IT system downtime costs firms £1.3m a year

Unplanned IT system downtime is costing companies more than $2 million (£1.27 million) each year and preventing them from meeting growing demands for 24/7 availability, according to a new study.

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Unplanned IT system downtime is costing companies more than $2 million (£1.27 million) each year and preventing them from meeting growing demands for 24/7 availability, according to a new study.

The Veeam Availability Report 2014 carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of data protection specialist Veeam, surveyed senior 760 senior IT decisions from medium to large firms globally. It found that 82 percent of respondents are unable to meet their business’ need for high system availability, with firms suffering one outage a month on average.

Furthermore the report contends that IT leaders are coming under increased pressure to avoid IT failures which result in lost revenues, data loss and damage to reputation. The most common factor is demand for more frequent real-time interactions with customers, partners and suppliers (cited by 65 percent of respondents), followed by the need to access applications across time zones (56 percent), and employees working outside regular hours (54 percent). Meanwhile 53 percent pointed to an increasing level of automation for decision-making and transactions.

“The availability of IT is more important than ever. Yet businesses globally are being failed by an IT industry that has led them to believe they have to accept downtime,” said Ratmir Timashev, CEO at Veeam.

“This isn’t acceptable. Organisations can’t afford to lose millions of dollars from IT failures, nor can they continue to gamble with data availability.”

He added: “Organisations just need to throw away what they’ve been told for years about availability and demand better. If every organisation does this, then in five years application availability will become a redundant topic as consumers and employees across the planet access what they want, when they want it.”  

The research also asserts that despite ongoing investments in modernising data centre infrastructure, many business lack adequate back-up capabilities required to improve availability.

Respondents claimed that, in order to meet business targets, they would need to reduce the time required to recover mission-critical data from an average of 2.86 hours to 1.73 hours - and perform backup 1.5 times as often as they do now, reducing the intervals from 4.81 to 3.19 hours on average.

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