AT&T Survey Shows Los Angeles Business Continuity Planning Is 'Priority'
Yet One-Third of Businesses Do Not Have a Plan in Place
Los Angeles, California, February 15, 2007
Scientists estimate that the probability of a major earthquake hitting Southern California in the next 30 years may be as high as 70 percent. But are businesses planning for the worst? A recent AT&T (NYSE: T) survey of IT executives in the Los Angeles area indicates that while a majority of these executives see business continuity planning as a priority, one-third of the surveyed companies have no plan in place to address the business impacts of a disaster.
For the sixth consecutive year, AT&T polled IT executives at companies with more than $10 million in annual revenue in the Los Angeles metropolitan area to determine their views on disaster planning and business continuity trends.
Cyber security is still a top worry. One-quarter (26 percent) of the respondents indicated that concern over viruses and worms is most likely to keep them up at night. Worry over natural disasters came in a close second (21 percent), followed by security breaches (18 percent), man-made disasters (15 percent), and corporate/eCommerce sites crashing (11 percent). Three out of four (77 percent) Los Angeles executives indicate that cyber security is part of their overall business continuity plan.
While two-thirds of the surveyed Los Angeles companies have business continuity plans, only half (56 percent) have updated their plans in the past 12 months (or 21 percent in the past six to 12 months) and just one-third (38 percent) have tested them during the same time period (past 12 months).
AT&T conducts network disaster recovery (NDR) exercises several times each year, including one scheduled later this month in Anaheim. These drills are designed to simulate a real-world disaster situation, so that response teams can test, refine and strengthen AT&T's business continuity and disaster response in order to minimize network downtime for government and business clients.
"AT&T's business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities are global in scale and industry-leading," said Evan Jafa, chief technology officer of First American Corporation. "As our global expansion continues, we'll rely on these capabilities to support our enterprise voice and data network."
"Planning for network disaster recovery now saves time, money and allows us to minimize downtime of key services that police and emergency medical teams will need in the event of a disaster," said Ken Smith, director of AT&T's Network Disaster Recovery Program. "Government, business and residential customers all depend on communications, especially during a disaster event."
AT&T plans for its own business continuity by planning and investing in its NDR program. For the past 15 years, AT&T has invested more than $300 million in its NDR program, including special training for managers, engineers and technicians across the US. Its arsenal includes a fleet of 150 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing and voice-switching center.
"This planning served the company well in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. All AT&T services were restored within 24 hours and our company's response became more of a humanitarian effort," said Smith.
These results are based on a telephone survey of 100 information technology (IT) executives in the Los Angeles metropolitan region. The sample of participating companies was drawn from Dunn and Bradstreet's business list of companies with at least $10 million in revenue and located in the Los Angeles DMA (designated market area). Interviewing in Los Angeles was conducted between Jan. 17 and 26, 2007, and the interviews averaged 10 minutes.
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