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Only 17 percent of UK organizations have incorporated electronic document storage into their disaster recovery plans, although 82 percent admit the need to do so is either ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ to maintain business continuity. These are the findings of a new survey by global business automation software provider, V1, carried out among senior IT and finance professionals from 92 organizations across the public, private and third sectors.

Although only 17 percent are using electronic document storage, 33 percent and 49 percent respectively of respondents believe that safeguarding business documents should be a ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ part of an organization’s business continuity plan. 16 percent feel this is ‘fairly important’ and only 2 percent suggested it was ‘not important’ at all.

Janette Martin, managing director, V1, comments: “One of the most effective ways to protect valuable business data and remain compliant is to manage documents electronically. In the event of an office being closed or damaged, employees can still access the documents they need remotely from a secure archive without disrupting their normal working practices.

“To maximise efficiency, organizations should implement integrated document management solutions with intuitive workflow capabilities. In addition to reducing the costs and risks associated with paper, these systems ensure more streamlined purchase-to-pay processes and fewer errors by eliminating manual administration.”

V1’s research also highlights that many businesses have not taken action following the disruption caused by the UK’s winter storms in 2013-2014 and the recent underground fire in Holborn. 60 percent stated that their business continuity plans had ‘stayed the same’ following these events. This is despite almost half conceding that their organization would not recover from a severe disaster in less than 12 months due to not having a full DR strategy in place. 28 percent said their plans had either ‘improved a little’ or ‘dramatically improved’, while 12 percent stated they were unsure whether they had changed or not.

The respondents revealed that their existing procedures for ensuring business as usual comprise a mixture of security, staff / office relocation facilities, crisis communications, IT back-ups, electronic document storage and third party archiving facilities.

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