Survey: Law Firm Technology Professionals Rank Computer Hardware, Software Failures As Bigger Threats to IT Infrastructures, Ahead of Natural Disasters Like Fires, Floods

Firms agree disaster recovery plans are critical, worry about lack of


Nov 16, 2006, 00:00 ET from Unitrends

    COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A new worldwide survey of IT
 professionals at law firms reveals that IT professionals at law firms are
 more concerned about the immediate impact of IT failures, or so-called
 "daily disasters," than they are about larger natural disasters that
 routinely garner headlines.
     The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), the premier peer
 networking organization in the legal market, conducted the survey in early
 November. The results from more than 300 law firms, being reported today,
 show respondents rated computer software failure (54%), computer hardware
 failure (45%) and lost or corrupted files (42%) as "high" potential
 threats, as opposed to fires (31%), tornadoes or hurricanes (19%), and
 floods (14%).
     The survey also reports more than seven out of ten of them are
 concerned that they may not have the budget they need to implement a
 complete disaster recovery plan, and finds the funding concern is
 especially pronounced among smaller law firms, those with 250 or fewer
 employees; more than one-third of survey respondents from those firms said
 they have not been given the adequate budget needed to meet their disaster
 recovery needs; almost half said they have been given funding, but only "to
 some degree."
     The survey also found that 70 percent of respondents expressed concern
 about their ability to recover critical data quickly enough to satisfy
 their firm's ability to do business, saying they are less than "very
 confident;" 77 percent of firms of 250 or fewer employees said it would
 take hours, even days, to recover key data and resume operations.
     "The survey results clearly confirm our belief that smaller and
 mid-sized firms face the critical need to protect their business systems
 and data, yet frequently perceive that they do not have the adequate
 financial resources to do so," said Sterling Wharton, Chief Executive
 Officer at Unitrends, the industry leader in making IT disasters
 insignificant events at small and mid- sized enterprises. "Like many
 mid-sized enterprises, they are seeking a cost- effective solution that
 enables them to rapidly recover their systems and data when IT failures and
 disasters occur." Wharton said that Unitrends' complete line of Rapid
 Recovery System(TM) appliances are specifically designed to address the
 disaster recovery issues covered in the survey. The appliances, he noted,
 are optimized for speed with disk-based backup and recovery, and feature
 integrated benefits like total system recovery, support across more than
 two dozen platforms and built-in capacity for offsite data vaulting.
     Wharton also stressed that firms of all sizes must prepare and
 regularly test a written disaster recovery plan. The ILTA survey reveals
 that while half of the responding law firms claim to have a written plan in
 place, fewer than 30 percent have either tested the plan to ensure its
 viability, or do not have a plan at all. Again, that trend is more
 prevalent among smaller and mid-sized firms: only three of eight firms with
 less than 250 employees that responded to the survey (37.5%) have tested a
 disaster recovery plan, leaving them susceptible to far greater damage when
 trouble occurs.
     "Ensuring recovery of data following systems failures or disasters is
 essential to the survival of any business. And law firms have an additional
 responsibility as trusted custodians of their clients' data," said Randi
 Mayes, ILTA's executive director. "As an industry, we are acutely aware of
 the need to protect data and have it rapidly accessible at any given point.
 Our recent BC/DR survey points out the need for us to be even more diligent
 in our efforts. Those firms that have not implemented or tested a recovery
 plan must recognize this critical objective, investigate solutions and
 provide sufficient funding to implement their plans."
     A summary of the survey's findings is available at
     About Unitrends
     Unitrends is the industry leader in making IT disasters insignificant
 events at small and mid-sized enterprises, and a pioneer in delivering
 Rapid Business System Recovery solutions to the market. Unitrends' full
 line of integrated data and system protection appliances provide powerful
 backup and recovery capabilities, helping firms safeguard the information
 and operating systems that keep them in business. More information on
 Unitrends is available from the company's website, or by
 calling +1.803.454.0300.

SOURCE Unitrends