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MPLS - CDW Survey Highlights Importance of Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plans

MPLS - Business Continuity Featured Article

September 29, 2010

CDW Survey Highlights Importance of Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plans

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

CDW, a provider of technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare, announced results of its Business Continuity Straw Poll survey.

The survey was conducted among 200 information technology, or IT, decision makers at medium and large businesses in the US that experienced network disruptions since July 2009.

The survey studied how various businesses reacted to disruptions and the different measures they are utilizing to improve their business continuity and disaster recovery or “BC/DR” capabilities for future.

The report gives recommendations on how businesses can improve BC/DR plans. It also includes complete methodology and demographics.

“Through more preparation, testing and improved network accessibility, businesses can improve BC/DR plans and have real confidence in business operations during unplanned disruptions,” CDW (News - Alert) officials said.

Out of 200 businesses that took part in survey, 82 percent expressed confidence that their IT resources can sustain disruptions and support operations effectively. About 97 percent admitted that network disruptions had badly affected their business in the last year.

 “The survey confirms that while many businesses believe they are prepared for an unplanned network disruption, many are not – and yet the three most common causes of IT outages are addressable,” said Norm Lillis, CDW vice president of system solutions, in a statement.

Power loss was the top cause of business disruptions, according to one-third of businesses. It was followed by hardware failures. The third reason for disruption is suggested as loss of telecom services.

Survey revealed businesses should be prepared in advance and should support the employees with network accessibility more effectively.

According to 53 percent of respondents, employees are instructed to work from home in a foreseeable network disruption. One-third of businesses activate standby communications and network systems in such a scenario.

Fifty-seven percent of businesses suggested productivity losses are the main negative effect of network disruptions mainly due to reduced access to network or its applications.

With recent network disruptions, 34 percent of businesses are improving their BC/DR plans, and 23 percent are extending BC/DR coverage to adjust disruptions of 72 hours or more. About 22 percent of the businesses have update plans to deal with forecasted interruptions.

Many businesses are giving importance to connectivity and mobility issues so that employees can access data at all times and from all locations. One among five businesses is not planning to change their BC/DR plan. 

“No two network disruptions are the same,” Lillis continued. “It is great to see businesses strengthening their plans, and there is always room for improvement.” According to Lillis, businesses should test their infrastructure and BC/DR plans at least once a year, to pinpoint weaknesses before it is too late.

“Running a business impact analysis or “BIA” can help identify and prioritize BC/DR needs,” Lillis said. “A good technology partner can help with the BIA and provide an outside perspective on what your businesses needs to survive the unexpected.”

Recently CDW Healthcare, part of the public sector subsidiary of CDW, and VHA, the national healthcare network, announced an expanded relationship to deliver Information Technology products and services to the VHA-supported Mid-America Service Solutions or “MSS” consolidated service center.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf


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