Authored by: Richard Gerdis, Vice President, Asia Pacific, LogicMonitor
As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation, availability has become a company’s most valuable commodity. Availability refers to the state of when an organisation’s IT infrastructure, which is critical to operating a successful business, is functioning properly.
However, when an organisation experiences an influx in demand or another catastrophic IT issue, availability subsides, and downtime occurs at an alarming rate. One of the biggest challenges organisations face is that availability is difficult to maintain and is indiscriminate, even for the world’s largest enterprises.
Companies like British Airways, Facebook and Twitter have all battled through expensive outages in recent years that not only impact their businesses, but also expose society’s growing dependence on technology to perform key functions of our daily needs. As technology continues to advance, IT outages will continue to ensure and will affect more than just an organisation’s bottom line.
Downtime is still a major issue
Outages occur when an organisation’s services or systems are unavailable, while brownouts are when an organisation’s services remain available, but are not operating at an optimal level. According to LogicMonitor’s latest observability survey of IT decision-makers, 51% of enterprises saw an increase in IT downtime during the pandemic, with much of it caused by the shift to remote work, the Internet of Things (IoT), and migration to the cloud. In Asia Pacific, respondents also mentioned edge computing as a key contributor.
In the past three years, 98% of APAC IT leaders said their organisation had experienced an IT brownout; 93% said their organisation had experienced an outage.
48% of APAC IT leaders said they had seen an increase in IT downtime due to the pandemic since March 2020.
48% of respondents in APAC saw an increase in downtime since the pandemic began, compared to 57% in North America and 50% in EMEA.
8% of APAC IT leaders admit to experiencing 50 or more brownouts and outages in the last three years.
Lost productivity tops the list as the most negative impact APAC IT leaders have experienced as a result of IT brownouts (63%) and outages (59%), followed by lost revenue (45% for brownouts and 41% for outages). Third on the list of most negative impacts for brownouts was lowered stock price at 37%. Third on the list of the most negative impacts of outages was damage to brand/reputation at 34%.
17% of APAC IT leaders say their organisation was shut down permanently as a result of IT outages during the past three years.
An outage can impact more than just an organisation’s finances. Organisations that experience frequent outages and brownouts can incur higher costs – up to 16-times more than companies that had fewer instances of downtime. Beyond the financial impact, many organisations have to double the size of their teams to troubleshoot problems, and it still takes them twice as long on average to resolve them.
The importance of availability
Availability matters not only to an organisation’s customers, but also to the IT decision-makers tasked with maintaining it. After all, IT availability is essential in the smooth running of IT infrastructure and, therefore, crucial to maintaining business operations. Availability ensures that airline passengers, for example, are not stranded due to system outages, food stays at safe temperatures and customers can access their online banking applications.
Despite the importance of availability, it is fair to say that many brownouts are avoidable. This means that organisations could prevent this costly downtime, but do not have the means necessary – whether that involves tools, teams or other resources – to avoid it.
Comprehensive monitoring is key
To combat downtime, it is critical that companies have a comprehensive monitoring platform that allows them to view their IT infrastructure through a single glass panel. This means potential causes of downtime are more easily identified and resolved before they can negatively impact the business. This type of visibility is invaluable, allowing organisations to focus less on problem-solving and more on optimisation and innovation.
Evaluating monitoring solutions can be an arduous but necessary task, and the importance of extensibility cannot be overstated. Companies must ensure that the selected platform integrates well with all its IT systems and can identify and address gaps in a company’s infrastructure that might cause outages. It is also imperative that the selected monitoring solution is not only flexible, but also gives IT teams early visibility into trends that could signify trouble ahead.
Taking it a step further, intelligent monitoring solutions that use Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOP) functionality like machine learning and artificial intelligence can detect the warning signs that precede issues and warn organisations accordingly.
Ultimately, whether adopting new technologies or moving infrastructure to the cloud, enterprises must make sure that availability is top of mind, and that their monitoring solution is able to keep up.
By selecting a scalable platform that provides visibility into their systems and forecasts potential issues, businesses can rise to the next level without sacrificing availability. This type of visibility will not only prevent downtime and system outages, but also keep organisations from hitting unwanted headlines.