Remote working not led to an increase in IT downtime, claims research

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New research by Databarracks has revealed 27% of organisations experienced no unplanned IT downtime in the last 12 months. This is despite widespread remote working and a heavy reliance on connectivity and cloud services.

The findings are from Databarracks’ 2021 Data Health Check. Running since 2008, the annual report surveys over 400 IT decision-makers in the UK on remote working, cybersecurity, cloud and IT resilience.

Other key figures from the research include:

  • Cybersecurity issues were the biggest cause of downtime for 13% of businesses but showed no uplift on the previous year
  • Connectivity problems accounted for 16% of downtime and cloud outages 6%, again showing no significant change on the previous year
  • 49% of devices used by staff are owned by the company, up from 45% in 2020 – steps are being taken to further increase security

Says Peter Groucutt, Managing Director of Databarracks:

“Remote working has proven equally reliable as the office since the start of last year, despite its perceived risks.

“Remote working changes your risks, but not necessarily for the worse. Home broadband is far less reliable than resilient business connections, but the risk is spread across your staff.

“An outage of internet at the office will affect all staff whereas home internet issues will only affect one or some staff.

“This decentralised risk also changes the way that we need to think about resilience. Users’ connectivity and devices are now more critical.

“It’s a similar picture for cloud outages, which also haven’t caused more downtime than previous years.

“Most organisations now operate a hybrid-cloud with a combination of on-premises IT and cloud. This decentralisation of IT is again good news for resilience because it reduces the risk of a complete outage. Incidents for services like Teams or Slack are widely reported because they affect so many organisations but our research shows that cloud outages aren’t causing more downtime.

“The remote working experiment has had a positive impact on the wellbeing of many employees, but this data shows it’s also worked well from an IT resilience standpoint.”

Discussing changes to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, Groucutt adds: “Since last year, we’ve seen more companies issue all employees with devices. There was no change in the number of organisations that have an entirely BYOD policy, but the companies that had a mix of employee and company-owned devices dropped.

“This is good news from a security perspective. BYOD isn’t necessarily less secure, but company-owned devices are the simplest to manage.

“Overall, there’s much to be optimistic about for the future of remote working. It worked so very well last year when we had no alternative and it will continue to play a big role even when the world can return to the office.”

View the online report here:

Download the full report here:

Chris Price
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