Poll: Businesses Express Confidence In IT Network Resilience, But Experiences Reveal Otherwise

 CDW LLC, a provider of technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare, recentlyannounced the results of its Business Continuity Straw Poll, based on a survey of 200 Information Technology (IT) decision makers at medium and large U.S. businesses, each of which experienced significant network disruptions since July 2009. The survey investigated how their businesses reacted to the disruptions and the measures they are taking to improve their business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) capabilities for the future.

While 82 percent of the 200 businesses completing the survey felt confident that their IT resources could sustain disruptions and support operations effectively, 97 percent admitted network disruptions had detrimental effects on their businesses in the last year. Further, of the more than 7,000 U.S. businesses invited to complete the survey, 25 percent (1,794) reported experiencing a network disruption of four hours or more within the last year. The Business Continuity Straw Poll estimates conservatively that such network outages cost U.S. businesses $1.7 billion in lost profits last year.

“The survey confirms that while many businesses believe they are prepared for an unplanned network disruption, many are not -- and yet the three most common causes of IT outages are addressable,” said Norm Lillis, CDW vice president, system solutions. Power loss ranked as the top cause of business disruptions over the past year, with one third of businesses reporting it prompted their most recent disruption. Hardware failures caused 29 percent of network outages, followed by a loss of telecom services to facilities (21 percent).

“Through more preparation, testing and improved network accessibility, businesses can improve BC/DR plans and have real confidence in business operations during unplanned disruptions,” Lillis said.

The survey also revealed that businesses need to take advanced preparation more seriously and support employees more effectively with network accessibility. While 53 percent of respondents said employees are instructed or given the option to work from home when a foreseeable network disruption approaches (e.g., a weather event), only a third of businesses activate standby communications and network systems to support increased remote access when warned of such an event. In fact, while respondents reported that, on average, 44 percent of the workforce normally has telework options, they said that only 39 percent of employees could telework during their most recent network outage.

Regardless of the cause of disruption, more than half of businesses (57 percent) reported productivity losses as the top negative effect of their network disruptions, primarily due to reduced access to the network itself or to applications, data and communications systems:

  • Half (51 percent) experienced problems connecting to their IT network from other locations.
  • Half (50 percent) had problems connecting from inside their business locations.
  • Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) said employees could not access the necessary company resources to do their jobs.
  • Almost one-third (29 percent) said employees had problems communicating with each other via internal phone systems and/or e-mail.
  • 28 percent said their networks were slower than expected and could not support the increased traffic from remote locations.

In the wake of their recent network disruptions, many businesses are improving DR capabilities by updating their BC/DR plans (34 percent), extending BC/DR coverage to accommodate disruptions of 72 hours or more (23 percent) or by updating plans for proactive measures ahead of forecasted interruptions or threats (22 percent). Other businesses are focusing closely on connectivity and mobility issues to ensure employees have access to data at all times and from all locations. One in five businesses is not planning any immediate changes to their BC/DR plan.

“No two network disruptions are the same. It is great to see businesses strengthening their plans, and there is always room for improvement. It is critical that businesses test their infrastructure and BC/DR plans at least once a year, to pin-point weaknesses before it is too late,” Lillis continued. “Running a business impact analysis (BIA) can help identify and prioritize BC/DR needs. A good technology partner can help with the BIA and provide an outside perspective on what your businesses needs to survive the unexpected.”

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Today's Enterprise

    Protecting servers and data has evolved rapidly over the past 15-plus years. Early on, concerns centered around the environmental conditions of where servers were housed within a building and the effects of humidity, temperature and air quality on their performance. This led to a better understanding of the need for a controlled environment to maximize equipment lifespan and capacity. It was also a driving force behind consolidating servers in a common space, i.e., the data center. Read Now

  • Study Proves It: Security Awareness Training Reduces Phishing Attacks

    Attackers are increasingly targeting human-based vulnerabilities to infiltrate organizations. Humans have direct access to insider systems and data – any threat actor can easily phish users, steal their credentials and secure keys to the kingdom without having to fight advanced cybersecurity defenses. Studies show social engineering attacks and human errors are behind 68% of all breaches.  Read Now

  • Security Questions Persist After Attempted Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • 4K Video Decoder

    3xLOGIC’s VH-DECODER-4K is perfect for use in organizations of all sizes in diverse vertical sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality, education and commercial premises. 3

  • HD2055 Modular Barricade

    Delta Scientific’s electric HD2055 modular shallow foundation barricade is tested to ASTM M50/P1 with negative penetration from the vehicle upon impact. With a shallow foundation of only 24 inches, the HD2055 can be installed without worrying about buried power lines and other below grade obstructions. The modular make-up of the barrier also allows you to cover wider roadways by adding additional modules to the system. The HD2055 boasts an Emergency Fast Operation of 1.5 seconds giving the guard ample time to deploy under a high threat situation. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3