Courting disaster

Veritas has revealed that 21% of large businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in its latest worldwide research paper.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  November 25, 2004

|~|Veritas-press-conf_m.jpg|~|“Given the vast range of threats to business continuity identified by participants, from system failure to viruses to accidental data deletion by colleagues, it’s important that the 21% of larger companies without DR plans institute some strategy for protecting their critical information as quickly as possible.” - Sam Tayan (right), regional manager, Veritas Middle East|~|The third annual disaster recovery (DR) survey carried out by Veritas shows that just under a quarter of the large companies surveyed do not have a disaster recovery plan. The survey was carried out by research firm Dynamic Markets and took in 1,259 IT managers based throughout the world. Veritas claims that companies not investing in disaster recovery plans are risking market share and hundreds of thousands of dollars in business if their customer and corporate information is compromised. “Given the vast range of threats to business continuity identified by participants, from system failure to viruses to accidental data deletion by colleagues, it’s important that the 21% of larger companies without DR plans institute some strategy for protecting their critical information as quickly as possible,” says Sam Tayan, regional manager, Veritas Middle East. Veritas points to a lag factor rather than a business decision to eschew disaster recovery as the cause of companies not making this investment. Of the large companies surveyed without a DR plan, 63% said they simply had not got round to it, while 25% said they were in the process of establishing a plan. The survey also draws interesting comparisons between the Middle East and other regions. According to the survey, regional businesses review their disaster recovery plans more frequently than their counterparts in other areas. For example, in the Middle East 29% of businesses review their DR strategies monthly, as opposed to 17% in the UK and 15% in the US. This is perhaps due to the region playing catch-up to more mature markets, with the relatively new implementations in the Middle East requiring more frequent review. This is backed up by 50% of the Middle East-based companies surveyed saying that they believe they would benefit from additional DR investment, compared to markets like France and the US, where the figure is closer to 25%. The survey also highlighted a significant number of companies outsourcing DR operations, although this trend was less pronounced in the Middle East, where companies tend to store DR back-up data at the same location as the main data centre. “A cause for concern is that almost two-thirds of regional companies with DR plans store the data at the organisation’s main data centre, meaning that any physical disaster such as a fire, flood, or even traffic delays could keep the plan from being implemented should an outage occur,” says Tayan. “Although there is higher awareness of DR in the Middle East than other areas, a lighter outsourcing infrastructure means that despite DR lending itself to specialists, it is an option seldom-used in the region,” he adds.||**||

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