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?

ABOUT Troy McAlpin

Troy McAlpin, CEO of xMatters, inc., brings more than 20 years of experience to his leadership role at xMatters, with expertise in process automation, strategic initiatives and corporate strategy. His domain experience includes IT strategy and vertical market expertise including technology, banking, consumer and retail industries. Prior to founding xMatters, he managed marketing, sales, development, M&A and financial aspects at two successful start-up companies and also worked at AT&T Solutions and Andersen.

Share this

The Latest

October 16, 2019

Modern enterprises are generating data at an unprecedented rate but aren't taking advantage of all the data available to them in order to drive real-time, actionable insights. According to a recent study commissioned by Actian, more than half of enterprises today are unable to efficiently manage nor effectively use data to drive decision-making ...

October 15, 2019

According to a study by Forrester Research, an enhanced UX design can increase the conversion rate by 400%. If UX has become the ultimate arbiter in determining the success or failure of a product or service, let us first understand what UX is all about ...

October 10, 2019

The requirements of an APM tool are now much more complex than they've ever been. Not only do they need to trace a user transaction across numerous microservices on the same system, but they also need to happen pretty fast ...

October 09, 2019

Performance monitoring is an old problem. As technology has advanced, we've had to evolve how we monitor applications. Initially, performance monitoring largely involved sending ICMP messages to start troubleshooting a down or slow application. Applications have gotten much more complex, so this is no longer enough. Now we need to know not just whether an application is broken, but why it broke. So APM has had to evolve over the years for us to get there. But how did this evolution take place, and what happens next? Let's find out ...

October 08, 2019

There are some IT organizations that are using DevOps methodology but are wary of getting bogged down in ITSM procedures. But without at least some ITSM controls in place, organizations lose their focus on systematic customer engagement, making it harder for them to scale ...

October 07, 2019
OK, I admit it. "Service modeling" is an awkward term, especially when you're trying to frame three rather controversial acronyms in the same overall place: CMDB, CMS and DDM. Nevertheless, that's exactly what we did in EMA's most recent research: <span style="font-style: italic;">Service Modeling in the Age of Cloud and Containers</span>. The goal was to establish a more holistic context for looking at the synergies and differences across all these areas ...
October 03, 2019

If you have deployed a Java application in production, you've probably encountered a situation where the application suddenly starts to take up a large amount of CPU. When this happens, application response becomes sluggish and users begin to complain about slow response. Often the solution to this problem is to restart the application and, lo and behold, the problem goes away — only to reappear a few days later. A key question then is: how to troubleshoot high CPU usage of a Java application? ...

October 02, 2019

Operations are no longer tethered tightly to a main office, as the headquarters-centric model has been retired in favor of a more decentralized enterprise structure. Rather than focus the business around a single location, enterprises are now comprised of a web of remote offices and individuals, where network connectivity has broken down the geographic barriers that in the past limited the availability of talent and resources. Key to the success of the decentralized enterprise model is a new generation of collaboration and communication tools ...

October 01, 2019

To better understand the AI maturity of businesses, Dotscience conducted a survey of 500 industry professionals. Research findings indicate that although enterprises are dedicating significant time and resources towards their AI deployments, many data science and ML teams don't have the adequate tools needed to properly collaborate on, build and deploy AI models efficiently ...

September 30, 2019

Digital transformation, migration to the enterprise cloud and increasing customer demands are creating a surge in IT complexity and the associated costs of managing it. Technical leaders around the world are concerned about the effect this has on IT performance and ultimately, their business according to a new report from Dynatrace, based on an independent global survey of 800 CIOs, Top Challenges for CIOs in a Software-Driven, Hybrid, Multi-Cloud World ...