IT leaders shun disaster recovery

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C-level involvement in disaster recovery planning has decreased significantly since last year, according to a new report by security giant Symantec..

The number of organisations that said their DR committees included either chief information officer, chief technology officer or IT director has dropped from 55 per cent to 33 per cent - a worryingly low figure, according to experts.

Mark Blowers of analyst Butler Group argued that senior IT management should be involved in these plans because of the importance of technology in the running of a business.

"IT is critical to most businesses because if IT is not there the business isn't running," he said. "However, DR is wider than IOT – it's not just about the systems being in place but people and processes too."

The report also found that virtualisation has had a major impact on the way firms plan their disaster recovery (DR) programs

The new technology caused more than half of organisations globally to re-evaluate their plans; specific problems included the fact that many DR tools do not provide a high enough quality of protection in firms' virtual environments, and that DR processes for physical environments may not work in virtual environments.

Thirty five per cent of firms' virtual servers are not currently covered by their DR plans, and just 37 percent said they back up all of their virtual systems, according to the report. Fifty-four percent of respondents argued that resource constraints are their number one challenge when backing up virtual systems.

"Virtualisation can help with disaster recovery to make it more simple and flexible," argued Blowers. "But from an operational point of view you mustn't neglect the DR plans that virtualisation may impact."

The report also highlighted a big jump in the number of applications considered mission critical by enterprises – from 36 per cent in 2007 up to 56 per cent – but only 54 per cent of all apps are covered by DR plans.

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