Despite threats of war and terrorism, most US firms unprepared for business and IT outages, says Dataquest

March 4, 2003 – Stamford, CT – Despite the possibility of war and terrorist activity, most US companies are not capable of withstanding business and IT outages caused by a severe calamity, according to a recent survey by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Inc.

One in three US businesses would lose critical data or operational capability if a disaster occurred, unless investments are made immediately toward disaster preparedness planning.

“More prioritized investments must be made to ensure that businesses can quickly regain productivity after a calamity,” said Tony Adams, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest’s IT services group. “Preparation is key, and without adequate investment for protection of critical systems, the repercussions of disasters will be lengthier and more costly.”

According to the survey, lack of funds was cited as a main reason by 24% of respondents for not yet initiating a formal disaster plan.

“IT managers are not investing appropriately in disaster plans because they do not have a budget to accomplish their needed readiness,” said Adams. “Budget constraints are forcing an average of 40% of respondents to rely on a ‘best guess’ to determine potential risk rather than obtaining formal assessments, which would be too costly.”

Even businesses that have a plan are facing some jeopardy because financial support is unavailable. Thirty-seven percent of IT managers who have an organizational disaster plan in place need additional investment to get those plans to a satisfactory level.

“The good news is that businesses now more widely understand that they must prepare in advance to solve the complex logistical and personnel problems inherent in a disaster,” said Adams. “Responsible leaders will rely on preparatory investment to better the odds of surviving such a hit to their business.”


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