Businesses are generally confident about the resilience of their IT systems – until disaster strikes and disruptions ensue.
Tech provider CDW surveyed 200 IT managers at medium and large U.S. enterprises, each of which experienced significant network disruptions during the last 12 months. While 82% of respondents felt confident that their IT resources could sustain disruptions and support operations effectively, 97% admitted network disruptions had detrimental effects on their businesses in the last year.
Among a larger sample of 7,000 U.S. businesses, 25% experienced a network disruption of four hours or more within the last year. CDW’s Business Continuity Straw Poll estimates that such network outages cost U.S. businesses $1.7 billion in lost profits. Most of these disruptions (82%) could have been reduced or avoided by implementing a more comprehensive business continuity/disaster recovery plan, CDW reports.
The top downtime culprits are: power loss, which is blamed for 33% of respondents’ IT service disruptions; hardware failures, which caused 29% of network outages; and a loss of telecom services to facilities, which is cited in 21% of disruptions.
“The survey confirms that while many businesses believe they are prepared for an unplanned network disruption, many are not – and yet the three most common causes of IT outages are addressable,” said Norm Lillis, CDW vice president, system solutions, in a statement.
Another common shortcoming is weak support for telework. More than half of respondents (53%) instructed employees to work from home when there’s advance warning of a potential disruption – such as a weather event – yet only 33% of businesses activated standby communications and network systems to support increased remote access for such an event.
Looking ahead, many businesses plan to improve IT resiliency by updating their business continuity/disaster recovery plans (34%), extending business continuity/disaster recovery coverage to accommodate disruptions of 72 hours or more (23%), or by updating plans to take proactive measures ahead of forecasted interruptions or threats (22%).
CDW’s Business Continuity Straw Poll is available here.
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