The backup and recovery backlash: CIO scapegoating, job loss and more

You would think CIOs, as senior decision-makers, would shoulder the blame for critical data being wiped out, but a recent North American study suggests it’s those immediately beneath them that take the heat.

The State of IT Recovery for SMBs,” which surveyed more than 350 businesses across Canada and the U.S., is obviously a way for Axcient, the company that commissioned it, to reinforce why its cloud-based services are so important. The data is interesting, however, in what it says about the fallout from major business disasters and the impact on IT departments. Essential excerpt:

When it comes to blame if a problem caused critical data to be lost after a system disaster, the majority of individuals (69%) reported that mid-level IT staff such as IT directors or other IT team managers would be held responsible for lost data. Mid-level IT staff were considered to be held responsible much more than the CIO or other IT executives (41%) or admins and other front-line IT staff (33%). 

Besides the more than half respondents who said IT failures could lead to job loss, nearly as many said it would sully the individual’s professional reputation in the industry, which I personally find hard to swallow, as is “public humiliation,” one of the other outcomes SMBs told Dimensional Research, which fielded the questionnaire.

Check out the infographic that captures the key stats. It’s worth raising the question: Is data loss (or inability to recover in under an hour) a firing offence? And what should CIOs be doing to make staff feel less threatened that they’ll be in the stockade for their next mistake?


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Shane Schick
Shane Schick
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