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An EMC poll shows that unplanned downtime and data losses cost companies money (Graphic: EMC)

German companies and larger public organizations have posted 33.6 billion euros less revenue in the past 12 months because they have lost data as a result of a technical problem, according to a new study.

The EMC Data Protection Index, compiled by US-based software and storage group EMC, also found that data losses have risen 400 pc since 2012. And 74 percent of IT executives questioned said they weren't sure they could recover data following a technical problem.

Despite the increase in data-related revenue hits, the number of incidents that resulted in such data losses actually declined since 2012. That drop, however, didn't cancel out the growing business volumes affected by such incidents.

Among German companies polled, 56 pc said they had experienced data losses or outages in the past 12 months. Unexpected outages lasted, on average, 24 hours.

EMC divided companies in four categories based on how they assessed their own data protection infrastructure. The categories were - in order of quality of data protection: leader, adopter, evaluator and laggard.

The survey found that a huge majority - 85 pc - of German companies fell into the lower two categories. That compares with a country such as China, where 30 pc of companies were classified as leaders or adopters. In an international comparison of corporate data infrastructure maturity, Germany ranks 10th, roughly in the middle of countries evaluated.

The EMC poll concluded that 43 pc of German companies don't yet have a disaster-recovery plan to deal with data protection issues related to big data, mobile or hybrid cloud systems. Of all companies polled, 53 pc said they considered protection of these kinds of systems "difficult."

EMC commissioned market researchers Vanson Bourne to poll IT decision-makers in private and public organizations worldwide with more than 250 employees. In Germany, 200 people were interviewed. Worldwide, 3,300 people across 24 countries were polled.