BILLIONS of pounds and hundreds of lost working hours could be saved each year by a North East invention which safeguards against human error in the IT industry.

According to recent figures, businesses stand to lose an average of 545 hours a year thanks to IT system outages and it is thought that mistakes from engineers could contribute to 25 per cent of all shut downs.

But the man behind SergeantClip –  a gadget which helps IT engineers ensure that cables removed from a device are replaced in the correct port – says his invention could reduce these costs by eradicating one of the biggest factors in company downtime.

Research across Europe and North America has found that businesses collectively lose more than 127million man-hours each year thanks to IT system outages, time spent on system restoration and data recovery, as well as reduced employee productivity.

With further research in the US revealing that 25 per cent of downtime is caused by human error, SergeantClip founder Mark Costigan believes his device could more than half this figure.

“Billions are lost every year worldwide because of mistakes being made at ground level by engineers,” said Mr Costigan of Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. “What we have created with SergeantClip will certainly wipe out the risk of many of these costly errors.”

The SergeantClip is designed to slip around cables, making it simple and straightforward to plug them back into the right space, and making it impossible for engineers to plug them into the wrong port.

“Something like a cable inserted into the wrong place can bring an organisation down instantly, and the time spent recovering from such a simple mistake can be incredibly costly.

“After an error has occurred, in many instances it isn’t simply a matter of plugging it back in and everything is perfect again, the fall-out can be catastrophic. Data can be lost and will need recovery, which will take time and means staff are then sitting around waiting with nothing to do.

“The knock-on effect could cost a business thousands of pounds an hour and aside from that, there’s the risk to a firm’s reputation. If they’re unable to recover data lost then this could spell disaster, and they could lose customers very quickly if confidence is lost.

“I fully believe that if SergeantClip was to become an industry standard in line with our mission, this would see a dramatic reduction in IT outages caused by human error, and save millions of pounds each year in the UK alone.”

For further details on SergeantClip visit the website: