need for modern data protection now feels more pressing than ever. With the acceleration of cloud and modern delivery practices and the reality of backup and restoration issues with legacy backup, modern data protection is now necessary. But what is it, according to the organizations needing it?

According to the 3,000 organizations who took part in the research, integrated data protection and security (35%), cloud workload portability (36%), and ability to do disaster recovery via a cloud service (DRaaS) (38%) top the list.

Clearly, modern data protection needs to support the vast diversity of organizations’ IT platforms (cloud, SaaS, virtual, physical), make data safe, accessible, and usable for purposes such as DevOps and analytics, and ultimately enable consistent and unified data protection

As organizations modernize their IT services, we also see steady growth in cloud-based data protection.   The results also show growth of BaaS (Backup-protection-as-a-Service) with an 11% estimated increase through 2021 alone, and still trending after this.  In comparison, self-managed backup using native

The startling result here is the massive decline of on-prem tool usage, expected to be down over 50% from current actuals within two years.

Typically DR follows backup modernization trends, being tightly tied to the platforms, which remains the case here. With the growth of cloud-based modern data protection, the results also show a massive swing of 28% through 2023 to DRaaS first approaches.

Backup is shifting from on-prem to cloud-based solutions that are managed by a service provider

  • Plans to reduce self-managed backups using exclusively on-premises solutions are on pace to decline as anticipated.
  • Self-managed cloud is on track to slightly increase as anticipated.
  • Cloud-based, BaaS-managed backup is increasing its adoption as planned for and anticipated.

Cloud Workloads Need Modern Data Protection

The facts are clear; outdated solutions and poorly optimized solutions cost you time and money while putting your data at risk. Simply putting the work in to optimize your current solution can provide new levels of confidence and operational excellence, ensuring your data is always protected and available, as well as many other economic and productivity benefits.  Recently Veeam sponsored IDC Research to develop a white paper targeting outcomes (IDC Research, The Economic Impact of Veeam Cloud Data Management Platform, April 2020).  Some of those results are included below to showcase measurable results.


With the rapid change of IT strategy and faster adoption of modern services, businesses are under more pressure than ever to protect company data and ensure “always on” resiliency. Businesses can’t afford to leave their data protection solutions “un-optimized”.

With the accelerated adoption of cloud-based services, some from COVID-19 impact, the cloud has become a key tool in helping customers leverage modern technologies to have the biggest impact on their data availability strategy at the best cost.

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