Companies that have implemented business-continuity strategies for their IT infrastructure are rendering them obsolete by not testing them regularly, according to a survey commissioned by Hewlett-Packard Co.
HP questioned 200 companies in the UK, and found that while 84% of them claimed to have a business continuity strategy, only a third are testing them on a regular basis. Some 29% of respondents perform tests at six-monthly intervals, and 37% undertake testing annually.
Bryan Ogilvie, HP’s European business continuity manager, gave the example of one manufacturing company whose CEO decided to run a test of its business continuity strategy by switching off the power in its data center. He said: The problem was that the electronic swipe card entry system giving access to the main facility was not running on a separate UPS, meaning that the company had 300 staff that couldn’t get in to go to work.
Ogilvie said that this is precisely sort of the unforeseen issue that a thorough test of a business continuity plan can highlight. He added: You can’t just look at business continuity from an IT perspective British businesses have their trousers around their ankles as they have business continuity solutions in place, but they are not testing them.
HP announced last September that it had invested $100m in its business-continuity/disaster-recovery infrastructure, and Ogilvie said BC/DR is a growing part of its business, drawing on storage, security, and managed services expertise it has within the Technology Solutions Group division.
While many large organizations have been compelled to implement business continuity plans by industry regulation, some small businesses are being forced to follow suit if they are part of an ecosystem of suppliers to bigger organizations, according to Ogilvie. UK retail group Sainsburys is vetting the most important of its 2,500 suppliers to ensure that they have an adequate business-continuity strategy in place, in order to avoid any disruption in its supply chain.