Terrorism is no longer the main reason for investing in business continuity and disaster recovery systems, a survey published today has claimed.
A poll by SunGard Availability Services UK found that the majority of respondents (52 per cent) cite increased reliance on IT as the main driver behind investing in business continuity systems. Just five per cent indicated that the threat of terrorism was the primary reason.
The results contrast starkly with those from a previous survey, undertaken in 2003 by SunGard, where the threat of terrorism accounted for the majority of responses (34 per cent).
Two years ago, an increased reliance on IT was the main driver for only a quarter of organisations surveyed.
A third of respondents said that new regulations were also encouraging increased investment in continuity.
Keith Tilley, UK managing director and senior vice president for Europe at SunGard Availability Services, said: "9/11 caused people to focus on just one of the drivers of business continuity spending, and two years ago this event was still at the forefront of people's minds.
"This year's survey reflects a trend towards a more pragmatic view and the reality that terrorism accounts for a small number of our customers' problems.
"The more mundane incidents - power outages, software or hardware failure - can have just as devastating effects."
The survey also indicated a trend away from simple recovery plans to more complex continuity and availability strategies. Some 56 per cent of the companies surveyed felt that they used a combination of reactive and proactive measures.
However, a growing number of organisations (25 per cent) are also investing in 'interactive' services which typically involve high availability managed IT systems.
Furthermore, 50 per cent predicted that spending would increase in the high availability space over the next five years.
"Backing up the company data once a day no longer constitutes an effective contingency plan, because it can take days to recover the information for staff to use," warned Tilley.
"As technology becomes ever more complex, and our reliance on it increases, the recovery of critical applications should take seconds at most, not days. Ideally, staff should not even be aware of an interruption."
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