European businesses are losing a total of EUR17 billion every year through IT downtime according to a survey from CA Technologies.

To put that into perspective, that's about 13.5 percent of the entire EU budget and represents an average loss per company of about EUR263,000

According to the survey, which was of organisations with more than 50 employees, businesses lose about a million hours to some sort of IT failure, working out at an average of 14 hours per company per year.

And it's not just the effect of downtime that's the problem, the survey found that each organisation suffers an additional delay of nine hours per year while data is being recovered.

There are some surprising discrepancies across Europe with France and Germany suffering significantly more financial loss than other countries, the UK was near the bottom of the list although not as unaffected as Italy. CA put the reason for the lack of loss in Italy as being due to the country's higher proportion of smaller businesses, who have resisted the temptation to buy ERP and CRM systems. Italy certainly hasn't suffered less downtime than its European neighbours.

However, the UK didn't come out quite so well when it came to looking at the length of time before IT services were restored. Across Europe the average was 6.2 hours, however, at 9.8 hours, IT outages lasted the longest in the UK. CA said that the frequency of outages could have more effect than length as short, frequent breakdowns could have a bigger impact on the reputation of an organisation. However, the UK also performed badly in length of downtime, suffering an average of 27.3 hours per year, just ahead of France with 23.3 hours.

Europe is, however, performing better than the US in dealing with downtime. A survey by CA Technology on the other side of the pond revealed that North American businesses are collectively losing $26.5 billion in revenue each year.