According to Gartner, the costs associated with network downtime can range from an average of $5,600 per minute to well over $300k per hour. Of course, this estimate can vary greatly, depending on the size of the organization, the nature of the work being performed and a number of other factors.
Suffice it to say, though, that any amount of downtime can significantly impact your company’s bottom line. The time it takes to bring critical systems back up can mean the difference between a quick, painless recovery with minimal damages and the potential demise of your business.
The good news is, with the right strategy in place, you can effectively reduce network downtime by up to 90%. Here’s how.
Automate your incident management processes.
The best case scenario would always involve identifying and solving any incoming incidents before they have the chance to cause serious problems to your systems, applications and/or entire network. Without the right technology in place, this is next to impossible for human IT workers to manage – especially for larger enterprises. By automating these processes, every single incident that occurs is automatically identified, evaluated, prioritized and addressed accordingly without the need for human input. This can dramatically decrease the likelihood that an outage will occur in the first place, thereby preventing any network downtime.
Employ sophisticated notifications and escalations procedures.
In order for the incident management process to be executed flawlessly, the right individuals must receive notification in as timely and efficiently a manner as possible. For those instances in which an incident requires human attention, the automation tool can intuitively recognize and flag any potential issues and electronically assign them to the appropriate party. If that individual doesn’t respond, the next one in line will then be notified, and so forth. Escalations can also be handled in this manner, ensuring that any issues that could lead to potential network downtime are addressed immediately.
When IT staff responds, the system initiates an automatic follow-up message after a pre-defined timeframe. Once the problem is resolved the incident is closed and a recovery notification is distributed. If the problem remains open, an alert is automatically to the system administrator. This ensures that no incidents ever have the opportunity to go undetected or otherwise slip through the cracks.
Achieve full transparency of the entire incident management process.
Everyone in the IT department, but particularly those in management, should be able to determine who is working on what, the status of each incident and what next steps are needed. With the right automation solution, incidents are managed via a unified dashboard, which provides visibility and transparency throughout the entire incident management process. This further promotes problem ownership using bi-directional/ interactive communication for a more streamlined and efficient process. IT managers can quickly identify which team member is responsible for which issue and where they stand at any given moment.
Facilitate data analysis to develop and hone best practices.
The most effective way to develop best practices is to learn from past experiences. With automated incident management, IT leaders are able to generate in-depth reports on incident resolution performance and mean time to repair (MTTR), which will provide valuable insight into what processes worked well and where potential improvements can and should be made for a better future response strategy.
In addition to significantly reducing network downtime, automation also eliminates labor-intensive manual interactions and automates key processes such as system, network and application tasks. This will allow you to maintain control over these automated tasks and free up labor resources to focus on key issues that improve service levels.