The financial services sector is the most prepared for an IT disaster, according to new research conducted by IDC, on behalf of IT services provider Guardian IT.
The research involved telephone interviews with 287 IT managers of organisations with over 500 employees across the UK, Germany, France and Sweden.
The study found that, of those organisations with business continuity plans in place, 29% of the market is made up of financial services companies, the public sector has a 23% share and the retail sector lags behind with 17%.
However, 77% of interviewees say that non IT parts of a company only become aware of the importance of disaster recovery planning after downtime has occurred and 64% agree that disaster recovery is still seen as an IT problem rather than something that is crucial for the wider business.
"If a flood or fire wipes out an organisation's main computer room or a telecoms glitch brings its Web site down, this could potentially cost them millions of pounds. It's critical that the company has disaster recovery plans in place to help save the day - and more importantly the business," warns Rod Ratsma, director - Guardian Consulting, a division of Guardian iT.
According to Ratsma, 46% of IT managers say that IT departments are not given enough support from the rest of the company in this area.
The report shows that while 82% of IT managers say their organisations have some sort of a disaster recovery plan in place, a worrying 25% say they have tested their plans less than once a year, or not at all.
The average annual disaster recovery spend of companies was found to be £50,000. NT servers receive the biggest proportion, 31%, of DR spend, with 28% going on mainframes and data centres, 20% on Unix, 11% on PC LAN and 9% on AS/400.