Half of organizations said IT outages damage their reputation, and 18 percent described the impact as "very damaging."
collectively lose more than 127 million person-hours annually-or an average of
545 person-hours per company-in employee productivity due to IT downtime,
according to a survey sponsored by CA Technologies. This loss is equivalent to
63,500 people being unable to work for an entire year.
survey of 2,000 organizations in North America and Europe also found that IT
outages are frequent and lengthy-substantially damaging companies' reputations,
staff morale and customer loyalty. Despite this, 56 percent of organizations in
North America and 30 percent in Europe don't have a formal and comprehensive
disaster recovery policy.
the findings, the survey revealed each business suffers an average of 14 hours
of downtime per year, during which employees are only able to work at 63
percent of their usual productivity. After systems are back up and running,
organizations lose an average of nine additional hours per year to the time it
takes to recover data. During these times, employee productivity only climbs to
of organizations said IT outages damage their reputation, and 18 percent
described the impact on their reputation as "very damaging." In addition, 44
percent of respondents believe IT downtime damages staff morale, and 35 percent
said it could adversely impact customer loyalty. An incredible 87 percent of
businesses indicated that failure to recover data would be damaging to the
business. Twenty-three percent said this would be "disastrous."
IT downtime-and the resulting quantifiable costs in terms of lost hours and
dollars-is absolutely critical to the performance of our business," said
Zachary Slavin, IT director at Sobel Affiliates, a brokerage firm within Brown
& Brown, an independent insurance intermediary organization. "Since
calculating that a single hour of IT downtime results in 80 lost person-hours
of work and more than $3,000 in costs, Sobel is carefully and proactively
managing our business continuity strategy."
total number of person-hours lost due to avoidable IT outages takes into
account the total number of hours of downtime when systems are offline, the
total number of hours between system restoration and recovery of all data, the
impact on staff productivity during both of these periods, the number of staff
affected and the overall number of avoidable IT outages a year.
are a variety of practical and affordable steps organizations can take to
protect themselves against the adverse business impact of IT outages," said
Steve Fairbanks, vice president of product management in the data management
division of CA Technologies. "Given that these outages are a fact of life-and
that some of the consequences of outages can be irreversible-investments in
improved business continuity are extremely worthwhile."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.