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IT disaster recovery planning: US and UK comparisons

Neverfail has revealed the results of a survey of nearly 2,500 IT managers and C-level executives from public and private sector organizations in the UK and US The results highlight regional differences in approaches to disaster recovery and IT infrastructure provisioning.

The survey revealed that only 56 percent of more than 1,000 UK respondents had integrated IT disaster recovery into their organization's business continuity plan, while 82.6 percent had made this move in the US. Additionally, respondents in both the US (29.5 percent) and the UK (31.3 percent) stated that they do not consider cloud platforms to be a viable option for disaster recovery, although organizations in the US were ahead of their UK counterparts with regards to virtualizing business critical applications. Seventy-two percent of US organizations have made this move in comparison to 58 percent of UK respondents.

IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning

  • Of those companies that had not integrated IT DR into business continuity plans: 45.9 percent of UK respondents did not deem it a business priority – only 22.4 percent of US respondents shared this view.
  • The perceived cost of such technology was the primary deterrent in the US (22.1 percent), with 18.3 percent of UK respondents also viewing cost as an inhibitor.
  • This is particularly interesting considering that 23.4 percent of US respondents had experienced an IT outage of longer than a full business day, while 18.8 percent of UK respondents had also experienced an outage on this scale.

With 208 businesses in the US and 101 UK organizations stating that the hourly cost of downtime is greater than $10,000, it is surprising that IT is not incorporated into DR planning as standard, particularly when considering that 47 percent of US respondents and 42.4 percent of those in the UK stated that in the event of downtime, they are contacted immediately and incessantly by employees until the problem is resolved.

Virtualization and the cloud

Virtualization and cloud computing have indisputably been two major trends of the past decade, and as virtualization has become more widely adopted, organizations have increasingly relied on virtual machines to host business applications. More respondents from the US claimed to have migrated mission-critical applications to the cloud. In fact:

  • Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed in the US stated that they operate a heterogeneous IT infrastructure (physical, cloud and virtual), while 55.7 percent of UK respondents had diversified this way.
  • Of those that did not consider cloud to be a viable disaster recovery option (30 percent US and 37.6 percent UK), key reasons cited for apprehension were lack of confidence in security (34.2 percent US and 27.4 percent UK), cost (12.6 percent US and 20.4 percent UK), and lack of confidence in the reliability of externally-hosted DR services (14.9 percent US and 16.9 percent UK).

Other interesting comparisons between US and UK findings:

  • If critical applications fail, reduction in productivity was cited as the main consequence in the US (29.5 percent), while loss of revenue was top of the list of the UK (27.5 percent).
  • Almost 70 percent of those surveyed in the US stated that users require 24x7 access to critical applications while 42.7 percent of UK respondents also asserted this claim.
  • Seventy-six percent of US respondents identify critical applications as part of the business continuity planning process, whereas only 50.3 percent of those surveyed in the UK did this.


•Date: 8th June 2011 • Region: US/UK •Type: Article • Topic: ICT Continuity

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