IT failure

IT failures cost €500,000 a time but half are ‘avoidable’

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16 December 2014

Businesses spend an average of €514,000 per IT failure, but 50% of these incidents are “avoidable”, according to KPMG research.

KPMG tracked major technology incidents faced by businesses and public sector bodies globally over the last 12 months. It found that on average, 776,000 individuals were affected and around four million bank and credit card accounts were compromised by each IT failure.

Incidents caused by avoidable problems, such as software coding errors or failed IT changes, accounted for over 50% of the IT incidents. Of these, 7.3% were the fault of human error, a figure which shows that basic investments in training are being ignored at the employers’ cost, said KPMG.

Further, while data loss related incidents continued to be a major problem for all industries, a significant number of those (16%) were unintentional.

“Technology is no longer a function within a business which operates largely in isolation,” said Jon Dowie, partner, KPMG Technology Risk practice. “It is at the heart of everything a company does and when it goes wrong it affects an organisation’s bottom line, its relationship with customers and its wider reputation.”

“Investment in technology will continue to rise as businesses embrace digital and other opportunities, but this needs to be matched by investments in assessing, managing and monitoring the associated risks.”

With financial services under enormous pressure to maintain highly secure technology infrastructure, KPMG predicts IT complexity will continue to be the single biggest risk to financial services organisations in the coming year.

This is closely followed by ineffective governance, risk and non-compliance with regulations. Security risks, such as cyber-crime and unauthorised access, are rated fifth.

“With ever greater complexity in IT systems, not to mention the challenge of implementing IT transformational change, companies are running to stand still in managing their IT risks — but the cost of failure is all too clear,” said Dowie.


Antony Savvas, IDG News Service

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