Companies supplying IT recovery services have been accused of hyping the extent to which serious computer problems disrupt large UK business.
A new report jointly produced by Cranfield School and IBM claims problems caused by system failures are far less serious than recent reports, such as a 1992 KPMG study, have suggested.
According to the report, A Risk Too Far, around 100 of the 300 of the large UK users taking part in the survey experienced computer problems which regularly affected operations. The report criticised the KPMG study which it claimed cited alarmingly high incidences of disruption but made no attempt to analyse the consequences or rate of increase.
When time lost as a result of these problems was calculated in the Cranfield and IBM report, it was found that on average only 1,300 man hours were lost in total as a result of computer-related problems.
Andrew Bytheway of the Cranfield School of Management, said this was a "relatively small amount" and instead of concentrating all their efforts on computer problems, companies should investigate other aspects which might effect the smooth running of their business, such as customer service operations.
"What we found more relevant was that those companies (involved in the survey) considered product delivery and service quality to be the most critical aspect of their business. Yet they were not high on the list of priorities when it came to securing against business discontinuity," Bytheway explained.
The report concluded that business risks for companies are concerned with much more than just continuance of IT support. Risk concerns the entire infrastructure for the whole business.
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