A third of South African companies never test DR plans

February 2004 News

Annual independent research into disaster recovery commissioned by Veritas Software has revealed that 84% of South African companies suffer unplanned downtime, yet IT managers do not take the necessary measures to ensure disaster recovery (DR) plans to protect their corporate data.

A third of the medium- to large-sized companies surveyed had never tested their DR plans and 10% of IT managers did not know where their DR plan was located. Of those that do test their plans, 32% do this every 12 months or less frequently.

Veritas Software warns South African companies that their DR plans are potentially redundant, putting their corporate data at risk.

When DR plans are implemented, significantly, over half (53%) of South African IT managers subsequently made changes to the plan? Furthermore, they cited the top negative consequences of unplanned downtime to their businesses as:

* Decreased employee productivity - 21%.

* Major unplanned system downtime - 11%.

* Major data loss - 5%.

* Reduction in profits - 5%.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of South African companies experience between nine and 24 hours downtime a year, a further 10% between 25 and 28 hours of downtime and 2%, over 48 hours. Furthermore, 14% did not know how many hours downtime they experience, suggesting that they do not calculate the risk and cost of downtime.

Significantly, there is a divided view amongst those in South Africa who do not currently have a DR plan. Forty-three percent are currently constructing DR plans and a further 43% feel they do not have a high enough level of risk to warrant the expense of a DR plan.

Karen Ancell, director: regional marketing: EMEA at Veritas Software, explains, "Disaster recovery planning is fundamental to any organisation that is serious about its survival. By not reviewing and testing the DR plan each time the IT infrastructure is significantly changed, IT managers are not only putting their systems at risk, but could be potentially putting hundreds of thousands of Rands worth of business on the line. They are effectively leaving their data uninsured."

For more information contact Jennifer Bedford-Shaw, Veritas, 011 531 9910, Jennifer.Bedford-shaw@veritas.com, www.veritas.com

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