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Importance of disaster plans highlighted as 93% of firms suffer unplanned downtime

James Rogers
Ninety three per cent of UK companies experienced unplanned downtime in the past year, according to a global survey of 850 IT managers by research consultancy Dynamic Markets.

Unplanned downtime in the UK ran at the same level as the US and greater than the survey average of 80%, according to the report, commissioned by storage software firm Veritas.

Some 14% of companies surveyed suffered more than eight hours of unplanned downtime in the past year. Only 17% suffered less than one hour's unplanned downtime.

IT managers also reported that, although many organisations had disaster recovery plans, 24% did not test their processes.

The main obstacles to testing disaster recovery plans were time and budgetary constraints, and potential disruption to employees, the survey found.

In the UK, 100 IT managers took part in the study, which revealed that hardware failure was the most commonly perceived threat, closely followed by software failure and viruses.

The study highlighted the risks many organisations were taking with the development of mobile working. The research revealed that 86% of organisations were not protecting their mobile data.

Furthermore, the study suggested, too much company data is excluded from disaster recovery planning. Some analysts estimate that as much as 60% of corporate data resides on PCs and laptops, but the survey found that 80% of firms were not protecting their desktop environments as part of their disaster recovery planning.

However, even those organisations with disaster recovery plans in place still feared the impact of serious disruption in the event of a crisis.

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