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Disaster Preparedness For The Unprepared

For many companies, it's not a matter of focus but a lack of funds that constitutes the biggest barrier to disaster planning.

2 Min Read

"Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eyes off your goals." Henry Ford's words may ring true for some risk-averse executives. Of course, Ford probably never had the budget problems facing many executives who work for companies that have chosen not to create formal business-continuity plans. For many companies, it's not a matter of focus but a lack of funds that constitutes the biggest barrier to disaster planning.

But there's no shortage of other issues to blame. These include a lack of planning, a lack of training, time restrictions, and poorly defined procedures, according to 100 business-technology professionals interviewed by InformationWeek Research at sites without business-continuity plans.

Major Deterrents ChartOvercoming these obstacles can be difficult. Although companies can be hurt if business operations are botched in an emergency, a third of survey respondents say disaster preparedness is suffering because senior executives haven't backed disaster planning as an initiative.

Despite these hurdles, companies without formal business-continuity plans aren't entirely unprepared. These 100 companies realize the importance of keeping their networks available. Half of the companies surveyed report that although a formal business-continuity plan doesn't exist, procedures pertaining to data and technology recovery are in place.

Recovery of business processes and customer support are less of a priority. Still, approximately a third of companies without business-continuity plans that were surveyed have procedures to re-engage these functions if they encounter operational difficulties.

What obstacles is your company finding in its efforts to prepare for the worst? Let us know.

Helen D'Antoni
Research Manager
[email protected]


Auxiliary Plans Intellectual Property At Risk
Are companies without business-continuity plans at least on the right track based on the disaster-recovery procedures they've already implemented? Half of the 100 business-technology professionals surveyed have some type of procedure to follow to regain data and technology access should disaster hit.

But there's one area being overlooked--the protection of intellectual property. Nearly four in five survey respondents say their companies have no formal or informal strategies to protect this vital information in times of trouble. Although access to data and technologies might start the wheels of business rolling again, if intellectual property ends up compromised, it's questionable whether this is the best possible strategy. According to the executives surveyed, more companies are putting personnel needs ahead of their intellectual property.

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