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72% of Companies WW Failing in Terms of Disaster Readiness

Survey from Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council headed by PHD Virtual

As recent cyber-attacks and natural disaster events have shown, the need for IT DR preparedness has never been greater. However, research indicates that less than half of all companies have a DR plan in place, and even fewer have actually tested their plans to see if they will work as expected.

This need to uncover the value of DR planning and testing, as well as gain a better understanding of DR best practices to make preparedness more cost-effective and efficient was the driving force behind a recently created Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council. Formed by IT business, government and academic leaders to address these issues, its mission is to increase DR preparedness awareness, and improve DR practices.


The DRP Council has developed an online Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark (DRPB) Survey. The survey is designed to give BC, DR, compliance audit and risk management professionals a measure of their own preparedness in recovering critical IT systems running in virtual environments.

"Users can now benchmark their own DR preparedness and find out real answers on how they would be able to get their IT systems up and running within a realistic time-frame to meet stringent business requirements," said Steve Kahan, chairman, DRP Council. "Just 10 minutes of their time will provide them with some immediate feedback and a benchmark score that rates your DR preparedness with other companies that have participated."

"I am unsure if our current best practices are the best or most efficient ways to deliver our SLA," said Darren Hirons, principal systems engineer, UK Health & Social Information Centre. "Learning about best practices through the DR Preparedness Benchmark could help us learn new ways to shorten the SLAs and deliver better service to our businesses."

The DRPB survey provides a benchmarking score from 0-100 that measures the implementation of IT DR best practices. DRPB benchmarking scores parallel the grading system familiar to most students in North America whereby a score of 90-100 is an A or superior grade; 80-89 is a B or above average grade; 70-79 is a C or average grade and 60-69 is a D or unsatisfactory grade. Below 60, rates as an F, or failing grade.

Here are some initial results from the survey. So far, it shows the dismal state of DR preparedness of companies worldwide. The companies surveyed have received the following breakdown on grades with 72% of companies worldwide failing in terms of disaster readiness (ratings of either a D or F) and only 25% with and A or B passing grade. The other 3% at definitely at risk.  Initial DR Preparedness grades are listed below and it is a mix of companies large and small that have taken the survey.

DR preparedness grades:

  • 57% – F
  • 15% – D
  • 3% – C
  • 22% – B
  • 3% – A

Some other interesting things to point out include:

  • 60% of those who took the survey do not a have a fully documented DR plan
  • 70% of companies need to produce DR reports for things like compliance – but ~60% of companies find this overly difficult, manual and expensive
  • Companies are at risk because of a variety of factors
  • 36% lost critical apps, VMs, critical data -files for hours; 11% of the companies lost these for days

Biggest causes of loss include: