Preliminary Results Show Three Out of Four Companies at Risk, Fail to Prepare for Disaster Recovery

Dismal State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness Rampant Among Organizations of All Sizes

Time, Skills and Money are Prohibiting Proper Disaster Recovery Testing and Implementation: Major Concern When Outages Cost Upwards of $5,000 per Minute (Graphic: Business Wire)

PHILADELPHIA--()--Recently a council was formed to gain a better understanding of Disaster Recovery (DR) best practices and make preparedness more cost-effective and efficient. This Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council was created by IT business, government and academic leaders to address these issues, with its mission to increase DR Preparedness awareness and improve DR practices.

Organizations around the globe have participated in an online Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark (DRPB) Survey created by the council that launched just over a month ago. This survey is designed to give business continuity, disaster recovery, compliance audit and risk management professionals a measure of their own preparedness in recovering critical IT systems running in virtual environments.

Tweet This: @DR Preparedness 3 out of 4 Companies at Risk for DR Failure

Initial results from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness online benchmark survey show the dismal state of DR preparedness of companies worldwide. Using a common grading system from A (the best) to F (the worst), 72% of survey participants, or nearly 3 out of 4 companies worldwide, are failing in terms of disaster readiness scoring ratings of either a D or F grade. Only 28% scored an A, B or C passing grade, with the remaining 72% of respondents at risk. This report presents initial DR Preparedness benchmark trends for a mix of companies large and small that have taken the survey so far.

A free copy of the Disaster Recovery report is available at:

Other results show most companies worldwide are putting their business operations at risk by not being properly prepared to recover their IT systems in the event of a disaster. The results so far indicate a significant gap in disaster recovery preparedness that does not bode well for businesses that typically depend on their IT systems to survive in today’s marketplace. Actual result findings highlight:

Nearly 3 out of 4 at risk of failing to recover from Disaster/Outage

  • 51% - F
  • 21% - D
  • 21% - C
  • 7% - B
  • 0% - A

The vast majority of companies of all sizes are not prepared to recover critical IT systems in the event of a disaster.

One-Third lost critical Apps for hours

  • 36% lost critical apps, VMs, critical data -files for hours; 11% of the companies lost these for days

The cost of losing critical applications has been estimated by various experts at $5,000 per minute.

Human error, software and hardware failures biggest cause of Outage/Data Loss

  • 54% software failure + network failure
  • 41% human error
  • 28% power failure
  • 15% to weather

The question is not if a disaster or outage could happen, but when it will occur and how prepared organizations are for that scenario.

Most struggle with DR compliance reporting

  • 70% of companies need to produce DR reports for things such as compliance, while 60% of responding companies find compliance reporting overly difficult, manual and expensive
  • 50% have to manually create DR reports

Compliance reporting for DR is clearly an area ripe for automation.

Disaster Recovery planning falls short

  • 60% of those who took the survey do not a have a fully documented DR plan
  • 40% said their DR plan did not prove useful in their worst DR event

DR planning is an imperfect science clouded with uncertainty and risk.

Majority rarely, if ever, test their Disaster Recovery plans

  • 50% of respondents test DR plans only once or twice a year.
  • 13% never test their DR Plans.

Without testing and verification of DR plans, most companies really have no idea as to whether they can fully recover their IT systems in the event of a disaster or extended outage.

When companies do test their DR plans, 70% do not pass their own tests!

  • Nearly half of those who test DR plans don’t even document the results of their tests
  • Only one-third of those who test determine if they can achieve committed SLAs – (RPO and RTO)
  • Only one in four of those who fail their DR testing, actually re-test as follow up

This echoes our grading system that found 3 out 4 companies, even with a DR plan, are not prepared to recover from a major outage or disaster.

Most do not have the skills, time or money to test their DR preparedness

  • 61% do not have the skill sets to effectively perform DR tests
  • 37% do not have the time to test their DR
  • 17% say DR is too expensive to test
  • 35% say that each DR test costs between $5,000 - $50,000

For DR preparedness to improve, companies must automate processes to overcome the high cost in time and money of verifying and testing their DR plans.

The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council will be publishing a “State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness” Annual Report later this year based on the results of its Benchmark Survey. Company IT management is encouraged to take the survey at

Participants receive immediate feedback in the form of a DR Preparedness grade from A through F, and a follow up email to benchmark their responses compared with all others who have participated in the survey.

“Initial results from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness survey are startling and highlight the need for IT organizations to significantly improve their DR processes,” commented Dave Simpson, Senior Storage Analyst, 451 Research. “It’s clear that many end users are not aware of the fact that today there are cost-effective methods of automating all aspects of disaster recovery, from planning and implementation to, perhaps most importantly, DR testing. Participating in, and studying the results of, the Disaster Recovery Preparedness survey is a good first step toward improving DR practices.”

“Recently a group of people, including myself, formed the DRPB council whose aim is to increase DR preparedness awareness and improve overall DR practices. Unlike other associations I’ve seen, these are not sales people who are trying to sell you stuff. These are people who work in the field like you and I and have a day job. Their jobs help them bring the diversity to the council and share the knowledge and experience they have gained over the years. The idea is that all of this put together will help develop some standards and best practices for the industry to follow and bring some kind of method and calmness to the awesome madness we have witnessed over the last few years,” said Bilal Hashami, Senior Systems Engineer (virtualization/cloud), Verizon.

The DRPB survey provides a benchmarking score from 0-100 that measures the implementation of IT disaster recovery best practices. DRPB benchmarking scores parallel the grading system familiar to most students in North America whereby a score of 90-100 is an “A” or superior grade; 80-89 is a “B” or above average grade; 70-79 is a “C” or average grade and 60-69 is a “D” or unsatisfactory grade. Below 60, rates as an “F”, or failing grade.

Supporting Resources

Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council:

Disaster Recovery Benchmark Test:

Disaster Recovery Benchmark Initial Report:

About the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council

The DRPC is an independent research group engaged in IT disaster recovery management, research, and benchmarking in order to deliver practical guidance for how to improve Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.


Grau PR
Lisa Grau

Release Summary

Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark (DRPB) Survey shows 3 out of 4 companies not prepared; most outages are caused by human error not natural disasters; 60% lack skills, money and time to test.


Grau PR
Lisa Grau