FierceTelecom: Do you expect new growth in AT&T's disaster recovery and cloud computing business segments this year and next?
Costello: The good news is that 83 percent of the recent survey respondents have a business continuity plan. That's up 14 percent over the last five years. Three out of four executives see business continuity as the top priority. We're seeing this trend increase more recently due to natural disasters, security, terrorist threats, and of course increased regulatory requirements. Of the Gulf Coast areas that we surveyed, 61 percent had tested their disaster recovery plans mainly due to the hurricane and floods.
FierceTelecom: When you bring your customers into these disaster recovery exercises, do they cite common concerns or does it depend on the segment itself?
Costello: The common concerns are around their ability to communicate and the ability to have at least a minimal set of IT systems and functions running in the event of a disaster. It's really focusing on the business process and the critical IT systems that need to be running in the event of a disaster.
If you look at verticals such as healthcare, financial services and State&Local (S&L) government agencies, there are going to be some specific nuances based on the vertical that is at hand. As an example, the S&L governments have specific alerts that they will issue when they are dealing with a disaster. Our surveys indicated that six out of 10 of those companies we surveyed implement protective actions as a result of S&L government alerts that are issued.
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