Plan B has conducted a survey to analyse the key factors that cause major SME IT incidents – resulting in service failures. The findings reveal that human error accounted for 47% of incidents, followed by server failures at 29% and power and communications provider failure at 15%. Fire, flood or acts of God accounted for 9% of outages.

The Plan B disaster recovery analysis showed that many IT incidents are directly related to ‘human error’. These can include anything from placing a server under an air conditioner – that then leaks, to classic finger trouble – where operators irretrievably break a server and don’t have a backup. Other impacting factors identified included a second disk failure – after its mirror has previously failed and not been fixed, or issues, such as deployment failures or bugs in custom code.

Tim Dunger, operations director, Plan B said, “Our results show that human error causes the highest occurrence of service failures, whilst incidents like fire and flood are understandably less common, but do still occur. We also found that quite a lot of incidents, that initially appear to be related to pure hardware or software failure, actually have some form of human error behind them.

According to Plan B, power and communications failures proved to be reasonably common but are often quite short lived, and because most companies don’t have a recovery service that can get them working again very quickly, they tend to just tough them out. A key problem for companies is usually knowing how long the service is likely to be out for and then deciding when it’s worth trying to initiate a recovery process.

Dunger added, “The key message from the survey is perhaps that prolonged outages do happen and are more often caused by the every-day rather than the rarer fire, flood or acts of God. Many smaller and medium sized companies have limited IT support, so have less ability to respond quickly and effectively to an IT outage. They should therefore consider the risks of a prolonged IT outage carefully, and look to implement a fully managed disaster recovery (DR) service from a specialist provider like Plan B who guarantee to restore their systems within minutes of getting a call for help.”

About Plan B:

Plan B is a specialist IT Disaster Recovery business, based in the UK. The company provides an affordable, guaranteed, disaster recovery service that instantly restores fully working servers on Plan B’s rescue cloud of remote virtual servers. Plan B has a 100% customer satisfaction rating and a 100% recovery record.