Ask an Expert: All About Backing Up Your Data

On April 16, 2013 American Airlines was forced to ground its flight for nearly the whole day. American Airlines runs more than 3,000 flights a day and none ran that day. What was the reason for the mass cancellation of flights? It is a system outage.

Computers aren’t there just to help us make calculations easy, they do a lot more. Reliable IT systems help us run daily activities smoothly and securely.

True, you can be one who might have a secure computer system feel that system outages from the IT systems installed in your workplace isn’t remotely possible. However, system outages do not offer an invitation. They come calling in at their convenience. No wonder you need to be more wary about the IT systems installed the backups available and ways to deal during a possible computer system outage.

Outages: The Impact

Dunn & Bradstreet reports that 59% of Fortune 500 companies have to endure a downtime of nearly 1.6 hours every week. Effectively, it means a loss of nearly $896,000 weekly or around $46 million a year, if the organization has around 10,000 employees paying an average salary of $56 per hour to each.
The financial impact of computer system outages and downtime can be huge. A report by IBM Global Services in 2008 stated that the average revenue cost of an unplanned application outage was as high as $2.8 million dollars per hour. What’s more, an outage at the source can affect the entire chain of services and products offered by a business.

System outages can have two different impacts on an organization:

1. Loss of data – Since computer systems have huge data, the system outage can have a significant legal and financial impact. Organizations need to invest heavily in backup and reliable IT systems so that the effects are minimalized.

2. Loss in application service – The outage and its impact also varies according to the type of application and the company.

Another report by KPMG states that around 24% of organizations feel that having a downtime of more than 2 hours is unacceptable.

The Challenges

Downtime and system outages can occur one in a while, a robust and secure IT system can lessen the impact of system outages considerably today. In fact, administrators could do being more careful about the changes they make too.

  • Well, you might love to ask as to why the outages occur? The Visible Ops Handbook by the IT Process institute has an interesting take on the matter and says that around 80% of system outages happen because of ill-planned changes by the administrators or developers.
  • 60% of Availability and Performance errors happen because of misconfiguration, reports a study by Enterprise Management Association.
  • There is something to do with the 80% stats! Another independent study by Garner suggests that in 2015, 80% of the outages of a serious nature will be caused due to ‘people and process’ issues.

Why do you think there is such a need for a reliable IT system today?

For one, it is to protect the user data and valuable information. IT systems often run a whole complex multitude of processes and computer outages can result in loss of some valuable data. Daily backups might be a necessity and you need to ensure that you can restore the system as quickly as possible.
Good IT Support helps you get tasks done on time, drive in performance and prevent system outages. What you need to understand is that a good IT support company can guide you through all technical matters to help you prevent system outages and more, to minimize disruptions to the business.

How important it is to avoid downtime?

According to a number of companies, system outages and downtime needs to be avoided at all costs. A survey by Information Technology and Intelligence Corp. stated that one out of ten companies wanted more than 99.999% availability.