It can happen to the best of us. A new study reveals that the majority of IT professionals have fallen victim to hardware failure, with many instances causing data loss and downtime. Furthermore some are warning this problem is being exacerbated by delays in upgrading hardware.

Carried out by research company Vanson Bourne, a survey was answered by more than 3,300 IT workers across the world. Sixty-six per cent of those asked said they’d been let down by equipment in the past – worryingly, this is 19 per cent higher than in 2011.

Of those who had experienced failures, 35 per cent said they’d completely lost power, while others had suffered a range of minor issues. It’s the consequences of these issues that most will be worried about, however.

[themecolor]1 in 3 hardware failures resulted in lost revenue[/themecolor]

More than a third (34 per cent) of the respondents said their hardware failures had resulted in lost revenue, with 54 per cent claiming staff productivity had been impacted in some way.  Customer relationships have also been damaged for many of those questioned, with 29 per cent saying loyalty had been noticeably affected.

Data loss is obviously a major concern for most IT-dependent enterprises, and the study – sponsored by computing firm EMC – does little to dispel this idea. The majority of the professionals asked (71 per cent) said they were not confident in their ability to recover data, or even the failed systems themselves.

EMC president Gary Churchward says he can see why some businesses are struggling.

In a statement, he explained: “With 62 percent of IT decision-makers interviewed feeling challenged to protect hybrid cloud, big data and mobile, it’s understandable that almost all of them lack the confidence that data protection will be able to meet future business challenges.”

In total, the study estimated the annual costs of the failures to be somewhere in the region of £1.1 trillion. Downtime and data loss cost businesses £626 billion and £495 billion respectively, Vanson Bourne suggests.