Disaster recovery initiative targets IS/IT managers

Posted on March 01, 1999

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Disaster recovery initiative targets IS/IT managers

Heidi Biggar

With the backing of 21 hardware, software, and services providers, Quantum last month launched a disaster recovery initiative aimed at North America`s 17,000 medium-size businesses (those with revenues of $50 million to $500 million).

The program, aptly named Prove It, puts IS/IT managers--and their business continuity plans--to the test. Can they survive a computer systems failure and, equally important, can they prove it?

"The Prove It initiative is a wake up call to the industry," says Bill Boles, vice president of marketing for Quantum`s DLTtape division. Of 482 corporate executives surveyed in a 1998 Ernst & Young study, 63% said they were aware of the importance of disaster recovery plans, yet only 29% had strategies in place.

Disaster recovery is like going

to the dentist, says David Hill, a senior analyst at Aberdeen Group, an IT consulting and market research firm in Boston, MA. "It`s something you know you need to do, but you avoid doing." Or, it`s relegated to the bottom of the list, well below such hot issues as Y2K and E-commerce.

The goal of the initiative is primarily educational: to raise awareness of business continuity issues among midsize companies and to provide these companies with the tools to measure and compare their preparedness to industry norms. Central to the program is an interactive Web site (www.DLTtape.com/ProveIT), a repository of instructional materials, resources, and self-diagnostic tests. The site features two tracks: one for IS/IT managers who actually write and implement recovery plans and the other for the executives who allocate the funds. The idea is to create synergy between the two groups, recognizing the difficulties IS/IT managers often face selling the concept of business continuity preparedness to upper management."We see this all the time," says Fred Joy, a senior analyst at Stamford, CT-based META Group, an industry analyst firm. "IT professionals whose necks are on the line if the technical infrastructure goes down cannot convince their senior executives that disaster recovery technology expenditures may mean the difference between having a bottom line to save or not."

Additionally, the site provides real-time recommendations for specific situations and keeps a tally of storage preparedness for on-line comparison purposes. Other features include sample disaster recovery outlines, case studies, white papers, a list of related industry events, and hot links to various business continuity and disaster recovery resources.

The result, says Bob Amatruda, an analyst with Framingham, MA-based International Data Corp., an industry research firm, "is a one-stop shop for disaster recovery."


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