Survey shows that new IT graduates aren't prepared to assure business continuity

SteelEye Technology released a preview of results from its 2nd annual SteelEye Technology Business Continuity Index, a survey examining adoption levels, best practices and attitudes regarding business continuity among IT professionals and C-level executives.

Top-level findings revealed today showed that even as business continuity threats continue to rise, universities and graduate-level information technology programs are not arming their students with the skills they need to prevent or recover from IT disasters.

While 87% of respondents indicated they think the average IT organization faces the same or more threats to business continuity than it did a year before, a strong majority (61%) said that today's college and graduate IT programs do not place enough emphasis on skills to implement business continuity.

Similarly, 60% of all organizations said that the average IT organization is no more prepared for these threats to business continuity than it was a year previously. And among respondents from organizations with an admitted business need for disaster recovery or business continuity protection, the top reason given for avoiding investment was the lack of skills to implement it.

"It's very clear that there's a skills gap that needs to be addressed when it comes to the expertise needed to assure business continuity," said Bob Williamson, Vice President for SteelEye Technology. "While we like to think our offerings make the entire undertaking much simpler, the fact remains that universities and graduate programs need to take a leadership role by evolving their programs to keep pace with today's biggest IT challenges."

To help address the gap in skill set, 79% of respondents said they are focusing on adding technology more than IT personnel resource in their efforts to assure business continuity.

Improvement may be in sight, however, if the academic community follows the lead of C-level executives. 81% of surveyed IT managers felt their CEOs considered business continuity a top priority and two-thirds (66%) reported that they felt their CEOs understood what IT teams needed in order to assure business continuity.

"The commercial sector is dedicating significant resources to averting IT disasters so it's vital that the academic community support this trend in their curricula," added Williamson. "Protecting business continuity should be a key learning for today's information technology students."