Just one-third of firms could survive more than a day without IT systems

ransomware stock image featuring binary code in a room colored in red
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The critical impact of IT downtime has been laid bare in a new report which found that just 32% of firms could survive more than one day without IT systems. 

A study from Databarracks, which surveyed 500 UK-based IT decision makers, highlighting the potentially disastrous consequences of IT downtime at firms ranging from small businesses to large enterprises.

Last year, 68% of IT leaders said their firm could survive less than one day without access to IT systems compared to just 46% in 2017.

Databarracks said the study underlines the increased dependence on technology at firms across the country, but also the frailty of business continuity in the event of a major incident.

Cyber security incidents were identified as the most frequent cause of IT downtime, marking 24% of all incidents. The study noted that cyber security overtook hardware failures as the biggest cause of downtime in 2023, with cloud storage-related incidents ranked third.

Cyber security incidents were also cited as the biggest cause of data loss, making up 52% of all data loss compared to 42% as a result of software failure, and 27% as a result of hardware failure.

Cyber security has been a growing concern for IT decision makers in recent years. In 2018, security accounted for only 10% of IT downtime. By 2020, this had risen to 23%, the study said.

The study suggested security teams are also struggling to contend with growing threats over the last year. According to the report, just 41% of IT teams said that they’d reviewed their supply chain vulnerabilities. 

That means that over half of all businesses had no visibility over their supply chains over the course of 2023.


A webinar from Cloudflare on how to automate your API security

(Image credit: Cloudflare)

Discover how you can automate your API security


Though IT budgets continue to increase year-on-year, totaling a 96% increase over the last six years, IT systems still appear both increasingly vulnerable and targeted, Databarracks warned.

As critical IT system modernization deadlines loom (like those of ERP systems), many companies are running out of time to begin the migration to a modern system. 

These critical systems link finance, accounting, HR, supply chain partners and more.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.