IT Failure And Power Challenge UK Business Continuity

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ICM statistics reveal UK businesses are highly sensitive to IT failures as UK power grid reliability worsens

Statistics released today show that more than 80 percent of business continuity invocations last year were due to hardware failures, as IT downtime continues to be the main cause of business disruption to UK businesses.

The figures, released by business continuity provider ICM Continuity Services, also found that more than 50 percent of hardware failure invocations were a result of the customer not having adequate maintenance cover in place to protect their equipment against failures.

Cutting costs and corners

ICM said its data was based on the number and nature of invocations of business continuity plans from a regional customer base of 2,000 companies.

John Mills, service delivery director at ICM, commented that companies were more often relying on the services of providers like his as an emergency fix, having reduced IT maintenance to save operating expense.

“Many businesses are continuing to cut costs by not obtaining the level of IT support they need and simply hoping that their equipment will be covered under warranty or hold out for another year – unfortunately this is not the case and could prove to be more costly than the support originally contracted,” Mills said.

He said companies should ensure they have adequate IT service provider cover to fix issues quickly onsite rather than invoke full business continuity plans and recover systems from scratch.

Power-hungry IT operations

The statistics also found that more UK companies were invoking business continuity plans due to local power grid outages.

Mills added: “Today’s emerging technologies are becoming increasingly power hungry… As we move closer to the 2012 Olympics and the closure of carbon emitting power stations, it will really test whether the grid can cope with the demand; this is not an issue that just affects London – it affects the whole of the UK.”

The Federation of Small Businesses recently said the bad weather that hit in 2010 cost the UK between £600 million and £1 billion every day.

“What our research shows is that business continuity is now more than just planning for the extreme events such as a flooding, snow, fire or terrorist activity; it is about preparing your business for the everyday challenges that could occur, such as loss of IT and power failure, that collectively can have a huge cost to business whilst not hitting the headlines,” stated Mike Osborne, ICM managing director.

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