IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

Many enterprises don’t devote enough attention to mission critical applications when creating disaster recovery plans. One of the biggest reasons for this is the ‘resiliency perception gap ,’ or the gap between executives’ perceptions of the effectiveness of their resiliency strategies and how successful these plans actually are at protecting against application outages or downtime. This gap can result in lost revenue and damaged brand reputations, and thus raises the question: How vulnerable are today’s companies? A new Forbes Insights executive brief, ‘Business Resiliency: Now’s the Time to Transform Continuity Strategies,’ sponsored by IBM, offers some answers.

Forbes Insights and IBM surveyed 184 senior IT executives throughout the world to find the answers, and the results are surprising. 80 percent of respondents fully expect that their disaster recovery plans can run their business in the aftermath of a disruption. Yet this confidence is questionable. 22 percent of these same executives say they include all critical applications in their disaster recovery strategies, which means 78 percent of enterprises face unplanned and unnecessary risks for these essential resources.

The Forbes Insights survey found six roadblocks behind disaster recovery and business continuity problems:

Roadblock #1: enterprises don’t have the means — or desire — to fully protect critical assets. Some 73 percent of surveyed executives point to shortfalls in funding and other resources as impediments to covering all critical applications within disaster recovery programs. In addition, another quarter of executives don’t even consider it essential to cover 100 percent of their critical applications.

Roadblock #2: dynamic environments thwart application recovery activities. More than two-thirds of respondents say their biggest application recovery challenge arises from complexity and the many interdependencies created when end-to-end business processes cross multiple departments, applications and hybrid-IT environments.

Roadblock #3: outdated runbooks are common. 58 percent of enterprises go almost a year — and sometimes longer — between tests of their business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Only 28 percent of companies run assessments monthly. As a result, 47 percent of the executives say that disaster recovery drills or actual events showed the runbook was out of sync.

Roadblock #4: testing disrupts organizations. Almost half (46 percent) of the executives surveyed say testing disrupts their organizations, and the cost of running tests keeps another quarter from testing more frequently.

Roadblock #5: overreliance on manual processes. Disaster recovery strategies aren’t becoming automated as quickly as production processes, leaving 31 percent of enterprises struggling with manual disaster recovery resources. Even many of the more mature organizations have only pockets of automation. For example, 33 percent of the enterprises automate disaster recovery but aren’t taking advantage of resiliency orchestration.

Roadblock #6: gaps exist in management and governance activities. 61 percent of executives say business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management are siloed rather than administered as they should be: as an interrelated whole.

The report is based on a survey conducted by Forbes Insights of 184 senior IT decision makers responsible for disaster recovery programs within their companies. These leaders represent a wide range of industries. Global in nature, 33 percent of responses are from North America, 29 percent are from Asia-Pacific, 29 percent are from Europe, and 9 percent are from Latin America.

Obtain the report (registration required).

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Business continuity can be defined as 'the processes, procedures, decisions and activities to ensure that an organization can continue to function through an operational interruption'. Read more about the basics of business continuity here.

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