New CIO Executive Council(TM) Poll Reveals One in Five U.S. Businesses Are without Disaster Recovery Plans; CIOs Unveil Vulnerabilities in Business Continuity Plans, Advocate Disaster Recovery Plans for Households

FRAMINGHAM, MA – NOVEMBER 7, 2005 – In the wake of a devastating hurricane season, a new poll of 307 chief information officers (CIOs) reveals 22% of CIOs do not have a formal disaster recovery plan in place at their organization, and one in ten (9%) say their organization would last less than two weeks if local or regional technical infrastructure failed to recover quickly. Of those who do have disaster recovery plans, only 31% rate their plan as "extremely or very effective." The poll, conducted by IDG's CIO Executive Council(TM), also shows an overwhelming majority (92%) of respondents believe households should have disaster recovery plans and 32% already have such a plan in place.

"The fact that one in ten organizations are not prepared to stay in business for a minimum of two weeks if local or regional technical recovery fail is alarming," says Mark Hall, General Manager of the CIO Executive Council. "Even more alarming is the number of organizations who have no plans in place to address disaster recovery and business continuity. Organizations clearly need to make this a first priority, and be willing to fund business continuity planning at the appropriate levels."

The poll shows responsibility for disaster recovery planning falls largely to the CIO, with 37% having full responsibility for the information technology (IT) portion of the plan, 34% having responsibility that extends beyond the IT portion and 20% having responsibility for the entire plan. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the majority of respondents (73%) say they plan to recommend changes to their disaster recovery plans with only 19% saying no changes are necessary.

CIOs on Disaster Recovery Plan Vulnerabilities:

Several CIO respondents indicate their disaster recovery plans are dependent on unpredictable factors. Forty-one percent (41%) do not have contingencies in the event that all local employees are unreachable and half (51%) do not have a process for tracking the location of evacuated employees. The majority (61%) do, however, have contingencies if all local employees cannot return to the area.

CIOs also cite dependencies on the nation's public infrastructure. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say their disaster recovery plan relies heavily on land line telephones for voice and data, followed by the electric grid (12%), wireless/cellular telephone systems (9%) and transportation infrastructure(5%) such as roads, airports, trains etc. Twenty-two percent (22%) say their disaster recovery plan depends equally on all of the listed infrastructures, while at the other end of the spectrum, 17% say their disaster recovery plan works around all these potential failures.

Adds Hall, "The recent hurricane destruction changes everything we thought we knew about disaster recovery and business continuity. CIOs across the nation need to revisit and re-evaluate their plans and create multiple layers of contingencies."

CIOs on Disaster Recovery Plan Testing:

About half (49%) of CIO respondents update their organization's disaster recovery plan once each year with 32% updating on a more frequent basis and 12% less frequently. Most CIOs (61%) test the complete recovery of all IT elements of their disaster recovery plans at least once each year however almost one in five (18%) have never done a complete test of all IT elements.

CIOs on Future Disaster Recovery Efforts:

Not surprising, the majority of respondents (71%) believe improved disaster recovery planning and testing at individual organizations is what's needed to insure future disaster recovery efforts are better coordinated and successful. Fifty-six percent (56%) of CIOs say there is need for better advance coordination between public and private sectors regarding disaster recovery.

Adds Hall, "Members of the CIO Executive Council are eager to leverage our collective expertise and engage the public sector in a long-term pro-active effort to establish stronger infrastructure, protocol and plans for dealing with future disasters."

Complete Poll Results available at .

Poll Methodology:

The CIO Executive Council commissioned this online survey between October 17 and October 27, 2005 among CIOs who are members of the CIO Executive Council or who qualify for Council membership. All Council members must serve as the senior-most IT executive in their organization and have purchase authority for their organization's information technology products and services, as well as strategic oversight of the IT function. An email invitation containing a link to the survey was sent to 4362 CIOs yielding 307 completed surveys for a 7% response rate. Margin of error is +/-6%.

About the CIO Executive Council

First launched in the United States in April 2004, the CIO Executive Council gives CIOs worldwide a united voice on technology and business matters impacting their companies and society as well as an opportunity to work together to make better business decisions and advance the profession of the CIO. All members–who must hold a CIO or equivalent title–pay an annual membership fee of $17,500USD (adjusted for CIOs of nonprofit organizations) and are granted access to a Council members-only web site ( ), which includes online discussions, case studies, reports and a secured database directory of Council members and their top lieutenants. In addition to downloading information, members can send secure personal messages to one another and register to attend Council conference calls, meetings and events. Members can also take part in driving the initiatives of various Task Forces focused on global and cross-industry issues (e.g., Vendor Relations and IT Staffing). For more details go to

About CXO Media & IDG:

The CIO Executive Council was founded by CXO Media Inc., which produces award-winning media properties and executive programs for corporate officers who use technology to thrive and prosper in this new era of business, including CIO, CMO, CSO magazines and websites, and the CSO Executive Council. CXO Media is a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading technology media, research and event company. A privately-held company, IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers including Bio-IT World, CIO, CSO, Computerworld, GamePro, InfoWorld, Network World, and PC World. The company features the largest network of technology-specific websites with more than 400 around the world. IDG is also a leading producer of more than 170 computer-related events worldwide including LinuxWorld Conference & Expo(R), Macworld Conference & Expo(R), DEMO(R), and IDC Directions. IDC provides global market research and advice through offices in 50 countries. Company information is available at .