V1 reveals that almost half of the businesses surveyed do not have a full disaster recovery plan
Only 17% of UK organisations have incorporated electronic document storage into their disaster recovery (DR) plans, although 82% admit the need to do so is either ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ to maintain business continuity. These are the findings of a new survey by global business automation software provider, V1, carried out among senior IT and finance professionals from 92 organisations across the public, private and third sectors.
Technology industry analyst IDC estimates that the cost of downtime to SMEs can amount to £170,000 per disaster. However, V1’s research highlights that many businesses have not taken action following the disruption caused by the UK’s winter storms in 2013-2014 and the recent underground fire in Holborn.
60% admitted that their business continuity plans had ‘stayed the same’. This is despite almost half conceding that their organisation would not recover from a severe disaster in less than 12 months due to not having a full DR strategy in place. 28% said their plans had either ‘improved a little’ or ‘dramatically improved’, while 12% stated they were unsure whether they had changed or not.
The respondents revealed that their existing procedures for ensuring business as usual comprise a mixture of security, staff / office relocation facilities, crisis communications, IT back-ups, electronic document storage and third party archiving facilities.
Janette Martin, Managing Director, V1, comments, “ Some organisations still perceive business continuity provision as a luxury. This is particularly worrying given the examples of the last 18 months which have highlighted that disasters can strike at any time, without warning.
“It’s surprising how many companies are still so heavily reliant on paper documents. Businesses should carefully consider whether they would survive the impact of lost income and reputation and how quickly they could recover key information if something did go wrong.”
Although only 17% are using electronic document storage, 33% and 49% respectively of respondents believe that safeguarding business documents should be a ‘critical’ or ‘very important’ part of an organisation’s business continuity plan. 16% feel this is ‘fairly important’ and only 2% suggested it was ‘not important’ at all.
Martin says, “One of the most effective ways to protect valuable business data and remain compliant is to manage documents electronically. In the event of an office being closed or damaged, employees can still access the documents they need remotely from a secure archive without disrupting their normal working practices.
“To maximise efficiency, organisations should implement integrated document management solutions with intuitive workflow capabilities. In addition to reducing the costs and risks associated with paper, these systems ensure more streamlined purchase-to-pay processes and fewer errors by eliminating manual administration.”