Compliance Barely Registers as an Issue

By | August 3, 2005

Compliance is insignificant relative to disaster recovery and business continuity planning, survey shows Compliance barely registers as an issue for a large majority of UK IT directors, a survey reveals today.

Despite the widespread prominence of Sarbanes Oxley and Basel II both in vendor literature and – consequently – the media, respondents from a cross-section of UK companies say disaster recovery, business continuity, growing data volumes, the familiar Data Protection Act and easier-to-understand Freedom of Information Act are the major drivers in their data strategies, with only six per cent mentioning other US-initiated legislation.

To the question ´Which factors are driving the need for archiving in your organisation?´, disaster recovery and business continuity, cited by 48 per cent, is far and away the most popular reason given. The second most frequently declared factor is the sheer volume of data growth, at 27 per cent. However, even when combined with corporate governance, compliance is offered as a driver by just 22 per cent of respondents.

Asked the question ´If regulatory compliance is a driving need, which [of the following] are impacting your business?´, a surprising 48 per cent of respondents don´t identify regulatory compliance as a factor at all. The key regulations affecting business in the UK remain the Data Protection Act (27%) and the Freedom of Information Act (12%). Only 6 per cent mention Sarbanes Oxley.

Tony Cotterill, CEO of BridgeHead Software, which conducted the survey, said: “This is a bit of a wake-up call for the storage industry: for all that ´compliance´ has been made one of today´s major buzzwords, it seems IT directors know that US compliance regulations affect relatively few of them, and perhaps they realise compliance is largely achievable as a by-product of good, day-to-day, data housekeeping.

“Of course, the twin horses of disaster recovery and business continuity have also been whipped really hard by vendors, and this has been accepted by users who quite rightly identify that disasters don´t respect national borders,” he added.

Despite acknowledging the importance of archiving for backup and disaster recovery purposes, it appears that it´s still something of a dark art for a significant proportion: 15 per cent of respondents are unable to say how long it would take to retrieve a lost file, and 2 per cent admit that they probably wouldn´t be able to retrieve it at all.

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