Remote working has not led to an increase in IT downtime, finds Databarracks research

Published: Wednesday, 25 August 2021 07:25

New research by Databarracks has found that 27 percent of surveyed organizations experienced no unplanned IT downtime in the last 12 months, the same figure as in a similar survey in 2019. This is despite widespread remote working and a heavy reliance on connectivity and cloud services.

The findings are from Databarracks’ 2021 Data Health Check. Running since 2008, the annual report surveys over 400 IT decision-makers in the UK on remote working, cyber security, cloud, and IT resilience.

Other key figures from the research include:

Peter Groucutt, Managing Director of Databarracks, said: “Remote working has proven equally reliable as the office since the start of last year, despite its perceived risks.

“Remote working changes your risks, but not necessarily for the worse. Home broadband is far less reliable than resilient business connections, but the risk is spread across your staff.
An outage of Internet at the office will affect all staff whereas home Internet issues will only affect one or some staff.

“This decentralised risk also changes the way that we need to think about resilience. Users’ connectivity and devices are now more critical.

“It’s a similar picture for cloud outages, which also haven’t caused more downtime than previous years.

“Most organizations now operate a hybrid-cloud with a combination of on-premises IT and cloud. This decentralisation of IT is again good news for resilience because it reduces the risk of a complete outage. Incidents for services like Teams or Slack are widely reported because they affect so many organizations but our research shows that cloud outages aren’t causing more downtime.

“The remote working experiment has had a positive impact on the wellbeing of many employees, but this data shows it’s also worked well from an IT resilience standpoint.”

Discussing changes to BYOD policies, Groucutt added: “Since last year, we’ve seen more companies issue all employees with devices. There was no change in the number of organizations who have an entirely BYOD policy, but the companies that had a mix of employee and company-owned devices dropped.

“This is good news from a security perspective. BYOD isn’t necessarily less secure, but company-owned devices are the simplest to manage.

“Overall, there’s much to be optimistic about for the future of remote working. It worked so very well last year when we had no alternative and it will continue to play a big role even when the world can return to the office.”

Groucutt concluded: “The key now is to sustain this momentum. This means preparing for other potential vulnerabilities as hybrid working practices become the norm. This includes having comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place in the event of a large-scale cyber attack or cloud outage.”

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