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Communication failure becomes the top cause of UK business continuity incidents

Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) has published details of the causes of customer invocations of its recovery services during 2015. The list shows that communication issues have become the top reason for UK businesses to invoke Sungard AS’ 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 percent decrease compared to 2014’s figures.

Communications-related failures were a third higher in 2015 than they were in 2014 and now account for over 25 percent of all invocations. This year saw the highest level of communication problems since the annual analysis began over two decades ago.

Invocations due to technology dropped by 71 percent, however workplace issues, in which the office environment is rendered inaccessible, leapt up by a substantial 37 percent: the biggest jump since 2009.

The analysis of Sungard Availability Services’ annual Availability Trends report suggests 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, virtualized and dedicated IT solutions that have seen Technology Recovery declarations fall from a high of 109 in 2002 to a mere 7 in 2015, have yet to deliver the same business availability improvements for the workforce. Yet, as organizations 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. Companies therefore need to take a holistic approach to their continuity and resilience strategies. As well as recovering their mission critical technology and IT systems, they also need to ensure their ability to limit downtime for their workforce.

The increased take-up of Sungard AS’ disaster recovery as a service offerings, as well as a rise in investment for dedicated workspaces, demonstrate that businesses are wakening up to the need to invest in comprehensive and robust recovery strategies that will address their people, not just their systems. Such a holistic focus will enable organizations to meet ever-growing customer and stakeholder demands for both consistent and constant levels of availability.

To view the related infographic ‘A Disruptive Decade: The trends that have shaped business availability’, click here (PDF).

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