Monday, January 26, 2009

RECESSION WITH MALAYSIAKINI: changing disaster recovery landscape

Businesses have been urged not to reduce spending on disaster recovery and business continuity, despite the impact of the economic downturn.

Many experts believe that the current business climate makes a coherent disaster recovery plan more important than ever before, as John Robinson of Inoni states in a recent article on

According to Mr Robinson, "recession amplifies risk" and should put renewed emphasis on business continuity plans among enterprise leaders.

However, many organisations mistakenly assume that a business making less money will therefore need to spend less on disaster recovery.

The industry expert describes this reasoning as "convenient but invalid", stating that although the landscape for risk assessment and protection has clearly changed, businesses are also likely to be less resilient in the wake of the financial crisis.

As a result, disaster recovery systems should not be considered a luxury or a "dispensable overhead", but are in fact an essential tool for ensuring business survival in troubled times.

"We need to be more aware of the new risks we face and ensure we have the information we need to negotiate them," Mr Robinson comments.

Nicholas Tan, general manager of IBM Singapore's general business division, recently identified several typical flaws in the attitudes of smaller enterprises towards disaster recovery.

Writing in the Business Times, he concedes that it may be "human nature" for small firms to save money by neglecting to develop a business continuity plan.

However, he also believes that no company can really afford to be without some form of disaster recovery planning in the event of a power outage or other technological upheaval.

"Stop and think about what it would cost your small or mid-size business to be without power or IT systems for 24 hours," Mr Tan states.

The IBM expert also claims that recent developments in technology are making disaster recovery in the small business sector more accessible and straightforward than ever before, even for the inexperienced risk planner.

"Affordable and feature-rich software, server and storage technologies mean that businesses can start small, establish a base level of disaster recovery, and build on it over time," he explains.

Mr Tan disputes the claim that "only big companies can afford it" when it comes to disaster recovery.

Like Mr Robinson, he stresses that business continuity is not a luxury confined to the large enterprise sector, but something that all organisations should regard as essential.

"Today's new hosting models and cost-effective off-site backup and recovery systems mean peace of mind is available for companies of any size," Mr Tan explains.

Alan Calder, chief executive of IT Governance, believes that business continuity forms an essential part of an enterprise's IT security profile. He claims that neglecting this area can have potentially fatal consequences for businesses of all kinds.

In a recent article on, he states:"Those organisations concentrating on a search for cost cuts in their risk and business continuity management activities are, in effect, accelerating their own possible demise."

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