Survey: Network outages are IT’s biggest issue

With so much data and so many services hosted in the cloud, IT has a very big problem on its hands: When networks are slow or unavailable, work could be, too. 

According to a recent TeamQuest survey of IT pros, the most common issues IT faces are:

  • network slowdowns or outages (42%)
  • poor performing applications (37%)
  • equipment failure (36%), and
  • unanticipated change requests (34%).

And these issues are far from rare. The survey found that the typical IT pro averages eight unexpected issues a week, requiring about six staffers to handle. Your mileage may vary, but it’s clear that when IT plans, the network gods laugh.

Cloud makes it more important

Slow or unavailable networks used to be a major annoyance, but not necessarily an emergency. But the cloud, as we’re constantly reminded, has changed everything. And that includes making uptime one of the most important factors your organization will need to consider.

The survey found that 63% of companies have had cloud outages, and most felt that these outages were entirely preventable. The top factor they thought was to blame was improper capacity planning at 49%.

An outage – even of the brief or seemingly minor variety – has the ability to derail business and bring productivity to a screeching halt. Yet when organizations consider threats to their bottom line, it could be toward the bottom of the list under security and and data breaches.

Evaluate, measure and improve

Uptime is crucial to the modern organization. And the only way to improve on uptime is to have an accurate representation of your current levels.

Most vendors and service providers track their performance internally. That information should be offered to customers and potential customers alike. If you’re not receiving regular reports, ask vendors to share their own records. (Those that don’t may have a record they’re not proud of, which is a red flag.)

Many companies will also offer discounts for extended downtime levels. However, you’ll want to be sure their definition of acceptable and yours match.

That requires a step everyone should take, but many don’t: poring over SLAs to be sure you’re getting what you’ve been promised and are being guaranteed what you need.



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