The true cost of IT outages

Posted by Dave Kravitt

As IT systems, infrastructure, and platforms grow increasingly larger and more complex, the risk for unplanned outages grows with them. Unfortunately, many CIOs and IT managers underestimate the damage and expense that unplanned outages can cause. Those that utilize an IBM i ecosystem are often  lulled into complacency by the longstanding but misguided conventional wisdom that says “IBM I maintains itself”. No platform “maintains itself”, even one as proven and reliable as IBM i, and every system is vulnerable to unplanned downtime cause by power outages, failed upgrades, security violations, natural disasters, and a host of others. 

Fortunately, unplanned downtime resulting from hardware failure is a minimal threat to those enterprises operating with IBM i. In fact, according to Gartner, IBM Power System servers running IBM have an enviable 99.9 percent reliability rate with more than five years of continuous uptime the average.   

itdowntimeHowever, when downtime happens to any company, especially a larger enterprise, it can get expensive quickly. According to a report by CIO Insight, the average cost of just ONE HOUR of mission-critical app downtime is almost $83,000 and recovery time can take anywhere between three to almost nine hours, depending on the importance of the app to the overall IT system. 

Those expenses can include such things as lost productivity, direct revenue loss, employee expenses and investment losses as well as some soft costs such as reputation damage.  The hurt can extend beyond those business expenses just mentioned to underlying infrastructure damage such as database integrity and the reliability of the applications that use that data. 

Learn how Disaster Recovery plays an important role in protecting manufacturers from the high costs associated with unplanned downtime.

Minimizing downtime

itdowntime2Different organizations, of course, have different challenges that can drive the need to minimize downtime, including global operations that can require near 24-hour uptime and system accessibility for remote workforces, customers, and suppliers. 

How big a threat is unplanned downtime to your organization? Here are five warning signs to look for: 

1. Multiple-server environment

Running your enterprise applications across multiple servers and platforms increases the risk for downtime and damage if the failure of one server affects the performance of the rest. 

2. Level of cloud dependency

While at first glance you might think that a cloud-based IT environment would lessen downtime risk, it can actually increase it. If you lose connectivity for any reason without reliable fail-over, you may run the risk of compromising a significant part of your IT infrastructure. 

3. IT globalization

If your systems and data need to be accessed from a variety of geographical locations, that means your system has to stay lit around the clock. With no minimal-use block of time available to deal with downtime, the impact to your organization can be exponentially greater. 

4. Reduced backup time

A related issue to globalization is the trend toward diminishing availability of quality backup time to ensure solid, up-to-date system backups. 

5. Consolidated datacenters

Streamlining operations through datacenter and storage centralization can certainly be a good idea, but it can also pose a greater downtime risk through fewer failure points affecting larger areas. 

If your company is allocating increasingly greater resources to managing, maintaining and upgrading your IBM i-based hardware and software systems, it might be time to consider partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) such as PSGi. We offer in-depth IBM i expertise and experience and − unlike most MSPs − we also have the business, operational, and supply chain management experience to provide the most comprehensive and effective managed services support available in a single IT partner.

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Tags: IBM i Platform