AT&T Survey: Businesses in Canada's Commercial Capital Place High Priority on Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

AT&T Business Continuity Study Reveals Local Businesses Are Prepared For Unexpected Disaster, Proactively Investing in Security

Toronto, Canada, May 02, 2012

As one of Canada’s primary commercial centres, Toronto requires increasingly complex network infrastructure for its major industries, which include finance, telecommunications, education, and medical research. To ensure that these services continue uninterrupted, IT executives in the city must be prepared for diverse threats like extreme weather, ‘virtual’ events like security breaches and power outages – the effects of which still resonate with local businesses that lost power in the Northeast Blackout of 2003.

A recent AT&T study indicates that a vast majority (85%) of Toronto-area companies have developed business continuity plans to help identify, prevent and respond to adverse conditions, a third of whom are saying it has become a priority in recent years due to natural disasters and security issues. The survey shows that this level of preparedness has extended beyond theoretical threats for a plurality (44%) of companies who have had to invoke their business continuity plans in the past year.

Despite a volatile economy, businesses continue to invest in new technologies. Six out of ten (59%) Toronto executives surveyed indicate that in 2012 their companies will make strategic investments in areas like mobile applications (37%), cloud computing (35%) and security solutions (27%). Cloud computing has become a particular focus – a majority (57%) of executives are either currently using cloud or considering using it as part of their business continuity strategy. When it comes to disaster recovery, executives would most frequently use cloud computing for data storage (40%) and Web servers (37%).

AT&T recognizes the risks associated with unexpected external threats and offers a wide array of business continuity services, encompassing disaster planning, risk management, recovery preparedness and communications readiness. In times of severe network damage that exceeds the capacity of local resources, AT&T deploys its Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team that can rapidly recover vital networks services in an effort that would otherwise take weeks or months.

“Today’s businesses are more connected than ever and it is essential that communities and leading organizations continue to prepare for and establish a response to these unexpected situations,” said Kelly Morrison, Senior Technical Specialist, AT&T NDR. “AT&T responds to these threats to help restore vital telecommunications services for our business and government customers following a disaster.”

For the first time since 1997, AT&T will be conducting a full-scale NDR simulation from May 4 through May 7 at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition Grounds.

Held several times a year throughout North America, these NDR exercises simulate the loss of a network office due to disaster and are designed to test, refine and strengthen AT&T’s business continuity and disaster recovery services in order to minimize network downtime.

Business Continuity Study Key Findings

AT&T’s 2012 Business Continuity Study found that businesses in the Greater Toronto Area are preparing for potential disasters and investing in additional technology:

  • The vast majority (85%) of local companies surveyed already have a business continuity plan in place.
  • Six out of ten (60%) have tested their continuity plan in the last 12 months.
  • A plurality (44%) has invoked their business plan in the last 12 months.
  • More than two thirds (69%) suggest they implement specific protective actions when the federal or provincial government issues an alert for an impending disaster.
  • Eighty five per cent (85%) indicate the complexity of network infrastructure is increasing.
  • Nearly eight out of ten (79%) report their IT budgets will be higher in 2012 than in the previous two years.
  • A majority (52%) indicate cloud computing is currently part of their corporate infrastructure.

For more information on the 2012 AT&T Business Continuity Study, including complete research results visit

Study methodology

The results are based on an online survey of 100 Information Technology (IT) executives in Toronto, Canada. The study was conducted by Research Now with companies having total revenues of more than $25 million (except for government entities). Surveys were obtained between March 15 and 23, 2012.

AT&T NDR Program

This week’s NDR exercise at the Canadian National Exhibition Grounds in Toronto includes an extensive deployment of AT&T’s network recovery equipment. The exercise tests and refines the team’s speed and efficiency in restoring wireline and wireless network operations in the event of an actual disaster. Essential to AT&T’s own comprehensive business continuity plan, the Toronto NDR exercise features the following disaster recovery equipment: a total of 24 pieces of disaster recovery equipment, including:

  • Three technology recovery trailers
  • A portable, satellite communications system used for first-in, emergency communications
  • A 53’ incident command/team support trailer

This exercise marks AT&T’s second exercise in the Greater Toronto Area; the last local exercise was held in 1997.

AT&T has invested more than $600 million in its NDR program, 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 center.

More information on AT&T’s NDR program is available at AT&T Network Disaster Recovery.