Research reveals that UK businesses operate with the oldest PCs in Europe

London – 12 April, 2011 – Seven out of 10 Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs) risk corporate data loss through their failure to replace old PCs that they rely on to store business-critical data, according to research commissioned by Mozy™, the world’s most trusted provider of online backup services.

The survey revealed that UK SMBs are increasingly abandoning the typical three-year refresh cycle of their PCs, with only 30 per cent of companies sticking to a planned refresh cycle in the past three years and 18 per cent not even trying. When asked what prevented them from implementing their device refresh plans, most blamed the economic climate.

As a result, the average age of a work computer in the UK is five years and two months - twice the age of those used in German companies. In fact, the average PC is now more than a year and half past the date it was planned to be scrapped. The practical impact of using these aging devices is that more than 40 per cent of employees surveyed found their work efficiency is compromised by events such as computer crashes and lost data. A quarter stated that these events impacted their work ‘significantly’ or ‘very much’.

Around seven per cent of the UK’s small-to-medium businesses ask employees to work on PCs that are six to ten years old, with many people using computers even surpassing this age.

"The economy has caused nearly every business to make hard decisions about spending but, sometimes, companies don’t realise what they’re risking by cutting back," says Claire Galbois-Alcaix, of online backup provider, Mozy. "40 per cent of people we spoke to said that issues like data loss were impacting their ability to do their jobs. If you’re running older hardware that’s prone to failure, it’s critical to have a backup solution you can trust. Online backup is cheaper than upgrading PCs and could save your business."

The research also exposed a worrying trend for workers forced to ‘mend and make do’ to take matters into their own hands and deliberately smash their phones and laptops in order to get new ones: regardless of the loss of data that causes their employer. A shocking 13 per cent of the UK workforce said that the quickest way to a new device was to deliberately and irreparably damage their PC, laptop or mobile phone. On the Continent, the French were found to be most likely to select this option with over 20 per cent believing that a ‘smash job’ was the simplest way to a new computer. In total, more than a third of office workers across Europe thinks that their fastest route to a new device is to cheat the system, either deliberately damaging (13 per cent) or trading in their existing device (15 per cent), or buying news parts to perform an upgrade themselves (7 per cent).

Mozy offers an online, automated backup solution through a pay-as-you-go model with no additional set-up costs, which takes the pain out of data backup, while allowing businesses to focus on their core activities.

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, was carried out amongst 600 IT managers and 3,000 employees across the UK, France and Germany in January 2011. For further details on the research, please click here.

About Mozy

Mozy is the world's most trusted provider of data access and backup for consumers and businesses, with more than six million customers, including 100,000 business users and more than 90 petabytes of information stored at its multiple data centers around the globe. Mozy was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2007 and operates as part of Mozy International Limited, an EMC company. More information can be found at mozy.co.uk.