Diving Into the True Costs of IT Outages
January 05, 2023

Adam Blau

Share this

There are two words that strike fear in every IT professional: "unplanned outage." These come with a steep price tag: A recent report, The Modern IT Outage: Costs, Causes and Cures, found that downtime due to unplanned outages costs businesses $12,900 per minute. Breaking that statistic down further, the report revealed significant differences among companies of different sizes relating to downtime. For example, the outage cost per minute in an organization of 1,000 to 2,500 employees is $1,850, while the outage cost per minute in a larger company of 20,000 employees is $25,402 on average.

These statistics blow away the outdated yet often-quoted statistic that an average minute of downtime costs $5,600 because, as it turns out, this information from 2014 hasn't been adjusted to reflect the real and nuanced costs of a modern IT outage. Here, we dive deeper into this recent research so ITOps organizations can gain a better understanding of downtime's impact, causes and remedies.

Cost Factors and Causes

While we tend to think lost revenue is the biggest cost casualty of an outage, "The Modern IT Outage: Costs, Causes and ‘Cures'" found that that simply isn't the case. In fact, "business disruption" and "impact on employee activity" tie for the top spot, while "lost revenue" was tied for third, along with "data breach" and "governance regulatory exposure." Also on the list are "reputation" and "hit to DevOps/SRE productivity." These came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

A full 41% of organizations suffer an outage at least monthly, a significant number. And these outages take an hour to repair on average.

As for the outage causes, the report found important differences among organizations in two categories: those that have enterprise-wide, mature artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) and those that are implementing AIOps on a departmental basis. The organizations in the first category had tamed unplanned outages for the most part and only struggled with external factors such as power outages or internet provider failure that are outside the organization's control. Those in the second category primarily suffered change and configuration issues and human error — factors that are very much in the organization's control — and therefore ready for being mitigated with the power of AI and automation.

AIOps and the Road to Better Outcomes

IT leaders' thoughts on how the future looks relative to outage costs aren't optimistic. In fact, for some, the mood is downright fatalistic, with 36% believing that increased outage costs are guaranteed.

Still, some are hopeful, and AIOps plays a part here: The survey found that 22% of respondents say that rising costs are avoidable and they plan to use AIOps and automation to stem them. Another 13% of respondents reported that proactive systems have allowed them to actually decrease outage costs. With this proof of AIOps' success, the more pessimistic IT leaders can keep their chins up.

There is no way to apply a surefire "cure" for IT outages in any organization, but AIOps and automation come close. Not only do they help minimize the costs and impact of outages, but they also are proven to reduce the number of outages, improve business process efficiencies, decrease war-room frequency, and much, much more. With AIOps and automation in their arsenal, IT professionals can rest a little easier knowing they have powerful weapons to use in their battle against the dreaded unplanned outage downtime.

Adam Blau is Senior Director of Product Marketing at BigPanda
Share this

The Latest

April 15, 2024

Organizations recognize the value of observability, but only 10% of them are actually practicing full observability of their applications and infrastructure. This is among the key findings from the recently completed Logz.io 2024 Observability Pulse Survey and Report ...

April 11, 2024

Businesses must adopt a comprehensive Internet Performance Monitoring (IPM) strategy, says Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a leading IT analyst research firm. This strategy is crucial to bridge the significant observability gap within today's complex IT infrastructures. The recommendation is particularly timely, given that 99% of enterprises are expanding their use of the Internet as a primary connectivity conduit while facing challenges due to the inefficiency of multiple, disjointed monitoring tools, according to Modern Enterprises Must Boost Observability with Internet Performance Monitoring, a new report from EMA and Catchpoint ...

April 10, 2024

Choosing the right approach is critical with cloud monitoring in hybrid environments. Otherwise, you may drive up costs with features you don’t need and risk diminishing the visibility of your on-premises IT ...

April 09, 2024

Consumers ranked the marketing strategies and missteps that most significantly impact brand trust, which 73% say is their biggest motivator to share first-party data, according to The Rules of the Marketing Game, a 2023 report from Pantheon ...

April 08, 2024

Digital experience monitoring is the practice of monitoring and analyzing the complete digital user journey of your applications, websites, APIs, and other digital services. It involves tracking the performance of your web application from the perspective of the end user, providing detailed insights on user experience, app performance, and customer satisfaction ...

April 04, 2024
Modern organizations race to launch their high-quality cloud applications as soon as possible. On the other hand, time to market also plays an essential role in determining the application's success. However, without effective testing, it's hard to be confident in the final product ...
April 03, 2024

Enterprises are experiencing a 13% year-over-year increase in customer-facing incidents, reflecting rising levels of complexity and risk as businesses drive operational transformation at scale, according to the 2024 State of Digital Operations study from PagerDuty ...

April 02, 2024

According to Grafana Labs' 2024 Observability Survey, it doesn't matter what industry a company is in or the number of employees they have, the truth is: the more mature their observability practices are, the more time and money they save. From AI to OpenTelemetry — here are four key takeaways from this year's report ...

April 01, 2024

In an age where technology evolves at a breakneck pace, it's crucial to explore how AI assistants can revolutionize our work processes and daily lives, ultimately enhancing overall performance ...

March 28, 2024

Nearly all (99%) globa IT decision makers, regardless of region or industry, recognize generative AI's (GenAI) transformative potential to influence change within their organizations, according to The Elastic Generative AI Report ...