Disaster recovery preparedness is a continuing concern for companies, because according to the 2023 Disaster Recovery Practices Survey from Forrester and Disaster Recovery Journal, 17% of respondents have had a significant disaster, outage, or business disruption.

Fortunately, over 90% of companies surveyed have some sort of disaster recovery (DR) plan in place. 

69% of those update their plan every year, and 20% update even more frequently than that.

“In a business climate that demands constant technology change, having a long update cycle means that businesses are left unprepared for disasters related to new technologies and services or emerging cyber threats,” the report states.

The survey also found that a good chunk of IT budgets are used for disaster recovery purposes. Seventy percent of respondents say up to 10% of their total IT budget is dedicated to disaster recovery. 

However, despite the planning that occurs and the resources being devoted to disaster recovery, less than 40% of respondents feel “very or extremely prepared to deal with a site failure or disaster.” 

Still, even though most companies have a plan in place, the planning isn’t always perfect. For instance, strategy largely falls only on IT and the C-suite isn’t involved. Only 41% of disaster recovery program leads say they report to the C-suite.

“Moving the role up in the organization strengthens alignment with overall business needs and increases access to resources for ensuring technology resilience for critical business functions,” the report states. 

Another problem is that only 31% of respondents have a dashboard that indicates recovery readiness. This makes it very difficult for those companies to address gaps or problems in their strategy. 

Furthermore, current disaster recovery sites don’t cover 10% of the services that companies rely on, and they don’t test their disaster recovery sites frequently enough.

Ninety-three percent of respondents have at least one disaster recovery site and 34% have more than one. Only about half of respondents actually test failover to those sites, and some just test partially. 

“Partial failover doesn’t simulate true data center outages and the complications those types of outages bring. Ideally, an organization will be able to fail fully to a DR test location and fail back seamlessly. However, practices show that the current state of DR infrastructure is less than ideal,” the report says.