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Human error is the biggest cause of IT disasters: survey

Plan B has conducted a survey to analyse the key factors that cause major SME IT incidents and service failures. The findings show that human error accounted for 47 percent of incidents, followed by server failures at 29 percent and power and communications provider failure at 15 percent. Fire, flood or ‘Acts of God’ accounted for 9 percent of outages.

Human error can include anything from placing a server under an air conditioner - that then leaks, to classic finger trouble - where operators irretrievably break a server and don't have a backup. Other impacting factors identified included a second disk failure - after its mirror has previously failed and not been fixed, or issues, such as deployment failures or bugs in custom code.

Tim Dunger, operations director, Plan B said, “Our results show that human error causes the highest occurrence of service failures, whilst incidents like fire and flood are understandably less common, but do still occur. We also found that quite a lot of incidents, that initially appear to be related to pure hardware or software failure, actually have some form of human error behind them.”


•Date: 17th November 2011 • Region: UK •Type: Article • Topic: BC statistics

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