SunGard Availability Services, the pioneer and leading provider of Information Availability services, today revealed that steady and sustained growth over recent years in managed services adoption has led to an improvement in the UK’s business availability practices. Organisations have made a shift in their approach to business continuity, building resilience into the business through investment in cloud and virtualisation technologies, as well as managed recovery programmes. Results from the SunGard annual analysis of the UK’s major business disruptions demonstrate the change in focus on resilience, finding that overall disruptions dropped by over a quarter (26%) in the last year.
Organisations are continuing to dedicate resources in business availability technologies such as managed services, as they look to meet customer demand for optimum uptime and to become a truly available enterprise. This supports insights highlighted in the Delivering the Available Enterprise report produced by Nelson Philips, professor of strategy and organisational behavior, Imperial College London, in partnership with SunGard, that revealed thinking beyond IT, better integration and board commitment are crucial to resolving the availability challenge.
The report also found that 82 per cent of senior IT decision makers recognised the importance of availability and that customer expectations and Service Level Agreements were key trends driving the push for availability within the organisation. This latest data from SunGard’s annual availability trends research* shows that their calls for greater business resilience are being heard.
In addition, the data highlights reactive recovery techniques are falling out of favour for UK organisations: for the third consecutive year, invocations have fallen, hitting their lowest level since 1995. There has also been a sharp upturn in dedicated workplace recovery investment as businesses seek to ensure guaranteed resilience for their people, as well as their systems.
Commenting on the latest results, Keith Tilley, managing director UK&I and executive vice president Europe for SunGard Availability Services, said: “The drop in invocation numbers over the past decade is a sign that suggests businesses don’t just understand the importance of availability, but that they are embracing a wealth of strategies to keep operations viable no matter what. The latest iteration of our annual availability trends data highlights how working practices have and are continuing to evolve. Customer demands have forced a fundamental change in the way businesses operate with managed services playing a pivotal role.
Tilley concludes: “As organisations invest in managed services, it’s becoming clear that availability has usurped recovery as the defacto business mind-set. While the figures show that the workplace may not yet be completely free of disruption, there is a sense of momentum as the UK continues to make large steps towards this goal.”
As well as significant drop in the overall number of invocations, the results also found that power, hardware and communication failures were, for the fourth year in a row, identified as the main cause. Once again power failure was the single biggest factor in business disruption, although the number of instances fell by 33% since last year.
 Availability Trends (formerly Invocations) research is an annual report detailing the number of incident and factors impacting the uptime of SunGard’s UK customers. An invocation occurs when a SunGard Availability Services customer calls upon SunGard to action its Business Continuity, Technology Recovery or Workplace Recovery arrangements