As Midwesterners survey the wreckage from last week’s deadly tornadoes and the Southern states recover from April’s devastating rain storms, the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery efforts is a topic that remains close to home for businesses and organizations across the United States.
A recent study by AT&T* found that:
- 84 percent of executives have responded to the need to prepare for disasters by implementing business continuity plans – an increase of 12% in over the past five years.
- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of companies take specific actions to protect their employees and businesses when the government issues an alert for an impending emergency – up 31% in the same timeframe.
These results from AT&T’s annual business continuity study reveal a trend towards greater emphasis on planning and responding to potential threats. AT&T has conducted this study for ten consecutive years, surveying IT executives from companies in the United States with at least $25 million in annual revenue to measure the national pulse on business continuity planning.
2011 AT&T Business Continuity Study Key Findings
Evolutions in technology and recovering IT budgets have enabled businesses to investigate new means for maintaining critical operations in the face of natural or manmade disasters.
- Eight out of ten (80%) executives indicate that their companies will be investing in new technologies in 2011, up from 72% in 2010.
- A majority (54%) of organizations surveyed currently use or are considering using cloud services to augment their business continuity and disaster recovery strategies.
- Use of mobile devices plays a role in 78% of business continuity plans.
- Most companies (80%) have systems in place that enable employees to work from home or remote locations, representing an increase of 14 percentage points in the past four years.
The security implications of social networking remain a concern for IT executives, even as their companies begin to integrate these tools into their business strategies.
- Three out of four (79%) of executives expressed concerns about the increased usage of social networking capabilities.
- More than half (56%) of companies allow employees to access social networking tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube from the corporate network.
- Two-thirds (67%) of businesses use social media to communicate with customers and stakeholders or to monitor for relevant news and chatter.
Mobility and wireless capabilities carry weight in business continuity planning as well as day-to-day operations for many companies.
- Six out of ten (64%) organizations include wireless network capabilities as part of their business continuity plan.
- More than a third (38%) of companies plan to invest in mobile applications during 2011.
- Most companies (81%) allow employees to access work emails on their personal smartphones.
- Eight out of ten (82%) of executives are concerned about the potential impact of mobile device usage on security threats.
“In the aftermath of recent disasters both in the U.S. and abroad, executives are recognizing now more than ever that business continuity planning must be a priority,” said Chris Costello, assistant vice president, AT&T As a Service Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions. “This year we’ve seen a marked increase in IT budgets as the country emerges from the recession, inspiring business leaders to explore the potential of new technologies such as cloud computing and mobile applications for disaster preparedness efforts and everyday use.”
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 customers 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 each year, the next one scheduled for July 12th and 13th in London, England. These events are designed to test, refine and strengthen AT&T’s business continuity and disaster recovery services. By simulating large-scale disasters and network service disruptions, AT&T can apply and hone best practices for rapidly restoring communications.
AT&T has invested more than $600 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 320 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 2011 AT&T Business Continuity Study, including complete research results, regional findings and year-over-year comparisons, please visit http://www.att.com/businesscontinuity-news.
The 2011 AT&T Business Continuity Study is based on an online survey of 401 Information Technology (IT) executives in four U.S. metropolitan areas: Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The study was conducted by e-Rewards Market Research with companies having total revenues of more than $25 million. Surveys were obtained between February 23 and March 17, 2011.
All survey respondents have primary responsibility for business continuity planning, representing 18 major industry areas in addition to local/state government. Sixty-nine percent (69%) represent companies with locations outside of the U.S.