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Uptime Institute Market Intel: Only 28% of Organizations Calculate the Cost of an Outage

May 7, 2018
by Josh Anderson

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC — The data center industry faces a lot of challenges, and one that is particularly interspersed among them is that of downtime. So when CapRE invited the Uptime Institute’s Scott Macintire to provide findings from a Market Intel Report to CapRE’s Southeast Data Center Summit Spring 2018 Update, it was no surprise that he devoted a bit chunk of time to this topic.

Scott Macintire, Director for Client Engagement, Uptime Institute

“The more that things change the more that things stay the same,” Macintire began. “Let’s talk about down-time events. This number has not shifted very much. Downtime means anything that has impacted the IT end-user. Did the It end-user have a disruption in their application? 31% said yes in the last year. 44% have had this happen in the last 3 years. So you can see the trend.”

As for colocation, 63% of colocation providers reported outages last year. “But of course the second that anything goes wrong with a colocation provider or a cloud provider, Twitter blows up,” he shared. “So we have great data on that. I thought that the number would be a bit higher, but people never like to air their dirty laundry, even when it’s in an anonymous survey.”

So, what is causing these outages and this downtime? After all, 77% were preventable. “I think that the way to look at this is human error. It all comes down to planning and execution and brilliance at the basis,” he mused. “I would say that 100% of downtime incidents are caused by human error. The number of incidents that largely caused a network failure? That number has gone up. And I think that again, that’s because of this hybrid distributed structure.”

“You’re not thinking about the network as you are building your application,” he explained. “They’re not thinking about the network as they expand into the public cloud. As we’re fixing things and making things more stable, more complexity is introduced. So we’ve got to get back to the basics to fix it.”

Next, Macintire moved onto recovery time and costs. “This number is shocking — only 28% of organizations are calculating the cost of an outage,” he revealed. “An average outage is 1-4 hours. And the average cost of an outage is about $8000 per minute. That’s not an easy number to eat if it takes 4 hours to get back online. I think that the challenge here in tracking the costs is that a lot of enterprise organizations don’t understand everything that they’ve got. There’s a lot of sprawl. They have not taken a look at using the charge back.”

Macintire admitted that it’s a very complex issue. “But when you do calculate the cost of an outage, it’s going to raise efficiency,” he concluded. “Because it’s holding your processes and people responsible. I expect to see that number rise, especially as people shift toward e-commerce platforms and the enterprise require e-commerce and other things. It’s all about the revenue.”

Be sure to check out previous CapRE Insider Reports covering Macintire’s remarks:

Scott Macintire is the Director for Client Engagement at the Uptime Institute, which is focused on improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of business critical infrastructure through innovation, collaboration, and independent certifications. It is best known for its widely adopted “Tier Standard” and the associated certification of data center compliance.  Scott’s career in information technology and Infrastructure spans 10 years and includes time building solutions for infrastructure providers and providing consulting support for IT transformation initiatives. Currently at the Uptime Institute, Scott is focused on deepening existing relationships and building new partnerships in the US as the Director of Customer Success. He is a graduate of Tulane University and spent his early career as an Infantry Officer in the Marine Corps.

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