3 steps to prevent costly IT failure

IT system failures and performance issues are widespread and costly for companies. What can organizations do to minimize the damage? 

While IT might hear a lot of complaints from employees during system failures, a bigger issue is usually the company’s interactions with customers. Staff time and efficiency might be negatively impacted, but downtime can keep potential customers from making purchases or contacting the company for customer service needs.

The greatest impact of IT system failures is typically seen in sales and marketing, according to a recent report from tech firm Compuware.

All in all, the short-term financial impact of each incident is estimated to be $10.8 million on average, according to the survey of 340 corporate executives.

Unfortunately, most (79%) of the companies surveyed have experienced at least one of those significant network failures in the past year.

Smaller problems are adding up and hurting businesses, too. Close to half (48%) say performance problems occur from a few times per week to at least once a day, while 28% experience issues a few times per month.

The bottom line: IT can greatly improve the organization’s performance by working to prevent those major and minor system issues.

Here’s where to start:

1. Invest wisely

There’s no getting around it: One of the top ways to minimize IT failures is to spend wisely on system improvements — 90% of executives say additional IT investment is needed to fix the problem.

Most often, that involves paying for software or hardware upgrades. Many organizations are working on making upgrades now that they held off on over the past few years when IT departments were forced to tighten their belts.

2. Keep track of problems

If a part of the network goes down, the problems typically won’t fix themselves, so a good way to predict future failures is to see what’s happened in the past. In fact, 81% of the respondents to Compuware’s survey said the same network failure has happened more than once.

However, few organizations are actually documenting IT problems. Only 33% of survey respondents said their company always documents tech failures, while 41% only do so sometimes. As for the rest, 13% document rarely, 5% do so never, and 8% aren’t sure.

3. Train IT staff

While steps can be taken to keep everything running smoothly, the fact is that with tech systems, failures are sometimes inevitable. That’s it important to make the IT department is equipped to get things fixed as quickly as possible.

One way to help do that: Keep IT staff trained in how to respond to incidents. Many companies surveyed (20%) said they’re increasing training for IT employees to lower the impact of system failures.

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