IT downtime costs UK £2 billion each year

Most businesses these days can't manage without their IT infrastructure, and a new report suggests that when it's down, it costs big - over £2 billion every year.

The report by CA Technologies, entitled "Avoidable Cost of Downtime," claims that an average UK business drops £208,000 every year in lost revenue due to the failure of business-critical IT systems - making a total loss of over £2 billion UK-wide.

With an average of 27 hours of infrastructure downtime per company per year in the UK, it's clear that when a company's technology goes bad it can really cost - but the UK is hardly alone here.

CA Technology's investigation, conducted by research firm Coleman Parkes in July this year, also collected figures from across Europe, and by far the biggest loser when it comes to IT failings is France - an average French company can expect to lose over £420,000 every year due to infrastructure downtime, more than double the UK average.

Not that we've got anything to be particularly proud of, with Italy sitting firmly at the better end of the table with just shy of £29,000 lost per company per year on average.

Chris Ross, vice president of CA's European recovery management section, warns that "with companies increasingly dependent on online services to generate revenue or provide an essential channel of customer communication, the financial impact of outages is becoming a critical issue." Thankfully, Ross goes on to say that "fortunately, much of this cost is avoidable - organisations can tackle it through a re-evaluation of their disaster recovery strategy," and by investing in disaster recovery solutions - which is, handily, where CA Technology comes in to the picture.

While the survey was far from exhaustive - with just 1,808 European businesses canvassed - it provides an interesting insight into just how much a failure to plan for disasters can affect a company's bottom line, and could provide an invaluable tool the next time you need to negotiate the purchase of a hot-swap backup for some expensive piece of infrastructure hardware.

For those wanting the full picture, the complete report is available as a PDF download from CA's ArcServe site.