Governance, Risk & Compliance

Governance, Risk & Compliance

March 17, 2011

Report: Disruptions Within Businesses Can Greatly Deplete Confidence in Strength of IT Networks

The data and communications network is the base of almost all businesses, but what are the potential repercussions to a business, if the IT Network stops working properly? The business is usually temporarily paralyzed—or in extreme cases greatly damaged beyond repair.

Most businesses will take precautionary measures in order to protect themselves if a network shut down does occur, however the business can still be greatly affected from unavoidable circumstances such as power outages, cyber security assaults, loss of telecom services, natural disasters and more.

CDW (News - Alert) recently surveyed 200 IT managers at both medium and large sized businesses that have experienced a significant network disruption in the past 12 months, to look at how these disruptions altered their businesses. CDW especially focused on what the business impact of the disruptions was, and what steps, if anything, they are taking to improve their operations to ensure an experience like this does not happen again.

Eighty-two percent of businesses surveyed said that, prior to the disruptions, they were positive that their IT resources were prepared to support its daily business operations, even when facing a potential disruption.

However, 97 percent said their businesses suffered from severe side effects from these network disruptions that occurred over the past year.

The survey completed by CDW strongly enforced the point that no matter how sure businesses were that they could completely steer clear of, avoid, or quickly overcome a significant disruption, 25 percent of U.S. businesses (small, medium, and large) who participated in the survey, experienced a network disruption of an extended amount of time—four hours or more within the last 12 months.

CDW estimates that network outages have cost U.S. businesses upwards of $1.7 billion in lost profits last year. This figure was based on the average number of days that respondents’ businesses were closed because of the network disruptions, as well as the average U.S. business profits earned per day.

The survey results also showed that 82 percent of the most significant network

disruptions that U.S. businesses encounter could be drastically reduced or even completely avoided by simply using measures that should be included in any business continuity/disaster recovery plan.

The Business Continuity Institute has declared March 21-25, “Business Continuity Awareness Week.” The focus for 2011 will be on the three most important reasons why organizations should take business continuity management seriously including protecting value and reputation in a crisis, delivering operational resilience, and providing transparent corporate governance and risk oversight.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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