Articles

Workplace outages due to environmental neglect higher than ever

Why are workplace invocations higher than ever?

Our analysis of 2016 invocations reveals that issues related to the office environment are increasingly the reason why organisations invoke their recovery services. In fact, 8 out of 10 Sungard Availability Services invocations are due to workplace incidents.

While the threat from malicious cyberattacks 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, while investment in appropriately robust communications systems for the workplace as a whole 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 our annual Availability Trends report also shows that while 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 AS 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 AS 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."

Learn more about Recovery Services from Sungard AS, or if you have specific requirements you'd like to discuss in more detail, please contact us.