IT reseller CDW LLC found that 25% of 7,000 customers polled had experienced a network disruption of four hours or more within the past year.
In a follow-up survey of 200 IT managers who had experienced significant outages recently, half said power loss was the cause. Other common problems were hardware failure and loss of telecom service.
"The survey confirms that while many businesses believe they are prepared for an unplanned network disruption , many are not -- and yet the three most common causes of IT outages are addressable," said Norm Lillis, a CDW vice president, in a statement.
Lillis said that with better preparation, testing and network accessibility, most of the businesses could have avoided an outage or responded more quickly when one occurred.
CDW added that businesses need to provide employees with better remote access during emergencies. More than half (53%) of the businesses surveyed said they allow employees to telecommute when a foreseeable disruption, such as a hurricane, is imminent. But only one-third of respondents said they activate standby communications and network systems to support increased remote access when warned of an impending event.
This story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an earlier version that first appeared on Computerworld.com.
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This story, "Survey Points to Simple Steps to Avoid IT Outages" was originally published by Computerworld.