Network outages not only inflict heavy damages in revenue but also in reputation that is often hard to recover from. Therefore, CIOs should implement strategies that will help them to effectively deal with them while preventing their occurrence in the first place.
The cost associated with network outages is witnessing an upward trend. In fact, as per Statista, the average hourly downtime cost associated with servers is between US $ 301,000 to 400,000. Network outages last minutes for major organizations can mean or billions of dollars in lost revenue, as well as reputation damage and recovery efforts.
While it is easy to believe that cybersecurity attack is behind the tremendous infliction, the culprits often responsible for downtime are device misconfigurations, software bugs and routing errors. According to 2020 Uptime Institute’s “Annual Outage Analysis 2020,” data centers that showed downtime is often caused by networking and software issues than power outages.
Given its critical nature, the question arises why have things not become better? Even with the critical nature of network infrastructure, many organizations do not prioritize. More often than not, they invest their money and allocate resources to upgrade infrastructure and build redundancy but do allocate enough to ops where the issues get resolved.
While organizations have begun to in technologies to machine learning and no-code automation to revolutionize their application development and system management, they are not utilizing the same for network operations.
Today, network engineers still operate on a manual process, homegrown tools and hard-to-explain stuff to get their work done. They prefer to take the whole ownership of their network and thus give up on automation. But this only exacerbates the problem as they have to deal with hundreds or even thousands of service tickets that often distract them from concentrating on their primary task. Hence, it is vital for the board members to understand the negative impact of network outages on their business operations and should collaborate with IT to deal with them. They need to understand that modernizing network operations is not just about investing in the latest technologies or hiring top talent, it is about a cultural shift. Here are four strategies that they can follow to effectively deal with network outages or prevent them from happening in the first place:
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Make investments in network
CIOs should operate as if they are just about to suffer an outage and make the necessary investments in network at its earliest. They should increase staff capture the hard-won knowledge as well as experience of their long-term SME (subject matter experts) engineers. Moreover, CIOs should migrate their infrastructure to new technology platforms and view IT as a strategic necessity that will provide the network with the resilience to common issues that often lead to major outages.
Establish a culture of automation in NetOps
While automation can positively impact scale network operations, many of its experts have met with cultural resistance at work. The reasons for this restlessness range from a loss of job security to fear of the unknown. Hence, CIOs should prioritize the empowerment of their staff via tools such as no-code automation and show them how this will help them to boost their careers and make them more valuable to the organization.
Let go of the ‘superhero IT admin’ archetype
Most of today’s IT infrastructure is too complex that trusting only a handful of highly skilled individuals can often open the door for trouble. Hence, organizations should take steps that will provide access to knowledge and skills, empowering team members to solve problems as they arise and, in the process, eliminate the hurdle of relying on a single person. This will help CIOs to increase the portability of skills, processes, and protocols across the increasingly dependent teams within the IT department.