Business continuity (BC) planning is a holistic plan to recover both systems and workforces in the event of any business disruption, whether natural disaster, human error, malicious attack, terrorist attack, or pandemic. The business continuity umbrella covers two primary areas: disaster recovery (DR) plans and workplace recovery plans. Between them, they address the people, process, and technology issues of keeping an organization operating as close to normal as possible when disruptive events occur. IDC research shows that most organizations have a partial DR plan in place, and far too many have no plan at all. Indeed, fewer than half (48.4%) of all applications are protected by a DR plan. Unfortunately, when it comes to workplace recovery and pandemic planning, the preparedness is even worse: Only 17.4% of organizations have planned for workforce contingency covering more than 20% of their respective workforces.
Sungard AS commissioned IDC to conduct an independent research study into workplace recovery and the associated motivations, challenges, and benefits. To accomplish this, we conducted a survey of 814 different organizations in North America and select Western European countries (see the Methodology section). The initial survey, which was conducted just as the COVID-19 pandemic was becoming known, was supplemented by a follow-up survey during the pandemic to assess what impact it had on organizations' actions and future plans.
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