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Singapore companies ‘not prepared for disasters’

Veronica C. Silva | Dec. 6, 2011
Forty percent of respondents say they don't have an IT disaster recovery plan: Regus study

Despite the fact that the Asia Pacific region is famous for its natural disasters, it is still a surprise that some businesses in the region are not prepared for disaster. But this is exactly what a recent study reveals - that businesses in Singapore are not prepared for disasters.

A recent study conducted by Regus revealed that 40 percent of companies in Singapore do not have an IT disaster recovery plan. Globally, 45 percent of companies surveyed are in the same position.

Singapore was one of the 85 countries included in the global study by Regus, a provider of flexible workplaces.

The study also revealed that businesses are taking a "huge risk" with their companies' shareholder assets by not being prepared for disasters. 

In Singapore, 59 percent of respondents said they do not have a business continuity plan within 24 hours after disaster strikes. This is a little worse than global results at 55 percent.

Regus noted that these results are a cause for concern given the recent flash floods in Singapore that resulted in a standstill in business activities.

Cost issue

Part of the reason for this lack of preparedness is that Singapore firms find the cost of disaster recovery as prohibitive (37 percent). Over two-thirds of Singapore respondents (67 percent) said they would invest in disaster recovery (DR) if the services were "suitably priced".

"Over a third of businesses in Singapore reveal a high perceived cost of DR, but many also report that they would be willing to pay a monthly fee to access a workplace disaster recovery facility in case of emergency," said William Willems, regional vice-president for Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, Regus. "This is an important indication that although too many businesses are taking a gamble, their mentality is changing. As affordable products and services become available around the globe, it is likely that more businesses will finally stop hoping for the best and seriously start planning for the worst."

"The research reveals that, in spite of reports indicating that the average incident can cost up to US$500,000, disaster recovery among Singapore businesses is not as widespread as imagined, particularly when it comes to the workplace," said Willems, citing the Symantec, Disaster Recovery Research Report, 2009.

Globally, large firms, and businesses in the financial services and ICT sectors are better prepared for disasters, the Regus study also noted.


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