Research Survey Reports IT Largely Unprepared for Disaster Recovery

IDG Research Services' recent 2007 IDG Research Business Continuity Survey, sponsored by SunGard® Availability Services, reports that CIOs and CSOs are facing increasing pressure to improve their disaster recovery plans and reduce recovery time objectives (RTOs), yet 61 percent of the respondents indicated they are either not very, not at all, or only somewhat confident in their company's preparedness for a disaster. The study surveyed 215 CIO and CSO magazine subscribers to uncover trends in continuity planning and testing initiatives.

Respondents gave their organizations an average grade of C+/B- for various components of their business continuity plans. In addition, 46 percent reported that their company currently has an RTO of less than 12 hours, with nearly one quarter expecting these recovery windows to decrease even further in the coming year.

"Those responsible for business continuity planning, generally IT leaders, are under increasing pressure to recover from disruptions of all kinds--whether natural or man-made--more quickly." David Palermo, vice president of marketing for SunGard Availability Services, said in a recent news release. "In responding to a disruption, you either pass or fail--so a company with even a few flaws in their recovery plan may not be equipped to recover and meet today's RTOs."

IDG Research Services says that the most alarming statistic it found concerned the percentage of respondents whose companies do not test their plans often enough for them to be most effective during a disruption. Eighty percent indicated that at most they test their plans annually.

"This research underscores the importance of comprehensive business continuity planning at enterprise organizations," said Janet King, vice president of IDG Research Services. "Frequent testing should be considered a necessity in order to accommodate ongoing changes in business processes and IT infrastructure."

The most-often-cited challenge to business continuity planning by respondents was funding and people, 24 and 20 percent, respectively. This was followed by management sponsorship, 12 percent; testing, nine percent; and infrastructure/facilities, seven percent.

Complete findings are available for download at www.cio.com/solutions-center/sungard_business_continuity.

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