Assessment Of It Disaster Recovery Practices In Ethiopian Commercial Banks

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Addis Ababa University


The banking industry is highly reliant on Information Technology to provide efficient and timely services to customers. IT play major role in delivering ubiquitous services regardless of time and space in today's highly competitive business environment. As rivals in the banking services are increasing customers would be uncomfortable with any kind of service interruptions. Intolerable services interruptions and sabotages would damage a given bank's public image making its competitiveness questionable in the long run. Banks need to consider strategic plans on how to make their services seamless even at the time of unpredictable incidents and disasters. They need to have contingency plan in place for restoring the IT services and programs that support the underlying mission critical business functions. The purpose of this study is to assess IT disaster recovery practices of Ethiopian commercial banks. The study employed qualitative method to investigate the IT disaster recovery practices and preparedness in 18 Ethiopian commercial banks. A total of 72 participants comprising 54 respondents with relevant expertise and 18 IT managers were selected for the study using purposive (non-probability) sampling. Data was collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, and analyzed using IBM SPSS Version 23 and Microsoft Office Excel 2007. The results of the analysis were displayed using frequency tables, pie charts and bar graphs. The results of the study show that 75.23% of the respondents analyzed both risks that threaten their business and the impacts they would pose on the business. However only half(51.04%) of the respondents agreed that they have risk limitation mechanism in place. 60.4 % of the respondents have IT disaster recovery plan where as the human aspect of IT disaster recovery planning, plan testing and updating are identified to be components overlooked by the banks. Regarding alternate processing site, majority of the responses(38.1%) indicate the use of cold site followed by hot site (14.3%) and warm site (12%). RAID system, cooling, power and connectivity redundancy, and virtualization constitute the top three system protection and resilience solutions the banks have in place with 73.58%, 66.04% and 60.38% of respondents respectively. None of the banks have considered international standards during IT disaster recovery developments. So as to address the observed gaps and weaknesses, the top management needs to regularly oversee implementation, update and testing of IT disaster recovery planning and preparedness in response to emerging threats.



IT disaster recovery, Commercial Banks