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Multiple network outages costing enterprise businesses millions of pounds a year

More than half of IT decision-makers and network managers globally say they have had four or more network outages lasting more than 30 minutes, costing between £250,000 and £5m in downtime

Even though the operator community and European regulator bodies charged with assessing network performance say that the region’s infrastructures are coping with unprecedented demand, research from Opengear says that nearly a third of UK IT decision-makers polled (31%) said network outages had cost their business over £1m over the past 12 months.

Indeed, the critical IT infrastructure provider revealed in Measuring the true cost of network outages, Opengear’s research study of 500 global senior IT decision makers, that more than half of senior IT decision-makers and network managers globally say they have had four or more network outages lasting more than 30 minutes in the past year alone with outages costing half of the surveyed organisations between £250,000 and £5m in downtime.

The study also discovered that for nearly half of respondents (49%), improving network resilience was the top priority of their IT department, while a further 33% revealed it was in their top three priorities.

The study also found that although more than three quarters (78%) of organisations globally have set aside a specific budget to ensure its network resilience, almost half (49%) had outages increase by 10% or more over the past five years.

However, with many organisations running geographically spread networks, Opengear said that it was unsurprising that more than two in five (41%) report “travel time in getting engineers onsite” among the top two challenges faced in resolving a network issue quickly, with a further 40% citing “lack of in-house engineering” resource as an obstacle.

Compounding the difficulties they face, these outages were often found to be challenging to resolve quickly found the research. Nearly two-fifths (38%) of the research sample said it was taking their organisations more than the length of one working day on average to find and resolve a network outage after it has been reported.

Lack of planning was another issue. More than half (59%) of organisations surveyed note that they had not implemented a preventative maintenance program to minimise downtime. With many now running dispersed networks, Opengear added that given the time taken to resolve network outages and the costs incurred, finding a solution that addresses these has become an urgent priority.

Read more about network quality during the coronavirus crisis

Yet the true cost of a network outage was much more than just lost revenue said Steve Cummins, vice-president of marketing at Opengear commenting on the trends revealed in Measuring the true cost of network outages.

“Our survey found that reduced customer satisfaction was the biggest impact of an outage according to 41% of respondents, ahead of data loss (34%) and financial loss (31%),” he said.

“Organisations need to think in advance about how they can avoid, and then recover from, an outage quickly before the consequences become severe. Given the time invested to resolve network outages and the costs incurred, finding a solution that addresses these is an urgent priority. This is where an out-of-band management solution can be highly beneficial.

“Companies around the world recognise that the ability to operate independently from the production network and detect and remediate network issues automatically can dramatically improve security, save time and most importantly, reduce costs.”

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