• More than half (62 percent) of leaders admit to business disruption causing stress-related illnesses and/or damage to their mental well-being
  • CIOs/CTOs particularly affected, as 75 percent admit suffering in such instances
  • Irish companies on average report losing €390,956 annually due to downtime, with 8 percent losing more than €1 million

Dublin – June 19, 2019 – A study released today reveals the scale of the battle Irish business leaders face when business disruption hits, as a staggering 62 percent admit to suffering from stress-related illnesses and/or damage to their mental well-being in the aftermath of cyber attacks, IT outages or network failures.

In today’s hyper-connected world, with the C-Suite inextricably tied up with a company’s brand identity, research from Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) highlights the extent to which senior executives are linked to their company’s resilience. Findings from the study of 101 business leaders in companies with 500+ employees in Ireland, found a staggering 75 percent of CIOs/CTOs have suffered from stress-related illnesses and/or damage to their mental well-being after a crisis. When asked who takes responsibility at their company in the event of a crisis, almost half (49 percent) of respondents pointed to the CIO/IT Director/CTO, compared to just over a third  who stated the CEO (34 percent), going some way to explaining why such a high percentage of CIOs/CTOs are currently suffering.

One of the contributing factors to the stress-related illnesses and damage to business leaders’ mental well-being is the backlash that they receive, both online and in person, following an incident. More than 2 in five respondents (42 percent) state that they experience abuse online or verbally, and in some cases even physical threats. Moreover, over one in ten (11 percent) say that this criticism extends to their family and friends who also receive abuse verbally and/or physically.

The results demonstrate the real impact that having an effective resilience strategy has not only on the business and its operations, but also on the individuals in key leadership roles who are held accountable for it.

“This research has identified a new Resilience Imperative in Ireland, supporting the personal impact on the individuals involved,” comments Noel O’Grady, Sales Director at Sungard AS Ireland. “The fact that both CIOs and CTOs are now increasingly aware of the ramifications of a failure on their watch, shows how important this has become. Having a resilient mindset, a plan in place, and the technological know-how to weather different IT storms will ensure companies of all sizes adhere to the Resilience Imperative.”

Companies have long known the financial and reputational impact of crises, with 55 percent experiencing a decreased share price following business disruption, and this research has revealed the negative personal impact it can have on a firm’s leadership. Over one in five (20 percent) respondents state that a result of suffering cyberattacks, IT outages or network failures, have resulted in a CEO departure. Again, the impact on the wider board members is seen with 27 percent of respondents saying that the causes of business disruption have resulted in other board level resignations.

Despite cyber-attacks (96 percent), IT outages (94 percent) and network failures (98 percent) being the top three crises faced in the past 12 months, the findings from the study highlight that these are not all expected to be the biggest tests to Irish business resilience over the next year:

  • Just under a third of respondents (32 percent) think changing global trade agreements will be the biggest test to their company’s resilience in the next 12 months
  • Almost 1 in 5 respondents (18 percent) think their biggest test will be cyber-attacks
  • 1 in 6 respondents (16 percent) think Brexit will be the biggest test to their company’s resilience in the next 12 months

About this research

This research of 101 C-suite respondents in companies with 500+ employees in Ireland was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Sungard Availability Services® in March 2019 as part of a wider piece of resilience research of 851 C-suite respondents in the UK, Ireland and US.

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 www.sungardas.com or call 0808 2526 624. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Media Contact
Simon Skinner
Sungard Availability Services
Tel: +44 (0)7944 878 207
simon.skinner@sungardas.com

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