Petrol crisis hits IT support firms

The UK's fuel crisis has hit the services and support companies that keep business IT systems up and running. Robert Dunt and...

The UK's fuel crisis has hit the services and support companies that keep business IT systems up and running. Robert Dunt and Hazel Ward report

IT service organisations left with just a few gallons of fuel found themselves having to prioritise which contracts would come first should an IT disaster strike.

Andy Wilde, director of Cameo Computer Services, said the situation had become "critical". At the peak of the fuel shortage his company only had enough fuel left for two or three calls. Computer engineers were saving this for emergencies such as mainframes going down, he said.

Martin Holden, managing director of Epos and Computer Maintenance, which has service centres across the country, said his company was being seriously affected.

"We have got engineers nationally and probably about 25% of that workforce is off the road as of today [13 September], particularly in the Swindon, Kent and Yorkshire areas."

Holden said his company had been notifying customers that there could be problems. "They have been very understanding, as we are about people trying to do something about the ludicrous petrol prices," he said.

In order to cope, Holden said he was prioritising one-till businesses, which would be left stranded if their only payment point failed. He added that his staff faced a huge backlog of work following the resolution of the crisis.

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