E-Mail Assurances For Troubled Times - InformationWeek

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9/4/2003
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E-Mail Assurances For Troubled Times

A company's future hinges on its ability to operate effectively in a disaster or other difficult situation

A company's future hinges on its ability to operate effectively in a disaster or other difficult situation. Depth of coverage is one concern if a contingency plan is to successfully minimize disruptions in employees' work and productivity.

With E-mail eclipsing the telephone as the communication conduit of choice (see "E-Mail Beats The Phone In Business Communication," p. 66, May 19), companies are making certain their messaging systems are backed by disaster-recovery programs. Immediately following the recent Blaster worm attack and blackout this summer, Osterman Research surveyed 133 companies about business-continuity planning and E-mail operations.

Messaging CoverageThe upshot? The more E-mail users that a company has, the more likely it is to have an E-mail recovery plan. Nearly three in four sites with 1,000 or more E-mail users report having contingency plans that cover messaging systems. Two-thirds of companies with fewer than 1,000 E-mail users have the same level of preparation.

The existence of a recovery program doesn't ensure continuous access when E-mail servers go down. Of the 133 companies surveyed, only 9% expect messaging systems would be running one hour after a disaster; 21% report it would take one to four hours to have E-mail operating, and another 21% say it would require four to eight hours. A third of businesses believe that at least one business day or more would be lost before workers gain access to E-mail.

Companies with 1,000 or more workers with E-mail access report a stronger likelihood of having E-mail up and running within one business day. While half of these companies expect to need one to eight hours to have electronic communications flowing again, only 29% of sites with fewer than 1,000 E-mail users report the same expectation.

Did your company's E-mail business-continuity plans go into effect this summer? Let us know at the address below.

Helen D'Antoni
Sr. Editor, Research
[email protected]


Recovery TimeRecovery Time

In an emergency, how many hours would it take to get your company's messaging system running again?

Of the 45 companies with fewer than 1,000 E-mail users Osterman Research surveyed in late August, 44% report it would take eight hours or more to have messaging systems operating again in an emergency. Only 28% of the study's 88 businesses with 1,000 or more E-mail users expect similar outages.

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