Ready or not?

A third (34%) of Malaysian businesses do not have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place for their IT and even more (43%) have no business continuity for their workplace requirements. The catastrophic spate of disasters that occurred in 2011, including the landslide in Cameron Highlands Resorts caused by heavy rain, has driven the issue of DR to the top of boardroom agendas highlighting the huge cost to businesses that natural disasters and their aftermath can cause. Although these are extreme examples, the consequences of common events such as fires and vandalism can also seriously damage a business.

In order to take the pulse of global business ‘preparedness’, the latest survey by Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, canvassed the opinions of over 12,000 business people in 85 countries and found that a significant proportion of firms are taking a huge risk with their shareholder’s assets and failing to take proper precautions. Key findings include:

· 34% of Malaysian firms compared to 45% globally do not have an IT DR plan in place ensuring systems are up and running within 24 hours;

· Globally 55% of firms have no workplace recovery that could be available within 24 hours, and Malaysia follows this trend with 43% of firms lacking workplace DR;

· Malaysian businesses are more likely to perceive the cost of DR as prohibitive (37%) than average (33%);

· Over three quarters of Malaysian respondents (80%) declared that they would invest in workplace recovery if the service were suitably priced compared to 55% globally;

· Globally, although larger firms are better prepared for disaster recovery than smaller companies, 26% of larger corporates still remain without a DR facility for their IT systems, and 40% have no workplace DR facility;

· Globally, financial services (71%) and ICT businesses (66%) were more likely to have a business continuity plan although more than 40% of firms in these sectors have no workplace recovery arrangement.

William Willems, Regional Vice-President for Regus Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia comments: “The research reveals that, in spite of reports indicating that the average incident can cost up to US $ 500,000, disaster recovery among Malaysian businesses is not as wide-spread as imagined, particularly when it comes to workplace.[1]

William Willems continues: “Over a third of businesses in Malaysia reveal a high perceived cost of DR, but most also report that they would be willing to pay a monthly fee to access a workplace disaster recovery facility in case of emergency. This is an important indication that although too many businesses are taking a gamble, their mentality is changing. As affordable products and services become available around the globe, it is likely that more businesses will finally stop hoping for the best and seriously start planning for the worst.”

[1] Symantec, Disaster Recovery Research Report, 2009