The year 2011 has arrived and I think it will be a great year for all of us in the business continuity industry! The past few years have been tough, with the sluggish economy and slashed budgets. But, there are signs that this year will be better.
Recent reports show retail sales were up during the holiday season and jobless rates hit a two-year low during the last week of November. Economists say these indicators are a strong sign the economy is improving and likely to continue on that path.
While this is good news for the general population, it is also positive news for those in the business continuity and related industries. I know all of us would like to see increased budgets in the new year and additional hires. Many business continuity programs have been operating with skeleton crews and tight budgets for several years. Yet, the risks to our organizations are still there, regardless of the budget or the number of people in the department.
A recent survey conducted by Forrester Research reports that budget increases may be likely for business continuity programs and IT departments. That is certainly good news.
The survey was conducted in September 2010 and polled nearly 3,000 IT decision makers. The results show business continuity and disaster recovery are the No. 1 priority for the next 12 months for small to medium businesses and the second highest priority for enterprises.
Several reasons are cited for the increase in priority and budgets, including increased awareness and regulations, better ways for identifying risks and improved methods for calculating costs of downtime.
The survey also indicates that the scope of business continuity and disaster recovery programs is increasing to cover more risks than ever, ranging from large regional disasters to the smaller everyday mishaps and outages. As a result, more investment is expected to be given to BC programs and IT budgets. According to the survey, 32 percent of enterprises and 36 percent of small to medium sized businesses plan to increase spending by at least 5 percent.
The survey recommends “security and risk professionals take advantage of this increased visibility as the economic recovery slowly thaws IT budgets to improve the business continuity/disaster recovery organizational and process maturity for the long term.”
You might also be interested in the 4th Annual Forrester/DRJ Joint Survey that is running in this edition of Disaster Recovery Journal. This survey focuses on the state of disaster recovery preparedness. It offers a look into industry trends and is a great tool to see what preparedness efforts organizations are making.
Take a look and see how your company compares to others in the industry. It might serve as a launching pad to open discussions with senior executives on how your program could be improved.
Another great way to improve your business continuity program is to attend an industry conference. I hope that you will consider Spring World 2011. This conference will be held March 27-30 in Orlando, Fla., and is the 44th conference hosted by DRJ. We have put our years of experience into making this the ultimate industry conference.
We have a fantastic agenda set. You can browse it at drj.com/springworld or download a conference brochure. Registrations for Spring World 2011 are on track for another great turnout. We already have 425 people registered, so sign up soon to qualify for the early bird registration. The first one ends on Jan. 27 and offers $200 off the conference cost.
I hope to see you at Spring World 2011 and I hope that is a great year for all of us in the business continuity industry.