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Hardware failure top business threat, says report

Power disruptions leading to hardware failures are still the most serious risk to UK business continuity, according to a new report.

Hardware failure and power outages continue to top the list of reason for invoking disaster recovery or business continuity plans, according to the second-annual UK report of its kind.

But SunGard Availability Services UK's report on the major cause of business disruptions also found the proportion of flood-related customer invocations grew dramatically in 2007 as a result of heavy summer flooding, up from six per cent in 2006 to 12 per cent in 2007.

Hardware failures accounted for 35 per cent of invocations in 2007, down from 45 per cent in 2006. The second most common cause was once again power-related disruptions, which were responsible for 22 per cent of the total (down from 31 per cent in 2006).

Keith Tilley, SunGard's executive vice president for UK and Europe, said hardware failure is relatively straightforward to plan around. "The fact that it remains the number one reason for invocation indicates that our message - information availability should be considered at the highest levels of the organisation - has not yet got through," he said.

Coming in third, just ahead of the risk of flooding, communications were the cause of seven per cent of the total number of customer invocations. The report found 'denial of access' related calls increased three-fold in 2007 compared to the previous year. A further five per cent of invocations were due to data corruption.

Other examples included customers being unable to access their building due to its collapse; customers requiring alternative workspace due to denial of access and environmental restrictions caused by a local outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease and bomb alerts.

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