DR a growing concern for A/NZ CIOs: Symantec

Mission critical apps and cost of down-time major drivers

CIOs in Australia and New Zealand are increasingly getting involved in the disaster recovery planning of their organisations, according to a new survey from Symantec.

The 2009 Symantec Disaster Recovery Research report which interviewed 1650 IT managers in large organisations across 24 countries finds that 66 percent of A/NZ survey respondents reported that their disaster recovery committees involved the CIO, CTO or IT director, up from 33 percent a year ago.

According to the report, a major reason for increased executive involvement in DR is the increase of applications that are seen as mission critical.

Some 55 percent of applications were deemed mission critical by A/NZ respondents and 61 percent of these applications were reported as being covered by their organisation’s disaster recovery plans.

The report also found that the average cost of executing/implementing a disaster recovery plans for each downtime incident in A/NZ was US$570,000 compared to US$900,000 in North America.

The number of A/NZ organisations reporting that they test their DR plans at least once a year has risen to 39 in 2009 over 21 percent in 2008. However, about one in four DR tests on average continued to fail.

Reported reasons for not testing DR environments included a lack of time resource, disruption to employees and/or customers, budget issues, a lack of storage management tools, backup storage capacity, insufficient backup tools, and, backup and storage capacity.

“As demonstrated over multiple years of this study, lack of resources continues to be an issue, yet the costs of downtime are staggering.” The report said. “Because disaster recovery testing is invaluable, but can significantly impact business – including customers and revenue – organisations should seek to improve the success of testing by evaluating and implementing testing methods which are non-disruptive.”

The report found that 59 percent of A/NZ organisations reported that virtualisation is causing them to reevaluate their disaster recovery plans, up from 44 percent in 2008.

“Organisations should include those responsible for virtualisation into disaster recovery plans, especially testing and backup initiatives,” the report said. “Virtual environments should be treated the same as a physical server, showing the need for organisations to adopt more cross-platform and cross-environment tools, or standardising on fewer platforms.”

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