Majority of service desks have a business continuity plan in place

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But some staff don’t know how to implement it

IT managers are taking no risks when it comes to their disaster recovery with four fifths of service desks claiming to have a business continuity plan in place.

In a survey of 15,000 European IT Directors, the Service Desk Institute and LANDesk found that two thirds also tested their plan every six months, compared to a tenth in 2011.

The companies said that the new findings were encouraging and suggested that firms recognised the financial and reputational damage that could potentially stem from service desk disasters.

It pointed to high high profile computer failures at RBS Group and O2 this year, which it claimed highlighted the fact that businesses couldn’t afford to let technical glitches escalate into full blown service blackouts.

According to the research, 78 percent of respondents view the service desk as essential to re-establishing service if a disaster strikes. Additionally, 48 percent of respondents said they expected full service to be re-established in an hour, which the institute said showed the  importance of having a business continuity plan that all service desk staff were trained to implement.

However, the survey also found that there was a lack of awareness about business continuity plans within companies, with 53 percent of respondents admitting none or only some of the service desk staff were aware of those provisions.

The companies  pointed out that this left room for error in the event of a disaster.

Despite this communication shortfall, the research suggests that businesses are responding to the need to develop more efficient, more sophisticated business continuity plans. Of those surveyed, 76 percent said they now had scenario-specific plans in place, compared with just 52 percent last year.

Andy Baldin, vice president, EMEA at LANDesk, said that past research had shown a “general sense of unpreparedness within IT environments.”

As a result, he said the new findings were positive but the fact that a significant number of IT staff were unaware of their disaster plans, let alone how to implement them, signalled a fundamental flaw in how businesses are approaching disaster planning.


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