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Communication issues have for the first time been named as the top reason for UK businesses to invoke recovery services by a provider of managed IT, cloud and recovery services.
Overall, the number of downtime incidents, in which staff are unable to work from their usual office or access business critical systems, remained largely the same – with only a five per cent decrease compared to 2014’s figures. Despite the minor drop, Sungard Availability Services raises concerns that organisations are still not investing in maintaining business availability for that most important of resources – their people.
Notably, issues arising from communications-related failures have jumped up by a third and now account for over 25 per cent of all total invocations. This year saw the highest level of communication problems since the annual analysis began over two decades ago. And while invocations due to technology dropped by 71 per cent, workplace issues, in which the office environment is rendered inaccessible, went up 37 per cent – the biggest jump since 2009.
Sungard Availability Services suggests in its annual Availability Trends report that while technology resilience has been prioritised, enterprises may be neglecting other important factors in maintaining availability: namely, people and processes. The advances in managed, virtualised and dedicated IT solutions that have seen Technology Recovery declarations fall from a high of 109 in 2002 to a mere seven in 2015, have yet to deliver the same business availability improvements for the workforce. Yet, as organisations continue to adopt a more flexible and agile approach to work – with flexible hours, remote working and geographically distributed teams – lines of communications between colleagues and business departments have become increasingly central to sustaining day to day operations, the firm says.
Daren Howell, senior manager solutions marketing – availability, recovery and continuity, Sungard Availability Services, said: “From reputational damage to missing out on sales and the subsequent loss of customer trust; the cost of downtime is simply too high for modern businesses to contemplate. With ever more demanding customers, recovery and continuity has become a lynchpin in enterprise success. It is vital that organisations understand the importance of a joined up strategy – one that unites all aspects of their operating model, from the technology through to the people and processes. Holding any of these areas in isolation simply will not work. True availability can only come from a united approach which addresses all sides of the enterprise.”
And Keith Tilley, executive vice president, global sales and customer services management, Sungard Availability Services added: “Building and maintaining the kind of sophisticated continuity strategy needed to ensure availability for today’s modern organisations is a complex task, fraught with any number of potential pitfalls. Doing it alone is a near-impossibility for organisations that often lack the in-house resources and expertise needed to manage such an intricate and multifaceted problem.”