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Lack of email 'more traumatic than divorce'

Nearly 40 percent of IT managers saw a week of email downtime as more traumatic than getting divorced or moving house
Written by Ron Coates, Contributor

It's official, we all blow our tops if our email fails -- and if you're an IT manager, you feel your job is on the line if the email system is down for more than an hour.

At least 75 percent of firms acknowledge that email is a business-critical application. Dependency among staff probably hits close to 100 percent.

One in five staff blow up instantly if they can't use their email, a third are irate after only five minutes' deprivation, according to a survey of the US and Europe by researchers Dynamic Markets for storage software outfit Veritas.

A whole 30 minutes without email is enough to bring a further third to the point of kicking the cat, and an hour without the system would bring 82 percent of staff to the brink of revolt.

UK IT managers are a little slower to reach top stress levels than their colleagues overseas. But while they may be slow to start, within the hour, only 17 percent of them can keep their cool.

And 24 hours of downtime would have one in five IT managers expecting to be carrying a bin liner and phoning their friends while checking the job sites. Three-quarters of all IT managers feel that their job security would be sliding off a cliff if there was any email downtime.

But illustrating the fact that anyone can hold two conflicting opinions at the same time, three-quarters of them who have had to restore an email system, not a trivial task, think that the time it takes is good enough.

Incidentally, for really debilitating stress --- beyond anger --- 37 percent of IT managers feel that a week's downtime would produce more trauma than getting divorced, married or moving house.

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