Consider it a sign of the times. Nearly three quarters (73%) of companies surveyed by AT&T* are calling business continuity a priority in 2011, and almost half of them are seriously thinking about using cloud technology to help them deal with terrorism threats, security breaches, the problems that come when the power goes out or the weather turns extreme.
The business continuity survey results were released today, and AT&T conducted its first ever London-based Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) Exercise – providing an opportunity for AT&T to both practice and share its know-how and global expertise in handling network and customer disruptions. Télécoms Sans Frontières, the leading international humanitarian organisation specialising in emergency communications, also demonstrated its equipment and best practices, deployed in response teams to disasters around the world.
The survey shows that such preparedness is not just for theoretical threats – almost a third (27%) of the firms surveyed said they have had to use their own disaster plans for real to deal with such diverse threats as power outages, extreme weather events or IT failures. In major cities like London, the threat posed by natural disaster, terrorism and security threats is never far from executives’ minds.
The survey of London businesses reveals an increasing role for cloud technologies as a way of delivering business continuity:
- Business continuity is seen as a priority for 73% of IT executives in the London area and 85% plan to invest in new technologies in 2011
- 45% of executives use or are considering cloud computing as a means of delivering improved business continuity – and another 21% are planning to invest in cloud computing this year
- Investment in new technologies is motivated by business growth (27%), increasing productivity (25%) and reducing costs (21%)
- Full results of the study are here: 2011 AT&T Business Continuity Study Key Findings
AT&T’s NDR exercise demonstrates its business continuity and disaster recovery services. Through simulating the response to large-scale disasters and network service disruptions, its dedicated NDR workforce rigorously test processes, skills and technologies – honing best practice for rapidly restoring critical communications. Onsite will be a command and control centre and mobile disaster recovery units specially designed to replicate the AT&T network. The equipment is designed to be rapidly deployed by air or ground transport.
“AT&T believes it is important to run these disaster recovery demonstrations in the field and we also take the time to understand what customers’ concerns are around network readiness and preparedness,” said Mark Francis, vice president, AT&T Global Network Operations and Network Disaster Recovery. “We’ve found that UK enterprises appreciate the need to invest in preparedness and are realising that cloud computing will play a vital role in delivering this without compromising performance.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The AT&T NDR Programme
AT&T has invested more than $600 million in its NDR programme, which includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians, as well as a fleet of more than 320 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching centre.
Each disaster recovery unit has a self-contained or dedicated power supply and houses a component of the network technology that would normally be part of a central office. Once on site, the individual components are interconnected to match the unique configuration of a heavily damaged or destroyed central office. The fly-away containers support AT&T Global Network (AGN) Tier 1, 2 and 3 POPs and can support the recovery of the AGN architecture. AT&T has an AGN presence in more than 130 cities worldwide.
The 2011 AT&T Business Continuity Study is based on an online survey of 100 Information Technology (IT) executives in the London Metropolitan Area. The study was conducted by e-Rewards Market Research with companies having total revenues of more than $25 million. Surveys were obtained between March 10 and March 17, 2011.
All survey respondents have primary responsibility for business continuity planning, representing 14 major industry areas in addition to local/state government. Ninety-five percent (95%) represent companies with revenues in excess of $25 million.