Increasing e-mail dependence raises intolerance to downtime

User dependency on e-mail has grown so extensively in the region that systems downtime causes 16% of Middle East users to become irate in as little as one minute, while that number rises to 78% if downtime exceeds one hour.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  June 16, 2003

User dependency on e-mail has grown so extensively in large and medium sized organisations in the Middle East that systems downtime is causing considerable user intolerance, according to research conducted by Dynamic Markets for Veritas Software. The report also states that e-mail inaccessibility causes 16% of Middle East users to become irate in as little as one minute, while that number rises to 78% if downtime exceeds one hour.

“If unplanned downtime occurs, 12% of Middle East users become irrate immediately, 16% within one minute, and 48% within just half an hour. Irate staff are spread throughout all job functions (59%), but are particularly high amongst top management at 27% and IT staff (14%),” states Chris Boorman, vice president of marketing, Veritas.

The survey, carried out across the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), also shows that in the Middle East, 26% of companies are permitted to use e-mail for contracts with suppliers, as opposed to 16% in the US, and 35% across EMEA. 24% of users are also allowed to use e-mail for contracts with customers, as opposed to 20% in the US and 38% across EMEA.

62% of the companies surveyed reported that they could recover an e-mail on the system if requested by the manager. However, 46% could not recover e-mails over one year old and 6% could recover e-mail only as far back as a single day. Despite being able to use e-mail for contractually binding matters, 4% could only recover e-mail from the previous day, 12% one week, 4% one month, and 6% six months.

“The results of this regional survey indicate that e-mail is now a vital component of business transactions in the Middle East. Yet, many companies in the region are unsure whether they can recover e-mail quickly and reliably in the event of downtime,” says Mike Hynes, regional manager, Veritas Middle East.”This research highlights some of the key challenges that organisations in the Middle East face including reliable access to online information and business continuity,” he adds. The report concluded that 34% of Middle East IT managers believed that a week without e-mail would be more stressful for them than starting a new job (12%) or moving house (8%).

However, IT managers in the Middle East also enjoy one of the highest rates of job security across all countries surveyed, with 42% saying that their e-mail system could be down for any length of time, and their job would not be at risk.

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