Major Incident Management: Are You Prepared?
January 08, 2016

Troy McAlpin

Share this

If your critical business applications go down, or even run below peak level, your business pays a tremendous price. When a major IT incident occurs, engaging the right people quickly to restore service and manage communications is crucial. No big news flash there.

However I have to admit I was pretty alarmed when a new survey by Dimensional Research revealed an almost cavalier approach toward the handling of major IT incidents. Security and business incidents occur so regularly that we aren't even surprised anymore when they happen. They come in the form of data breaches, malware attacks, power outages, intermittent service availability and performance degradation to name a few.

Click here to see infographic below

In fact, according to the survey, 68 percent of companies surveyed experienced a major incident at least several times a year. For larger organizations with at least 5,000 employees, that figure rises to more than 90 percent.

The Consequences of Slow Response

Rapid, effective response can limit the damage. In a separate survey performed by Dimensional Research in April, 60 percent said finding and engaging the right person takes more than 15 minutes. But before 15 minutes have elapsed, almost half (45 percent) said the business has already started to suffer.

And the suffering is real, according to the most recent survey. A large majority (82 percent) says application downtime affects revenue. According to a 2014 study by industry analyst firm IDC, the average cost of a critical application failure per hour is $500,000 to $1 million.

Given how quickly, seriously and frequently a major incident affects businesses, why aren't they making critical investments in major incident management?

Money and Resources

First, a best-in-class intelligent communication platform is not cheap. So organizations that still view major incidents as unlikely events could be put off just by the cost.

Another factor is resources. Barely half of companies in the new survey (52 percent) have a major incident team. Only 44 percent of those companies have team members who are dedicated solely to major incident management.

Finally, maybe the word hasn't gotten out to all companies just how important rapid and effective major incident management is.

Is the Status Quo Working?

The effectiveness of current practices is not entirely clear because only 68 percent of companies even specify target times for resolving major incidents. But among those that are, the results are not good.

More than three-quarters of respondents, 76 percent, miss their target times sometimes or often. Most companies in the survey (58 percent) have target times between 30-90 minutes. Remember the IDC figure of up to $1 million per hour of application downtime? Do the math.

So What Have We Learned?

Regardless of why more companies haven't created processes and implemented solutions for resolving major incidents, the current state of affairs is troubling. And this article has only touched on the financial implications of major incidents. Business also suffer from reputational damage, loss of customer loyalty and trust, and sanctions from regulatory bodies.

Major incidents happen frequently, and every business should assume that sooner or later it will experience one. The ability to quickly, efficiently and effectively respond could save the business, its shareholders, its customers and partners.

Are you prepared?

Troy McAlpin is CEO of xMatters
Share this

The Latest

May 28, 2024
When it comes to ensuring the effectiveness of a software application, it's paramount to ensure that the application can handle varying degrees of demand. Performance testing is a crucial aspect of the software development cycle ...
May 23, 2024

Hybrid cloud architecture is breaking the backs of network engineering and operations teams. These teams are more successful when their companies go all-in with the cloud or stay out of it entirely. When companies maintain hybrid infrastructure, with applications and data residing across data centers and public cloud services, the network team struggles. This insight emerged in the newly published 2024 edition of Enterprise Management Associates' (EMA) Network Management Megatrends research ...

May 22, 2024

As IT practitioners, we often find ourselves fighting fires rather than proactively getting ahead ... Many spend countless hours managing several tools that give them different, fractured views of their own work — which isn't an effective use of time. Balancing daily technical tasks with long-term company goals requires a three-step approach. I'll share these steps and tips for others to do the same ...

May 21, 2024

IT service outages are more than a minor inconvenience. They can cost businesses millions while simultaneously leading to customer dissatisfaction and reputational damage. Moreover, the constant pressure of dealing with fire drills and escalations day and night can take a heavy toll on ITOps teams, leading to increased stress, human error, and burnout ...

May 20, 2024

Amid economic disruption, fintech competition, and other headwinds in recent years, banks have had to quickly adjust to the demands of the market. This adaptation is often reliant on having the right technology infrastructure in place ...

May 17, 2024

In MEAN TIME TO INSIGHT Episode 6, Shamus McGillicuddy, VP of Research, Network Infrastructure and Operations, at EMA discusses network automation ...

May 16, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development and infrastructure management, observability stands as a crucial pillar. Among its fundamental components lies log collection ... However, traditional methods of log collection have faced challenges, especially in high-volume and dynamic environments. Enter eBPF, a groundbreaking technology ...

May 15, 2024

Businesses are dazzled by the promise of generative AI, as it touts the capability to increase productivity and efficiency, cut costs, and provide competitive advantages. With more and more generative AI options available today, businesses are now investigating how to convert the AI promise into profit. One way businesses are looking to do this is by using AI to improve personalized customer engagement ...

May 14, 2024

In the fast-evolving realm of cloud computing, where innovation collides with fiscal responsibility, the Flexera 2024 State of the Cloud Report illuminates the challenges and triumphs shaping the digital landscape ... At the forefront of this year's findings is the resounding chorus of organizations grappling with cloud costs ...

May 13, 2024

Government agencies are transforming to improve the digital experience for employees and citizens, allowing them to achieve key goals, including unleashing staff productivity, recruiting and retaining talent in the public sector, and delivering on the mission, according to the Global Digital Employee Experience (DEX) Survey from Riverbed ...