DR funding falters as terrorism fears fade

Funding for disaster recovery is on a downward spiral now that the hysteria bubble surrounding September 11 has well and truly burst.

With attention waning on the risks of terrorism IT managers are fighting harder than ever to keep board-level executives focused on the unforeseen disasters that can obliterate company assets.

Graham Penn, IDC's Asia Pacific associate vice president for storage, said while building solid infrastructure is very expensive it shouldn't have to come out of the IT manager's budget.

"I believe that the IT manager needs to take this issue to the board and say 'you're responsible, it's on your neck'," Penn said.

"The money should be found outside the IT budget, because at the end of the day it's a risk avoidance policy for the company.

"There's no single answer, but public and private organizations are responsible for their business assets so they had better get with it."

Penn also points out that with increasing storage requirements there should be a greater focus on disaster recovery even though the hype surrounding this topic has virtually disappeared.

"This is a legitimate topic to be discussing; in two years time most organizations are going to have double the information they have now, so if they don't start building a suitable infrastructure there's going to be no way of keeping on top of the issue," Penn said.

However, Koorong Books CIO Rob Bootes says the reality is that disaster recovery is always going to be an IT responsibility that is always going to come out of the IT budget, so start planning.

"I still think IT needs to maintain a fair amount of control over disaster recovery," Bootes said.

He admits the hype has gone but most organizations recognize they must keep their eye on the ball and keep disaster recovery on the agenda.

The biggest challenge, he said, is cost versus the likely event of a disaster.

When it comes to disaster recovery, VicSuper IT services manager Paul King said it is always a challenge to make sure everything is covered.

King also believes it should remain an IT expense and that is an important area that should be managed by IT.

"I think it's an IT expense but it shouldn't be in isolation from the rest of the business," King said.

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