Data corruption fastest cause of disruption for businesses

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LONDON - SunGard Availability Services' annual analysis of business disruptions has revealed that data corruption is now the fastest-growing cause of business disruption after more than doubling in 2008. Despite a fall in the number of disaster declarations associated with hardware failure, this remains the single biggest cause, contributing to 39% of invocations.

"These findings, combined with growth in the uptake of hosting and managed services, suggest that more companies are building resilient environments but are failing to appreciate that corruption in one database will be replicated to the failover site," said Keith Tilley managing director UK and executive vice-president, Europe, for SunGard Availability Services. "Companies must take care not to confuse a resilient infrastructure for one that mitigates the risk of data loss, as this simply isn't the case. Disaster recovery is no less relevant today than it has ever been. The most progressive IT departments are now incorporating recovery processes into offsite data vaulting solutions to help ensure the integrity of their data. They appreciate that if they don't, corrupted data might come to light in the event of an emergency recovery, potentially compounding an already serious situation. In today's climate, lost data can easily translate into lost customers."

With power and flooding issues accounting for 32% of invocations in 2008, the logs also identify the growing threat to businesses in 2009 of man-made power and flood incidents. As the recession brings about major changes across UK businesses with companies moving in and out of offices, and an increase in empty office space, SunGard advises extra care should be taken to prevent maintenance works impacting on power and water infrastructure. Leaking pipes or faulty air conditioning can cause major damage to IT equipment, while contractors cutting through power cables, or temporarily disconnecting power sources, can cause huge disruption. Similarly, when the economy does start to recover, there is the strong chance of a wave of mergers of acquisitions, which can present major risks to availability and continuity, if change management is not deployed as systems are switched over and processes aligned.

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