Banking Ahead of Other Industries in Planning for Disasters

A survey of small to medium-sized companies using midrange computers from International Business Machines Corp. showed that banks put a greater emphasis on disaster recovery than do companies in other industries.

However, about 14% of financial institutions lacked recovery plans of any type, according to the study by XL/Datacomp, a disaster recovery vendor based in Hinsdale, Ill.

About 11.5% of the 230 companies queried had experienced some type of disaster that affected their computer systems, but only 3% of the nearly 30 financial firms in the study had experienced outages. The companies surveyed used midrange System/34, System/36, System/38, or AS/400 computers, all from IBM.

Of the financial institutions contacted, 57% tested their disaster recovery plans once a year, and 25% tested twice a year. About 18% had not tested in a year and a half, but most of those were the 14% of financial institutions overall that lacked any plan whatever.

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