Security

Why 23% of companies never test their disaster recovery plan, despite major risks

Some 95% of companies have a disaster recovery plan, but 27% lost revenue due to an outage within the last year, according to Spiceworks.

Disaster recovery (DR) is a necessary aspect of every modern data center, with 95% of respondents in a recent Spiceworks study stating that they have a DR plan in place. However, as noted in the report's Wednesday press release, 23% of businesses never test their DR plan, leaving themselves vulnerable in the event of an actual disaster.

Within the last 12 months, 30% of the 762 IT professionals surveyed said they'd lost revenue due to a business or service outage, the release said. In that same time frame, 77% said they had experienced at least one outage, while 59% experienced 1-3 outages.

So, why aren't these companies testing their DR plans? Some 61% said they simply didn't have enough time. Inadequate resources were cited by 53%, and 34% said that DR just wasn't a priority, the release said.

SEE: Disaster recovery and business continuity plan (Tech Pro Research)

Large companies often have more moving parts, and are more prone to being impacted by disaster. Of large businesses (1,000+ employees), 87% experienced one or more outages in the last year. For middle-sized companies that number was 79%, and for SMBs it was 71%, the release said.

Out of all the companies surveyed, 27% that experienced an outage lost revenue because of it. Of those that lost revenue, 59% estimated their losses to be less than $10,000 in the past 12 months. However, 31% estimated that they lost $10,000-$100,000, and 10% believed they lost more than $100,000, according to the release.

The top cause for these disastrous outages was power outages, reported by 56% of respondents. Internet connectivity issues were reported by 48%, and hardware failure was cited by 32%. Service issues with third-party vendors were to blame for 27% of outages as well.

"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, in the release. "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."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 95% of companies have a disaster recovery plan, but 23% never test their plan. — Spiceworks, 2018
  • 27% of companies that has experienced a business outage lost revenue because of it. — Spiceworks, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/designer491

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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