32% of Local Government suffering IT outages lasting over 7 hours

A survey of 112 local authorities found that 32% had registered IT outages over the last 12 months, averaging 7 hours 5 minutes each. This is significantly worse than the average downtime of 1 hour 19 minutes, according to the report authors Veeam.

The survey found that 97% of councils questioned conduct tests on their data backup and IT disaster recovery system, but only 15% do so regularly, such as once a month or more frequently. More than half of them (56%) do that more than once a year - but 13% revealed that they test their systems less than once a year, with 9% doing so on an ad-hoc basis and 2% saying it has never been done.

All councils in the survey said that they backed up their data and had a disaster recovery plan in place. A further 91% of councils said they had a detailed formal disaster recovery policy. 75% update it at least once a year - but 14% only update it on an ad-hoc basis or less than once a year.

The survey also found that the overwhelming majority of councils (93%) store their data in their own data centre, but 69% are also using the public cloud. 

Most councils (89%) use Microsoft Office 365, but only 62% use a third-party supplier to back up O365 data. This means over a third (38%) of councils using Microsoft Office 365 have data that is potentially unprotected from loss.

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