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Survey: U.S. business, IT executives at odds on disaster recovery

The differences were much narrower in Europe

By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service
July 14, 2003 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - U.S. business executives and CIOs are living in two different worlds when it comes to how they think about disaster recovery, according to a new survey of enterprise executives in the U.S. and Europe, to be published today.
In the telephone survey, sponsored by Hopkinton, Mass.-based storage vendor EMC Corp. but conducted by New York-based research firm RoperASW in April and May, executives were asked how vulnerable they felt their companies were to "losing access to business-critical data" in the event of a disaster.
The difference in attitude between U.S. business executives -- which included CEOs, board directors and senior financial executives -- and CIOs was remarkable. Just 14% of business leaders said they felt that their data would be "very vulnerable" in the event of a disaster, but almost four times as many IT executives felt that way: 52% of them said they saw their enterprise data as very vulnerable, according to the study's authors.
When it came to predicting disaster downtime, the disconnect was less pronounced: 91% of business executives said they thought they would be able to resume normal business activities in less than three days after losing access to business-critical data, compared with 78% in IT, while 37% of business executives thought it would take their company eight hours or less to be up and running, compared with 40% on the IT side.
The poll is the first attempt ever to examine the difference between business and IT executives' attitudes toward disaster recovery, said Stephen Higgins, EMC's director of business continuity marketing.
"We've all felt, from a gut perspective, that the IT and the business executives have been somewhat out of sync," he said. This study proves that "the gut was right. There really is a gap."
"This report validates that one of the problems in the industry today is that there's this disconnect," said Tony Prigmore, a senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based research firm Enterprise Storage Group Inc. "It says one of two things: Either IT is correct in their level of concern and the business folks had better get on board, or the business folks are actually listening to IT and taking a calculated business-risk decision to not take any action."
New regulations, like those covered in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Security and Exchange Act, and even the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, will ultimately bring business and IT thinking in line, Prigmore said. "This gap that we see in the research has to go away," he said.
In Europe, this seems to already be the case. When European executives were

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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