Despite the terrorist attacks on New York nearly a year ago, many IT directors are still not in a position to cope with a similar catastrophe.
A survey by computer company Dell of 138 IT directors found that 84 per cent of respondents did not have a disaster recovery plan in place should the worst happen.
Analysts said that there is even some uncertainty over what actually constitutes disaster recovery.
"There is confusion among end users; remote mirroring is not disaster recovery and that in turn is not business continuity," explained Josh Krischer, research director at Gartner.
He pointed out that companies which do have a recovery plan often store it on a computer at work, rendering it useless if employees cannot gain entry to their building.
Krischer urged companies to keep plans in a bank safe or at the home of a trusted employee.
Mark Govan, technical account manager at storage company EMC, warned that even when a disaster recovery plan had been set up, an alarming number of companies did not bother testing it to see whether it would actually work.
"Companies have implemented back-up strategies but have not adapted them to new storage growth," he said. "If they missed out a new volume added to a server then they would find their data corrupted when they tried to restore it."
Krischer recommended that email should now be considered a critical application and enterprises should include this in their recovery plans.
"After 11 September email was the only way for some people to communicate," he explained.
Martin Boyce, head of enterprise systems at Dell, suggested that the attacks have led firms to investigate new avenues in business continuity.
"Companies are looking into using mobile office suites as part of a contingency plan should disaster strike," he concluded.
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