Survey Of U.S. Government agencies Reveals Teleworks As Essential To Continuity Of Operations And Emergency Preparedness
Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR) the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the results of its groundbreaking Government Action Survey: Status and Progress of Emergency Preparedness and Continuity of Operations (COOP). The survey, commissioned and analyzed by Juniper Networks, reveals significant data on the level of U.S. federal and state/local government agencies’ readiness for various forms of disasters, and for the first time, the criticality of telework to continuing operations under emergency circumstances.
“The survey shows that we are moving in the right direction for emergency preparedness -- more and more government agencies are coming to the realization that telework is a ”must have“ for effective COOP planning,” said Charles Church, CIO, Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate. “Government agencies must continue to collaborate with each other and industry to strengthen our country’s ability to respond to emergencies.”
While 62 percent of government respondents across all sectors surveyed believe that telework, or secure remote access to data and information sharing capabilities, is a critical part of an agency’s COOP capability and 79 percent report that their agency supports telework in some form, only 28 percent actually utilize telework on a routine basis. The use of telework to continue operations in many emergency scenarios is important, but it could become the key to preparing agencies for a scenario such as pandemic flu since the use of “social distancing” to limit the spread of flu could be necessary. Thus, remote working capabilities across all levels of an agency are a key element to help enable continued operations.
Additional key findings of the COOP Government Action Survey include:
Employee safety and the loss/compromise of data topped respondents’ concerns across civilian, defense and state/local government organizations.
When asked to rank their agency’s preparedness to various scenarios, only 8 percent of respondents reported their agency was “very ready” to respond to a pandemic flu event.
Most respondents have taken steps to prepare for COOP (88 percent). While 63 percent reported that their agency is modifying its IT infrastructure to support COOP, 32 percent reported they have committed financial resources to support COOP.
More than 70 percent of respondents believed government-to-government interoperational links are ready to operate under COOP scenarios.
Congress should play a greater role in COOP, according to 76 percent of respondents; 56 percent believe Congress should provide more funding to agencies, and 51 percent believe Congress should require greater COOP planning of agencies.
Results are based on a survey of more than 1,400 respondents from federal civilian, defense, and state/local government organizations, of which nearly 50 percent were at the executive and agency management level. Respondents represented 23 federal departments and agencies, all branches of the Defense Department, 46 states and the District of Columbia. Seventy percent of responses were from outside the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Data were compiled and analyzed during the U.S. government’s third quarter, 2007 fiscal year and have an overall margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent.
“We all know that emergencies can strike anytime. We believe that COOP functionality must be turned on not only in times of crises, but as part of government’s daily routine,” said Haywood Talcove, vice president, Public Sector Americas, Juniper Networks. “The value of the right information in the decision-making process during emergencies can mean the difference between life and death.”
To arm U.S. government agencies with a clear framework for integrating COOP into the enterprise architecture, Juniper Networks is launching the Continuity of Operations Leadership Series for Government, which will start with a foundational document now available and will be followed by six future supplements. The series will provide government agencies a clear path to developing the necessary strategies, policies, concepts of operations, and systems that support mission critical activities under emergency situations and provide incremental capabilities as a course of normal business. For more information on Juniper Networks’ secure remote access solutions or to download a copy of the survey and/or report, please visit: www.juniper.net/coop.
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