Although 95 percent of organizations have a disaster recovery plan in place, 23 percent never test their plan, according to a new survey from Spiceworks. The study examines how companies across North America and Europe are preparing for disasters and the financial impact of outages within their organizations.
Among those that don’t test their plan, 61 percent cited inadequate time, 53 percent cited inadequate resources, and 34 percent said disaster recovery is not a priority in their organization. The findings indicate a lack of testing and coverage gaps within disaster recovery plans may be leading to service outages in many organizations.
“Even the best laid disaster plans can go awry, especially if no one bothers to test them,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Ideally, a company’s disaster recovery plan should evolve and improve over time as weaknesses are exposed during testing and an organization’s needs change. However, the results show testing is often infrequent or not taking place at all, leaving many organizations vulnerable when disaster strikes.”
Larger Organizations More Likely Experience Outages
In the last 12 months, 77 percent of organizations reported experiencing at least one outage (i.e. any interruption to normal levels of IT-related service). More specifically, 59 percent of organizations experienced one to three outages, 11 percent experienced four to six outages, and 7 percent experienced seven or more outages in the last 12 months.
Larger companies, which tend to rely on a greater number of services, experienced more outages than their smaller counterparts. Eighty-seven percent of large businesses large businesses with 1,000 or more employees experienced one or more outages in the last 12 months, compared to 79 percent of mid-size businesses with 100 to 999 employees, and 71 percent of small businesses with less than 100 employees.
Across all company sizes, 27 percent of organizations that experienced an outage reported losing business revenue as a result. Although 59 percent of organizations estimated losing less than $10,000 in revenue in the last 12 months, 31 percent estimated a loss of $10,000 to $100,000, and 10 percent reported losing $100,000 or more.
Power Outages, Internet Connectivity Issues Lead To Service Outages
The top causes leading to service outages in the last 12 months were power outages (56 percent), internet connectivity issues (48 percent), and hardware failure (32 percent), likely because less than half of organizations have backup power sources, redundant internet service providers, or high availability / failover systems in place.
Additionally, 27 percent of organizations experienced an outage due to service issues with a third-party vendor, while 21 percent experienced an outage due to human error and 13 percent due to natural disasters. Breaking down the types of natural disasters that led to outages, 29 percent were hurricanes, 16 percent were fires, 15 percent were floods, and 12 percent were due to either a tornado, animal-related incident, or blizzard.
The survey was conducted in August 2018 and included 762 respondents from organizations across North America and Europe, including small-to-medium-sized businesses and enterprises from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, nonprofits, education, government, and finance.