Businesses across the U.S. are responding more to the need for business continuity planning according to a recent study by AT&T*, in which 83% of respondents stated that they have a business continuity plan in place, up 14% in the past five years. Gulf Coast executives are most likely to indicate that their plans have been fully tested in the past year (61% compared to 54%, nationally). Given the susceptibility to and recent experiences in this area with hurricanes and flooding, it is not surprising that business continuity plans are tested annually.
These findings are part of AT&T’s annual study on business continuity and disaster recovery preparedness for U.S. businesses in the private sector, now in its ninth consecutive year.
AT&T Business Continuity Study Key Findings:
The importance of business continuity plans is evident by the additional requirements that companies have regarding the plans, especially as it relates to wireless and emerging technologies. The study found that:
- Six out of ten (63%) include wireless network capabilities as part of their plan.
- Three-fourths (77%) indicate that employee use of mobile devices plays a major/minor role in the business continuity plan.
- Half (50%) have virtualized their computing infrastructure, with almost four out of ten (38%) having implemented a business continuity plan for the virtualized infrastructure.
- Four out of ten (40%) require suppliers and other vendors to have a business continuity plan in place in order to do business with the company.
Most IT executives are concerned about the increased usage of social networking capabilities and mobile networks/devices and their potential impact on security threats.
- Three out of four executives surveyed are very/somewhat concerned about the increased use of social networking capabilities (77%) and mobile networks/devices (76%).
IT budgets are expected to be about the same or higher than in the previous two years (70%), compared to only half (56%) in 2009 who predicted this level of funding. This is good news compared to last year when a plurality (40%) of executives indicated their budgets were being cut.
- One-third (32%) indicate their budgets will be higher, compared to only 24% who indicated this was the trend in 2009.
- Seven out of ten (72%) executives indicate that their companies will be investing in new technologies for 2010. Investment tends to focus on virtualization (24%), cloud computing (21%) and mobile applications (20%).
“Reflecting back on previous years’ studies, it’s evident that businesses and organizations throughout the United States are focusing more and more on business continuity planning,” said Chris Costello, assistant vice president, AT&T Hosting and Cloud Services, AT&T Business Solutions. “At the same time, companies are more attuned to how emerging and evolving technologies such as mobile applications and cloud computing fall into the planning equation. AT&T provides a holistic approach to business continuity services, taking into account all aspects of an organizations technology and communications structure.”
For the annual study, AT&T surveyed IT executives throughout the United States that have at least $10 million in annual revenue to get their views on disaster planning and business continuity trends; 87% of respondents have revenue in excess of $25 million. Sixty-one percent of the companies surveyed this year have locations outside of the U.S.
AT&T offers a wide array of business continuity services, encompassing disaster planning, risk management, recovery preparedness and communications readiness. AT&T Business Continuity Services are comprehensive, providing enterprises with business-impact analysis, risk assessments, enterprise hosting, cloud computing and application services, a full continuum of storage solutions, high-availability network solutions and network and IT security solutions.
AT&T also conducts several Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) exercises a year – the next one to be held on July 13 – 14 in San Jose. These events are designed to test, refine and strengthen AT&T’s business continuity and disaster recovery services in order to minimize network downtime. By simulating large-scale disasters and network service disruptions, AT&T can apply and refine best practices for rapidly restoring communications to government and business customers.
During the last 15 years, AT&T has invested more than $500 million in its NDR program, which includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians from across the United States, as well as a fleet of more than 300 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center.
For more information on the AT&T 2010 Business Continuity Study including the complete research results and comparisons to previous years, visit www.att.com/businesscontinuity-news.
The 2010 AT&T Business Continuity Study is based on an online survey of 530 Information Technology (IT) executives in five U.S. metropolitan/regional areas: Detroit (Midwest); San Francisco/San Ramon (West); Philadelphia/Pittsburgh (East); Missouri (Central); and Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama/Florida (Gulf Coast). The study was conducted by e-Rewards Market Research with companies having total revenues of more than $10 million. Surveys were obtained between February 23 and March 12, 2010.
All survey respondents have primary responsibility for business continuity planning, representing 17 major industry areas in addition to local/state government. Sixty-one percent represent companies with locations outside of the U.S.