Study: Nearly 1 in 5 NC businesses have no continuity plan

AT&T study also finds many business do not consider business continuity a priority


CHARLOTTE, N.C. , Oct. 13 -- Despite the man-made and natural disasters that are a reality today, many North Carolina businesses are not fully prepared to maintain their business operations in the event of an emergency, according to an annual AT&T Inc. study on business continuity and disaster recovery preparedness for U.S. businesses in the private sector.

According to the study's report on businesses in North Carolina , nearly one in five does not have a business continuity plan developed. Additionally, the survey finds that a quarter of businesses in North Carolina markets do not consider business continuity planning a priority.

"By now, most North Carolinians have heard how important it is to make a plan and gather supplies to prepare their families for all types of emergencies from hurricanes to tornados to winter storms," said Bryan Beatty , Crime Control & Public Safety Secretary for the state of North Carolina . "But it is just as important for local governments and businesses to make plans for their continued operation in the event of a natural or technological disaster. Disrupted business operations impact employees, as well as their families, customers and the community. I encourage all businesses and local governments to develop and implement plans to provide for the safety of their employees and continued operations following an emergency."

AT&T's Business Continuity Study in North Carolina surveyed 100 Information Technology (IT) executives in the metropolitan areas of Charlotte , Raleigh , and Greensboro, North Carolina , working for companies with at least $10 million in revenue.

The 2008 AT&T Business Continuity Study finds that business continuity planning is seen as a "priority" by three out of four (75%) IT executives in the North Carolina markets surveyed. Half (51%) indicate it has always been a priority for their business, and one-fourth (24%) indicate it has become a priority in recent years due to natural disasters, security, and terrorist threats.

But while business continuity planning is considered important to most North Carolina companies in 2008, among businesses with revenues of $10 million or more, a sizable number of companies either do not view business continuity planning as a priority or do not have active plans in place.

-- One-fourth (24%) indicate business continuity planning is not a priority at their company.

-- One-fifth (18%) do not have/don't know if their company has a business continuity plan.

-- One-fourth (26%) indicate that cyber security is not part of their overall business continuity plan or don't know if it is or not.

-- One-third (31%) have not prioritized and set target recovery times for key business processes or don't know if this has been done.

-- One-fifth (21%) do not have/don't know of special arrangements for communicating with key executives in the event of a natural disaster.

Furthermore, a majority of companies (56%) have had their business continuity plans updated in the past 12 months. But less than half (46%) have had them fully tested during the same time period. While only 2% indicate that their plans have never been updated, one out of ten (12%) indicate they have never been tested.

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