Five months after Sept. 11, most companies remain unprepared for terrorist attacks or natural disasters and would be unable to quickly implement basic business continuity measures, according to a survey released this week by consultancy Gartner Inc. and the Society for Information Management.
Executives polled by Gartner found that only 13 percent of companies are "mostly" prepared for major loss of life, while 36 percent have a plan in place for a complete loss of physical assets and workspace. Moreover, only 28 percent reported having business continuity plans in place to address physical attacks, while 38 percent said they were prepared for the loss of transportation infrastructure.
"CEOs owe it to their employees, their families and to shareholders to protect their most valuable assets—their people—and to ensure that business can continue even under the most extreme circumstances," said Chuck Tucker, research director at Gartner of Stamford, Conn., in a statement.
While most enterprises lag on plans and procedures to deal with disasters that cause loss of life or major facilities, most CIOs are ahead of the game when it comes to deploying technologies that can keep systems running through a disaster. In the event of a power outage, 88 percent said they are prepared with a backup power supply. And 70 percent of respondents said their organization is armed with a backup plan in the event of a network, software, application or hosting failure.
"CIOs are the number one influences of the CEO on business continuity," said Ed Cannon, chair of the SIM Information Civil Defense Task Force and CIO of New York-based Grey Global Group Inc., in a statement.
Gartner polled 230 organizations to measure businesss continuity readiness in November 2001.