Survey Finds Disaster Recovery Disconnect Between CEOs and CIOs

Are businesses prepared to handle unexpected disasters? It depends who in the organization you ask, according to a recent survey researching disaster recovery plans and organizations' overall readiness to deal with it.

A recent survey of enterprise executives, to be released on Monday, found that corporate executives and their chief information officers often view the issue from opposite ends of the spectrum. For the survey, 274 American executives and 254 European executives were interviewed, all of them working at companies that bring in at least $1 billion in annual revenue. They were chosen from a variety of industries.

The collective term "business executives" includes CEOs, board directors and senior finance officers for the purposes of the telephone survey, which was sponsored by EMC and conducted by RoperASW in April and May 2003.

The difference of opinion between American business executives and CIOs on the question of disaster recovery was quite significant. Only 14 percent of the executives think their company’s data would be "very vulnerable" in a disaster, a number that nearly quadrupled to 52 percent when CIOs were asked the same question, the survey’s authors said.

The divergence continued when the question of disaster downtime was asked. Ninety-one percent of business executives thought a three-day period of downtime could be expected following a disaster that included losing business-critical data. The number dropped to 78 percent when IT officials were asked about downtime.

EMC Director of Business Continuity Marketing Stephen Higgins told Network World that this is the first survey to look at how business executives and IT staff view disaster recovery issues.

"We've all felt, from a gut perspective, that the IT and the business executives have been somewhat out of synch," he said. This study proves that "the gut was right," he said. "There really is a gap."

The survey found that European business executives and their IT counterparts are closer together on the disaster recovery issue. This could be for two possible reasons, said EMC's Higgins. First, "The fact that the organizations tend to be a little flatter in the European marketplace probably leads to better communications between the CIOs and business executives," he said. Second, European history has simply made businesses there more aware of the possibility of a man-made disaster, like a terrorist attack, he said. "They're just more sensitive to those situations than their American counterparts."

You may like these other stories...

Event Date: May 29, 2014 In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA brings you up to speed on the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both...
No field likes its buzzwords more than technology, and one of today's leading terms is "the cloud." But it's not just a matter of knowing what's fashionable. Accounting professionals who know how to use...
There is a growing trend of accountants moving away from traditional compliance work to more advisory work. Client demand is there, but it is up to the accountants to capitalize on that. What should accountants' roles be...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.