05 October 2000 | Cathy Hayward
IT support visits were prioritised or curtailed during the fuel crisis as service organisations ran out of or conserved fuel.
Calls from small businesses relying on one server took priority over large businesses with more advanced back-up systems, said David Prentice, director of IT support firm Prentice Dolan Computer Services (PDCS).
"We tried to limit visits," he said. "Engineers gave advice by phone and e-mail to internal IT managers or used public transport to get to clients. But in some cases, businesses had to wait." Another problem was that staff could not get to work, he added.
Melinda Johnson, CIPS's head of policy, said that IT firms were over-reacting and many calls would have been routine preventive maintenance.
"It's unlikely that everyone's systems would have gone down at the same time," she added.