Business continuity planning still on the upswing, says study

Research from AT&T finds business continuity planning grows more common, and takes into account a wider array of issues including supplier readiness

Business continuity planning is a top priority in most IT organizations around the country. That's according to a new study from AT&T, in which 83 percent of respondents stated that they have a business continuity plan in place, up 14 percent in the past five years.

The research, which has been conducted annually for the past nine years, surveyed 530 information technology executives in five U.S. metropolitan/regional areas at companies with revenues of more than $10 million. The study found Gulf Coast executives are most likely to have fully tested their business continuity plan in the past year, with 61 percent indicating they had done so, compared to 54 percent nationally (Another study from professional services firm BDO last month also found business continuity ranks as a high priority).

"It's not surprising considering the concerns in that area over hurricanes and flooding," said Chris Costello, assistant vice president, AT&T Hosting and Cloud Services, AT&T Business Solutions.

Also see "BC/DR challenges in a hurricane zone"

In fact, the emphasis on business continuity doesn't end within the walls of a company. The research finds forty percent of organizations require suppliers and other vendors to have a business continuity plan in place in order to do business with the company.

The research also found that among IT executives polled, 77 percent are concerned about the increased usage of social networking capabilities and their potential impact on businesses.

And the study found wireless and mobile devices are increasingly part of an organization's BC/DR plan. Six out of ten respondents include wireless network capabilities as part of their plan, said Costello. Another three-fourths, or 77 percent, indicate that employee use of mobile devices plays a role in their business continuity plan.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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