Date: 10/07/2009

Survey reveals that 43% of companies have no disaster recovery plan in place

Leading IT services provider, MJ Flood Technology, and CA, the world’s leading IT management software company, today announced the results of a survey which reveals that Irish organisations are risking business-critical information loss, by failing to implement disaster recovery planning and best practice in data backup.

The survey shows that 43 per cent of companies have no disaster recovery plan in place while one quarter admit to storing backup media in a location which is not fireproof. Almost one third of respondents said they have never performed a test restore on their data, and 39 per cent acknowledge problems trying to retrieve and restore data from backup.

When compared with a similar survey in 2007*, the results reveal a slight improvement in the quality of practices. However, many organisations remain exposed to the potential of significant business disruption and loss of revenue due to the absence of proper disaster recovery planning and the use of flawed backup processes.

“Data is the currency of the knowledge economy and senior executives have a corporate responsibility to ensure that it is backed up to best practice and stored securely,” comments James Finglas, managing director, MJ Flood Technology. “Companies are clearly ignoring the requirement to put in place proper disaster recovery and business continuity planning and they fail to understand the critical nature of these activities. This is starkly illustrated by the fact that a staggering 48 per cent said that their business can tolerate a systems outage of at least one day or more.”

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

43 per cent of respondents have no disaster recovery plan in place and over half of those (54 per cent) have no plans to develop one. 16 per cent expressed the view that their business was too small to require disaster recovery while 12 per cent felt that the cost was prohibitive. One in 10 of companies are clearly hoping that they never experience a serious outage while 4 per cent lack the in-house expertise to develop a disaster recovery plan.

In examining system outages and non-availability of data, 36 per cent of companies said they can tolerate an outage of one business day while a surprising 12 per cent said that this outage could last as long as a week. Surprisingly, just 14 per cent of organisations had a zero tolerance towards outages and non-availability of data.

Fergal Hennigan, partner manager, CA, comments, “Companies are increasingly dependent on reliable and continuous access to critical business data. To promote innovation and drive competitive advantage, all business systems and applications need to be available at all times. If any breakdown does occur, it’s also essential that all data is recoverable, particularly with so many stringent compliance requirements now in place for Irish organisations. CA is committed to providing customers with high-performance recovery management solutions to address the most pressing disaster recovery and business continuity challenges.”


While all respondents are currently using backup technologies to protect data, some are using flawed practices which could jeopardise the integrity of that information. 16 per cent of companies store backup media onsite only, when best practice suggests that both onsite and offsite storage is preferable to avoid the potential of physical damage, fire or theft. 26 per cent of organisations admit that backup media is stored in a location which is not fireproof while 27 per cent say that there is only one person within their company who has responsibility for taking regular data backups of business-critical information.

The survey also reveals an over-reliance on the integrity of the data backup as almost one third (31 per cent) of companies have never performed a test restore. Data backups can be incorrectly performed which compromises the ability to retrieve and restore data to its original condition and best practice suggests that backups should be tested at least twice a year.

The report was commissioned and produced by MJ Flood Technology in conjunction with CA and was conducted online during February 2009. 117 Irish companies, primarily small and medium-sized organisations took part. The previous survey conducted in December 2006 and published in January 2007 surveyed 155 companies which were primarily small and medium-sized organisations. MJ Flood Technology engages in regular market research in an effort to create awareness and educate the business community on key IT market trends. A copy of the report “An Analysis of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Practices in Irish Organisations” is available on request from


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