Impact on customers (40%) and on sales and revenues (27%) are the top two reasons why South African companies fail to perform disaster recovery testing.

This is according to a survey conducted by Symantec of 1 650 companies in 24 countries globally, including South Africa.
“There appears to be a gulf emerging between those companies with a rigorous testing regime and those that appear to be content to do the absolute minimum,” says Gordon Love, Symantec regional director for Africa.
According to the survey, the best South African organisations compare very favourably to their international counterparts, with 46% indicating that they were testing their DR systems every three months or more frequently.
“This is the clearest indication thus far that the top rung of South African organisations are becoming more serious about the implementation and testing of their disaster recovery plans,” says Love.
However, 36% of South African respondents are only testing their disaster recovery plans once per year or less. The research laso indicates that 25% of the tests conducted are unsuccessful.
One of the concerns that many companies have about testing their disaster recovery plans is the impact that testing will have on their customers (40%) as well as their sales and revenues (27%).
“This need not be the case,” says Love. “It is possible to build testing systems in such a way that they can be run frequently without disrupting business operations. Greater automation in the testing process is key to ensuring that these tests have a minimal impact on the business.”
Other notable research outcomes include:
* 25% of South African IT budgets are spent on DR;
* 25% of local companies are failing to do disaster recovery testing on virtualised systems;
* 53% of companies have had to invoke their DR plans;
* 18% reported plan failures as a result of technology behaving unpredictably and 12% as a result of inappropriate processes; and
* 11% reported the ability to bring between 70% and 80% of their mission-critical applications and data live within acceptable timeframes.