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New research carried out by City Lifeline has revealed that 60 percent of all UK SMEs have been affected by IT failures through unexpected occurrences. Out of the companies which were surveyed, 40 percent had no IT system available for more than six hours, which left the workforce unable to deal with customer queries, run essential operations or access business information which was crucial to the business.

Irrespective of the cause of IT failure, whether road works damaging cables or failing equipment, the loss of IT results in financial loss. The cost of lost productivity and business for just one day varies among businesses, with a micro business forfeiting £1,800 a day and a medium enterprise losing around £14,000 for each day lost.

A major incident may cause permanent loss of data which can cause huge losses for a business, maybe even forcing closure. Data provided by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that 90 percent of SMEs who have suffered a major IT failure will be forced into closure within 24 months. Despite this, only 23 percent of companies back up data daily and fewer than half back up files on a weekly basis. The managing director at City Lifeline, Roger Keenan said:

“For around two thirds of respondents the resulting downtime lasted for at least half a day. Six hours of downtime effectively amounts to a lost working day. This inevitably means reduced productivity, missed business and unhappy customers and suppliers, something many smaller firms simply cannot afford.”

Outsourcing or having an effective back up system is essential to avoid a financial disaster.

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