A lack of budget and IT resources has led to 53 per cent of public sector organisations not making disaster recovery a "sufficient priority".
This is the conclusion of a survey conducted by research company Ponemon Institute and data recovery experts Acronis.
Almost half (45 per cent) of public sector organisations spend less than five per cent of their IT budget on disaster recovery – that's half the current UK national average.
This is significant, as one third of those surveyed recognise that their organisation would face a substantial risk of downtime in the event of a serious data loss incident.
"Public sector austerity cuts are set to come into force during 2011," said David Blackman, general manager for Northern Europe, Acronis.
"Our advice to this industry would be to utilise the cost-saving potential that virtualisation and cloud services bring," he added.
"If IT managers in this industry can slash costs by embracing new ways of managing infrastructures, they can defer cuts in other areas".
Although a more virtualised environment may free up cash for organisations, the survey indicates that the public sector is struggling with the increased complexity.
Of the respondents in the survey who indicated the use of virtual servers, 69 per cent claimed they did not back up, or did not know if they back up, their virtual servers as often as their physical ones.
More than 3,000 IT professionals were surveyed, including 380 respondents from the public sector.