Two-fifths (40%) of Singapore businesses do not have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place for their IT and even more (59%) have no business continuity plan for their workplace requirements. The catastrophic spate of disasters that occurred in 2011, including recent flash floods in the Republic caused by heavy rain, created a standstill in many areas including the central shopping district, resulting in heavy losses for business and hindering human traffic. This 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:

  • 40% of Singapore 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 Singapore follows this trend with 59% of firms lacking workplace DR;
  • Singapore businesses (37%) are more likely to perceive the cost of DR as prohibitive than the global average (33%);
  • Over two thirds of Singapore respondents (67%) compared to 55% globally declared that they would invest in workplace recovery if the service were suitably priced;
  • 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 Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, Regus comments: "The research reveals that, in spite of reports indicating that the average incident can cost up to US$500,000, disaster recovery among Singapore businesses is not as wide-spread as imagined, particularly when it comes to the workplace."

According to Graham Pullen, Vice President for OpenText Asia Pacific, "Without a disaster recovery plan and a strong content management infrastructure in place, we find that many business operations are affected when critical information is lost after a disaster. Instead of maintaining continuity, businesses need to spend more time in retrieving or recreating lost information, resulting in increased cost and reduced efficiency. In the aftermath of a disaster, it is imperative that IT is aligned closely with the business to ensure the smooth functioning of the organization."

Willems notes: "Over a third of businesses in Singapore reveal a high perceived cost of DR, but many 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." (Source: Regus)

By MediaBUZZ