More than 60 percent of IT departments did not have formal plans and procedures in place to deal with the blackout, according to a recent survey of U.S. companies conducted by Info-Tech Research Group, a technology research firm. Although more than 76 percent of companies surveyed said that the blackout had an impact on their organization, most of them admitted that they were not sufficiently prepared.

"I think that this blackout demonstrated that most IT departments, especially those in midsize companies, are still flying by the seat of their pants," said Jason Livingstone, Aaalyst at Info-Tech Research Group. "Disaster recovery planning is simply not on their list of priorities."

Eight-two (82) percent of companies are concerned that another blackout will hit their area within the next twelve months, and they are taking steps to ensure that they will be better prepared for the next time. "On a positive note, I think that this blackout was a wake-up call for a lot of companies," said Livingstone. "63 percent of those surveyed said that they were either going to create a new disaster recovery plan, or update an existing plan."

Other than reviewing and updating their plans, the study also showed that companies are looking into other precautions. 20 percent said that they were planning on purchasing a backup generator, and another 18 percent said that they were going to review their agreements with their service providers.

One other piece of insight from the survey that will send shivers down the spines of managers everywhere: while 76 percent of IT managers said that the blackout had an impact on their company, 67 percent of them said that it had no financial impact whatsoever. This suggests that IT and business still have not bridged the gap. 13 percent said that the blackout cost their organization more than $5 million dollars.

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