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End users don't trust disaster recovery plans

A SunGard survey shows that 39 percent of company executives gave their own DR plans a letter grade of C or lower.

A new survey shows that despite widespread re-examination and reconfiguration of disaster recovery plans following the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and last year's Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, more than a third of end-user company IT executives give little respect to their own disaster recovery plans.

The survey, sponsored by SunGard Availability Services, includes data from 57 IT execs at businesses larger than $500 million. Thirty-nine percent of them gave their own DR plans a letter grade of C or lower, compared to only 24 percent who did so in 2004.

Analyst Stephanie Balaouras at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. said that many companies spent 2002 and 2003 reviewing their plans, but that any major revamp would take another couple of years.

Disaster recovery providers blame IT execs' distrust on a lack of frequent testing and re-evaluation, and too much focus only on the technologies involved rather than integrated approaches that include human issues, such as physical security and evacuation, as well as the configuration and cost of hot sites.

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