London, United Kingdom: 11 May 2017Sungard Availability Services ® (Sungard AS), a leading provider of information availability through managed IT, cloud and recovery services, today revealed that issues related to the office environment are an increasing reason for organisations to invoke their recovery services. In fact, 8 out of 10 invocations* are due to workplace incidents.

While the threat from malicious cyber attacks continues to grow and dominate headlines, this year’s data shows that the physical workplace environment is becoming increasingly vulnerable. Compared to the previous year, the number of invocations resulting from a workplace issue, in which the office environment is subsequently rendered inaccessible, have grown by 200%. In fact, 2016 saw the highest level of environmental issues since the annual analysis began over two decades ago. Companies are in danger of neglecting their physical surroundings, as they focus efforts on ensuring a more robust and secure virtual infrastructure, such neglect could have serious consequences for them, as well as their employees and customers. For example, something as simple as maintaining power to the workplace may seem a given, but power failures continue to hold second place as the largest cause of invocation failure in the workplace office environment. These types of invocations are on the rise for the third successive year; in absolute terms increasing 50% on 2015, whilst as a percentage of total workplace outages they now account for one in four failures (24%) up from the one in five impact of previous years 19% (2015) and 18% (2014). With 21st century digital initiatives being power dependent, such failures stand to undermine the very progress organisations seek to achieve as they undergo transformative IT programmes.

Meanwhile, issues arising from communications-related failures have remained at exactly the same level as last year and remain the leading cause of business invocations. Despite challenges such as lengthy disruptions caused by rail strikes, the analysis reveals two areas of concern: that businesses are still not equipping their workforce with reliable means to communicate, whilst investment in appropriately robust communications systems for the workplace lags behind that for IT (with not even a single communications-related outage being reported by Technology Recovery customers). As working practices continue to move towards a more flexible model, it’s more important than ever that organisations take steps to ensure their employees can reliably stay in communication with their colleagues, customers, and other important stakeholders.

The analysis of Sungard Availability Services’ annual Availability Trends report** also shows that whilst technology invocations are maintaining a downward trend, issues relating to hardware failures increased by 140% this year. Noticeably, these customers invoked QuickShip services – the delivery of IT equipment – meaning that it was likely the failure occurred on the IT hardware under their control.

Commenting on the latest results, Daren Howell, Product Marketing Manager, Sungard Availability Services Operational Risk Management & 'People' Recovery Services, said: “It’s clear from this year’s data that not enough investment is being made to ensure facilities are properly maintained. Companies cannot afford to neglect the environment in which they house their people and hardware otherwise they risk seriously impacting their ability to service customers and potential squander their position in the market. Our very own Buckingham Palace is a good example of this – due for its biggest refurbishment since the Second World War, the cost of the project has a current price tag of £360 million to carry out essential work to mitigate against ‘catastrophic building failure’.”

“This is just one element that could impact business availability. A joined-up approach that unites all aspects of a business’ operating model is the key to ensuring true availability.”

Keith Tilley, executive vice president & vice-chair for Sungard Availability Services added: “In today’s ruthless and fast-paced business environment where customer loyalty can turn on a dime, it is more vital than ever for companies to avoid any reason for customers and employees to look elsewhere. This is easier said than done when the IT environment is increasingly complex and digital skills are at a premium. It’s becoming increasingly impossible for companies to go it alone as they just don’t have the in-house resources and expertise required for such complex IT environments. This is where we can support – providing the much-needed third-party support that allows companies to maintain their position in the market and even look to challenge it through new innovations. Having peace of mind that their IT is in hand gives them the freedom to focus on driving their businesses forward.”

Sungard Availability Services’ Top Three UK Customer Invocation Causes 2005 – 2016




=1. 21% Communications

1. 27% Communications

1. 21% Hardware

=1. 21% Power

2. 16% Power

2. 19% Communications

=1. 21% Hardware

3. 14% Fire / 14% Flood

3. 14% Power




1. 26% Power

1. 34% Power

1. 37% Power

2. 18% Hardware

2. 19% Hardware

2. 21% Communications

3. 18% Other

3. 13% Communications/Other

3. 16% Hardware




1. 27% Power

1. 27% Hardware

1. 39% Hardware

2. 25% Communications

2. 27% Power

2. 19% Power

3. 23% Hardware

3. 17% Communications

3. 16% Data Corruption




1. 35% Hardware

1. 45% Hardware

1. 43% Hardware

2. 22% Power

2. 31% Power

2. 26% Terrorism

3.12% Flooding

3. 7% Communications

3. 13% Power

* An invocation occurs when a Sungard Availability Services customer calls upon Sungard AS to action their Business Continuity, Technology Recovery or Workplace Recovery arrangements.

**Availability Trends (formerly known as Invocations) research reports annually on factors impacting the uptime of Sungard Availability Services’ UK customers and/or how they are ensuring business as usual.

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About Sungard Availability Services:

Sungard Availability Services ("Sungard AS") is a leading provider of critical production and recovery services to global enterprise companies. Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe to understand their business needs and provide production and recovery services tailored to help them achieve their desired business outcomes.  Leveraging more than 40 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help customers manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. To learn more, visit or call 08082388080. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Media Contact/s

Hannah Macleod
Tel:  0207 592 1200

Karen Wentworth
Sungard Availability Services
Tel: 484-582-1354

Representing techUK (formerly Intellect), the trade association, Sungard AS helped define ISO 27036 – the IT standard relating to information security in supplier relationships (including cloud services) as a member of SC27.  Previously in a similar arrangement, Sungard AS helped develop both business continuity management standard BS 25999, now ISO 22301 and IT continuity management standard ISO 27031.  Within the UK, Sungard AS became the first business continuity provider to secure certification against the BS 25999 Standard, which it retained in 2010. Sungard AS is also certified to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001, and compliant with IGSoC, PCI DSS and ISAE3402.

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