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Are UK business disruptions on the rise?

Sungard Availability Services has released its 2014 UK invocation figures, which show the highest number of incidents since 2009.

Overall incidents of downtime, in which staff are unable to work from their usual office or access business critical systems, rose by over one third (38 percent) compared to 2013, leading to concerns that organizations are failing to sufficiently invest in availability and business continuity strategies and solutions.

While workplace related disruptions, in which the office environment is rendered inaccessible have remained fairly stable – with only a minor increase in 2014 – disruptions due to technology failures have more than doubled, increasing by 140 percent. Sungard AS’ 2014 invocation statistics show that hardware has been the main issue, causing a fifth of all problems (21 percent). The year-on-year spike in technology-related incidents, also including power and communications, is particularly worrying, suggesting that while many organizations are now entirely dependent on their IT systems, they are struggling to maintain them.

As IT has become steadily more complex, there has been a corresponding growth in the take-up of Sungard AS’ Managed Recovery Services and Recover to Cloud solutions – with the former seeing a 411 per cent growth in the last year. Organizations seem to be in the midst of shifting gears in their approach to business recovery and resilience, choosing to outsource their business continuity planning to external providers. Investment in cloud infrastructure is also becoming more popular, though as the technology is in the relatively early stages of implementation for many businesses there is still some way to go before IT strategies match required continuity needs.

Daren Howell, product marketing manager, Sungard Availability Services Operational Risk Management & 'People' Recovery Services, commented: “The daily tasks of managing and maintaining recovery strategies have, unfortunately, never been considered a particularly glamorous aspect of running a business. As we emerge from a long period of economic uncertainty, with businesses operating with a far leaner headcount, it’s no surprise to see that recovery may have slipped off a number of agendas – leaving businesses under serious threat of being unable to survive technology failures. Couple this with the increasing sophistication of today’s IT environments, and the task of building technology recovery processes is simply too difficult for the average organization to take on alone. Small numbers of staff can’t be masters of every IT discipline across increasingly complex hybrid environments of public and private clouds, shadow IT, data centre hosting and on-premise systems. Clearly businesses need third-party help to ensure they can handle the demands of the all-time market.”

Sungard Availability Services’ top three UK customer invocation causes:




1. 21% Hardware

1. 26% Power

1. 34% Power

2. 19% Communications

2. 18% Hardware

2. 19% Hardware

3. 14% Power

3. 18% Other

3. 13% Communications/Other




1. 37% Power

1. 27% Power

1. 27% Hardware

2. 21% Communications

2. 25% Communications

2. 27% Power

3. 16% Hardware

3. 23% Hardware

3. 17% Communications




1. 39% Hardware

1. 35% Hardware

45% Hardware

2. 19% Power

2. 22% Power

31% Power

3. 16% Data Corruption

3.12% Flooding

7% Communications




43% Hardware



26% Terrorism



13% Power




•Date: 16th March 2015 • UK •Type: Article • Topic:: BC statistics

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