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:

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.

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