Does Anyone Care About Business Continuity Anymore?

eLABorations: Why disaster recovery and contingency planning have taken a back seat to tight budgets at most companies

Considering all the hype given to disaster recovery and business continuity since 9/11, it would be logical to assume that all companies either have a business continuity strategy in place or are at least planning for future implementations.

Unfortunately, that assumption is far from the truth, according to a recent report from Gartner.

Less than 25 percent of Global 2000 enterprises have invested in comprehensive business continuity planning, and to make matters worse, only 50 percent have fully tested disaster-recovery plans, the report states.

When I first read these numbers, I was dumbfounded. Spin these terms another way, and we see that one out of every two businesses is an act of God away from disappearing, with no ability to retrieve up-to-date data on customers, business partners, employees or even their hard-earned intellectual property. Likewise, these numbers tell me that three out of every four business will be out indefinitely in the event of a disaster.

Another sobering statistic: Gartners projections show that by 2007, less than 35 percent of large enterprises will build business process continuity into their project life cycles.

Considering the amount of business that a company would lose on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the demolition of trust between the business and its customers, it is difficult to understand why companies would be willing to gamble on something like that.

The one-word explanation for this amazing lack of business continuity planning, of course, is "money."

Despite all of the recent technology improvements in data storage management and the lower costs of bandwidth, disaster recovery and business continuity still cost a lot of money to implement. In the current economic climate, it is hard enough for IT managers to get the equipment they need to run their business efficiently. The thought of buying an extra server or two to sit in standby mode at a secondary site, just in case something happens, is probably too painful for them to deal with.

So whats the answer? Unfortunately, there is no easy resolution. Maybe a few businesses will have to disappear and thousands of consumers will have to get angry before disaster recovery and business continuity become more commonplace.

In the meantime, I will be crossing my fingers and hoping that vendors can find a way to make these vital facets of todays business less expensive to implement.

Why doesnt your company have disaster recovery or business continuity in place? Tell me at