A survey by eHosting DataFort (eHDF) in partnership with the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and Continuity and Resilience (CORE) has revealed an increased take up of IT Disaster Recovery in the Middle East over the last two years demonstrating that organizations are starting to take the threat more seriously.
The 2014 Middle East Business Continuity Management Survey, the third of its kind, showed that 73% of respondents had IT Disaster Recovery in place and 22% were considering implementation. The increased take up is compared to the 2012 survey which showed that nearly 63% of the respondents stated their organization did not have a dedicated IT Disaster Recovery or BCM team, and that Business Continuity Management was being driven by Information Security Unit, Quality Management, IT and Operational and Overall Risk teams.
While this is positive, there is still a long way to go as 56% of the respondents rated their organization’s IT DR readiness as average or below average.
A huge shift is already underway in the way organizations look at BCM. This year’s survey highlighted that 59% had a budgets greater than US$100,000 in order to implement and sustain their BCM program, while 32% allocated budgets in excess of US$250,000. Large organizations such as those in the banking, oil and gas, telecoms, government and e-commerce sectors, accounted for 11% of organizations that had set aside BCM budgets of more than US$1 million.
Yasser Zeineldin, CEO at eHosting DataFort, said, “The results are indicative of how the industry and business environment is evolving. Everything is driven by technology and it is imperative that organizations look closely at what is ‘crucial data’ and how it can be safeguarded in the instance of downtime caused either by a natural disaster or simply because of an IT outage.”
“eHDF has been at the forefront of stressing on the importance of Disaster Recovery and BCM, and this year’s survey shows that our efforts have reaped dividends. The increase in the number of organizations, both large corporations and SMEs, investing in disaster recovery and making contingency plans by adopting business continuity management programs look encouraging. We have seen a huge uptake for Disaster recovery services and have implemented high end DR projects for a number of organisations over the last year.”
Lyndon Bird, Technical Director at the BCI, commented: “The Business Continuity Institute’s annual Horizon Scan survey showed just how seriously BC professionals take the cyber threat so it is encouraging to see that this is now being recognised at the Board level. Organizations are beginning to realise the value of having an effective business continuity management programme and the return on investment this can provide.”
The results from the survey show that 47% of BCM budgets in the region are being spent on IT disaster recovery infrastructure, seats, software and licensing. This can be further reduced by working with specialized service providers who can implement IT disaster recovery at a fraction of the cost of doing it in-house. In fact, 30% of the survey respondents have indicated that they plan to outsource the enhancement of IT DR plans to specialist external service providers.
Lack of a robust business continuity plan can result in financial loss that may have a negative impact on bottom line profits of an organization. 30% of the respondents who have indicated the financial impact of disruptions as per their Business Impact Analysis (BIA) estimate that a two-day disruption could set the organization back by US$3 million and more.
66% of the respondents reported at least one significant business disruption in the last year and the top three causes for disruptions in the Middle East have been identified as applications and network infrastructure failure, power outage and human error. Businesses today are vulnerable to diverse natural or man-made disasters such as fire, earthquakes, cyclones, cyber threats, as well as network and power failures. Implementation of robust BCM planning can help enterprises effectively respond to challenges without defaulting on commitments towards retaining the trust, faith and confidence of key customers and stakeholders.
eHDF had released the first such survey in 2009, seeking to analyze DR and BCM trends and raise BCM awareness for organizations in the Middle East.