Businesses Brace For Disruptions - InformationWeek

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04:55 PM

Businesses Brace For Disruptions

Companies nationwide quickly took stock of disaster-preparedness procedures after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Are companies as vigilant today about business continuity as they were 36 months ago? An InformationWeek Research study suggests they are.

Disaster preparedness remains top of mind for managers and IT workers, according to our latest Evolving IT Priorities report, a quarterly study that tracks changes to technology and business initiatives. Of 300 business-technology executives surveyed in September, three-quarters say that their IT organizations are committed to supporting, implementing, and improving disaster-recovery processes in the fourth quarter of the year.

chartLarge companies with extensive business and data operations have long moved proprietary information to tape storage, even handing off the data to third parties for safekeeping. But smaller companies haven't always been able to afford the services of third-party support.

Fortunately, vendors are starting to offer low-cost software for backup and recovery that operates automatically. Business-continuity-services provider SunGard leases time on systems run inside disaster-recovery centers to help smaller companies stay running. There's a market, as small and midsize businesses in the study say that being prepared for business interruptions is a fourth-quarter objective.

The survey data shows that commitment to business-continuity planning remains strong. About two-thirds of 300 companies surveyed a year after 9/11 reported that planning for recovering from downtime--whether caused human error, weather, or some other issue--was an IT imperative. Two years later, three in four say recovery preparedness is a priority.

If your disaster-recovery strategies have been tested lately, we'd like to hear about it.

Martin J. Garvey, Senior Editor [email protected]

Widespread Focus
Has your IT department implemented business-continuity planning or improved disaster preparedness in 2004?

Seventy-one percent of small and 73% of midsize companies in InformationWeek Research's IT Priorities study have made business-continuity planning a priority. In comparison, 80% of companies with annual revenue of $1 billion or more say disaster preparedness is a fourth-quarter concern.

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