The global market for business IT continuity and disaster data recovery solutions will grow from $24.3 billion in 2009 to exceed $39 billion in 2015, according to ABI Research.

Natural or man-made emergencies can shut down computers and servers and can make offices (and entire buildings) uninhabitable or unsafe for extended periods.

To compensate for the unexpected and account for the unpreventable, prudent organizations utilize business continuity products and services plans to keep their enterprises up and running in emergencies, and implement disaster recovery plans and programs against the possibility that a computer, server, office or entire building becomes unusable as a result of a catastrophe.

"As a result of their growing reliance on electronic data and the need for backup, storage and security, US industries such as financial services and healthcare now operate under federal mandates requiring them to have disaster recovery and business continuity programs in place," says ABI Research director Larry Fisher.

"In many other industries, such programs are not legally required, but savvy companies always prepare for the worst."

Fisher notes that business continuity and disaster recovery technologies are becoming less expensive and easier to use, in part because they are being integrated into larger IT systems, and also because they're increasingly taking advantage of aspects of Cloud Computing and virtualization.

Even so, he notes: "Vendors will need to keep their offerings as simple as possible, and to provide customers the broadest possible response, in order to minimize the complexity that could challenge increased acceptance of these technologies."