A recent research study, The Storage End User Study: 2002, completed by Evans Research Corp., reveals just over half of the 300 respondents experienced data loss. The causes of the data loss were legion, although disk crash was the most frequently mentioned. Of those

that experienced data loss, just 42 per cent made use of external data recovery services. Users were generally satisfied with these services, which suggests that the main opportunity for growth is the addition of new customers, rather than through competition with each other, as market penetration is still low.
It would be safe to say that the majority of computer users have lost at least one file or information stored on a computer at some point. User error, such as staring at the blank screen saying, “no, I meant save!”, power outages without hitting the save key are frequent causes. Server problems taking down an entire network filled with works in progress and important corporate files are also not uncommon. Such is our workplace today.

Data loss is usually characterized by one (or more) of the following:

  • The sudden inability to access any data from a previously functioning computer system or backup.
  • The accidental erasing of data or overwriting of data control structures.
  • Data corruption or inaccessibility due to physical media damage or operating system problems.

Ron Austin, vice president, business development at ActionFront Data Recovery in Toronto believes that one of the ways to grow their business is through education.

“When an organization comes to the realization that they have downed or inaccessible files that cannot be restored internally, they figure that it is the end of the road and turn to hard copy. There are some IT people out there that do not know that companies like us exist out there to help,” Austin said. This is where Austin’s work begins.

As found in the study, the addition of new customers is the pathway to growth in this industry. On its Web site, Action Front has a downloadable Data Emergency Guide for organizations to learn what options they have out there. The emergency information takes companies through recognizing a data loss situation, what to do first, what not to do and worksheets to aid in the recovery process. Through informational guides like this, data recovery services will be a key option when companies are faced with inaccessible files.

Typical data recovery customers include corporate employees who utilize notebooks and are experiencing downed or inaccessible files. This can be attributed to airline security checks, physical abuse and exposure to electro-static fields. If proper back ups have not taken place. Data recovery services are required.

The Canadian storage market is poised for growth. Only a very small number of users reported that they were satisfied with their current storage infrastructure, suggesting there is demand for storage services.
The Storage End User Study: 2002 looks at end users storage practices, storage networking adoption, buying intentions and data recovery service utilization.  Respondents provided information on themselves, their organizations and their IT environment.

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