3rd Annual Outage Analysis published by Uptime Institute
- Published: Wednesday, 21 April 2021 07:40
Uptime Institute has announced the findings of its Annual Outage Analysis, which highlights that while improvements have been made with technology and better management of availability, outages remain a major industry, customer, and regulatory concern. The report also shows that the overall impact and direct and indirect cost of outages continues to grow.
COVID-19 was a huge influence in 2020, causing major changes in the way IT was used. Although there were significant disruptions affecting financial trading, government services, Internet, and telecom, the outages that made headlines in 2020 were often about the impact to consumers and workers at home, with interruptions to applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Teams, Zoom, fitness trackers, and the like.
The costs of outages are often high; when asked about their most recent significant outage, over half of the respondents to Uptime Institute's 2020 Global Survey of Data Center and IT Managers who reported an outage in the past three years estimated its cost at more than $100,000 (of which almost a third reported costs of $1 million or above).
"Resiliency remains near the top of management priorities when delivering business services," said Andy Lawrence, executive director of research, Uptime Institute. "Overall, the causes of outages are changing, software and IT configuration issues are becoming more common, while power issues are now less likely to cause a major IT service outage. The fact is outages remain common and justify the increased concern and investment in preventing them. Because of the disruption and high costs that result from disrupted IT services, identifying and analyzing the root causes of failures is a critical step in avoiding more expensive problems."
Other key Findings include:
- Almost half (44 percent) of data center / centre operators surveyed think that concern about resiliency of data center / mission critical IT has increased in the past twelve months.
- Three-quarters of data center operators/enterprise IT managers said they have experienced an IT service outage in the past three years. Three in ten said they had experienced an outage that had ‘significant impact’.
- Serious and severe outages are less common (one in six reported having one in the past three years) but can have catastrophic results for stakeholders. Vigilance and investment are necessary.
- More than half (56 percent) of all organizations using a third-party data service have experienced a moderate or serious IT service outage in the last three years that was itself caused by the provider.
- Networking and configuration issues are emerging as two of the more common causes of service degradation while power outages are becoming somewhat less of an issue – historically, caused by failures in UPSs, transfer switches and generators.
The human factor explored
Humans very often play a role in outages, but the exact nature of the failings can be difficult to pinpoint. In Uptime's 2020 annual survey, 75 percent of respondents who had an outage in the last three years said their most recent significant downtime incident would have been preventable with better management or processes. In Uptime's 2021 data center resiliency survey, 42 percent of respondents said they had experienced an outage in the last three years due to human error. Among those, 57 percent cited data center staff execution (e.g., failure to follow procedure) and 44 percent, incorrect staff processes/procedures, as root causes. From the research, it is clear a better focus on management and training will produce better service delivery performance.