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IT Outages: The Costly Fallout

  • It seems like every day there’s news of a company experiencing a massive IT outage or falling victim to a catastrophic data breach. From the United Airlines and Delta Airlines outages in late January that resulted in grounded and cancelled flights, to the recent Yahoo data breach disclosures that threaten its acquisition by Verizon, it’s easy to see how quickly an IT outage can damage a company, affecting customers, employees, and a company’s bottom line.

    With that in mind, critical event management software company Everbridge asked enterprises about their IT incident response plans in its “State of IT Management” survey, completed at the end of 2016. The research report polled 152 IT professionals to measure how often significant outages occur, how quickly their organizations can respond, and the cost of IT downtime. The sample for the research included 86% of respondents from companies of 1,000 employees or more; 45% of respondents were from companies with more than 10,000 employees.

    Continue on through the slideshow to see the results, which underscore how critical it is to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any IT incidents you may experience in the coming year.

    (Image: Arjuna Kodisinghe/Shutterstock)

  • Number of incidents

    While more than 90% of enterprises report having at least one major IT incident per year, a whopping 36% said they experience between 11 or more major IT incidents per year, which is an average of one per month.

  • Incident sources

    The most common sources of incidents are network outages (experienced by 61% of companies), hardware failure or capacity issues (58%), internal business application issues (51%) and unplanned maintenance (41%).

  • Cost of downtime

    The average cost of IT downtime is $8,622 per minute. This number is particularly daunting as respondents’ mean time to activate and assemble a response team was 27 minutes. That means that companies are already $232,000 in the hole before their team even begins to work on the problem.

  • Reduced employee productivity

    Sixty-three percent of those polled reported that IT incidents reduce employee productivity while 60% saw increasing disruption and distraction of the IT team itself. On top of that, 34% of enterprises were able to translate that disruption and lost productivity directly to a resulting decrease in customer satisfaction, showing just how important it is to resolve IT incidents quickly.

  • Team size

    The larger the response team, the longer it takes to reach everyone. Almost 60% of respondents have IT response teams of 10 employees of larger while 29% have teams made up of more than 50 employees. Additionally, two thirds of organizations have their response teams spread out across multiple locations and time zones.

  • Alerting systems

    Forty-three percent of the companies polled reported that at least part of their process relies on calling and reaching out to people to activate the incident response team; 57% use their monitoring tool or ticketing system.

  • Processes

    Twenty-nine percent of enterprises surveyed have no formal processes in place for managing on-call schedules. In fact, 24% still use spreadsheets, notebooks and company phonebooks to manage the scheduling of IT personnel. Thirty-nine leverage an online calendar, such as Outlook, Google Calendar or Workday, but only 21% use a scheduling program that integrates with their emergency communication solution.