What’s most likely to cause your next network outage?

A recent survey shows that significant network downtime is more common than IT managers would like — and companies are taking big hits in lost business and productivity. What’s behind those outages?

More than 25% of businesses have had network disruptions of four hours or more with the past year, according to a recent poll from tech vendor CDW.

That downtime cost businesses a total of $1.7 billion in lost profits, CDW estimates. Nearly all (97%) of the businesses surveyed suffered some kind of loss due to network disruptions.

What was to blame? Power loss did the most damage to companies’ networks. The businesses that had significant outages reported the causes were:

  1. loss of power (32%)
  2. hardware failure (29%)
  3. loss of telecom services (21%)
  4. security attack (6%)
  5. sabotage (3%)
  6. storm, flood or other natural disaster (3%)
  7. fire (1%)
  8. other (5%)

The best to prevent the most types of network outages: Plan ahead. CDW recommends IT departments:

  • Make sure critical data is being backed up frequently
  • Work with department heads to figure out which operations are most critical and prioritize accordingly
  • Add uninterruptible power supplies for critical pieces of equipment and run power outage tests regularly, and
  • Make sure critical employees are equipped to work from home if work can’t be done in the office.

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