The New Definition of Downtime


The New Definition of Downtime

Dec 08, 2017

In the world of IT operations, things change quickly. Hardware and software can evolve in the blink of an eye. Even the newest technology today will likely be obsolete in a matter of months.

But technology isn’t the only thing that evolves.

Businesses must take great care to not only keep up with changing technology but also understand what the new changes mean to them and their operations.

As the IT landscape changes to adopt new practices and policies, so too do the terms that govern it. For many years, “downtime” simply meant a period of time where data and services were unreachable and unusable. It was a binary system — either it was up and running, or it wasn’t.

In 2016, 54% of companies reported downtime as a result of a single event, lasting more than 8 hours. But as the years keep passing, and the definition of downtime keeps changing.

Companies and IT leaders alike are currently witnessing these changes in real time. There’s no “yes/no” check for downtime anymore. Rather, it encompasses a wide range of situations and scenarios that warrant further research and resolution.

In other words, we’ve entered the era of “The New Downtime.

So what exactly does it entail?

Symptoms of the New Downtime

ITIC’s latest survey data finds that 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000; 81% of enterprise respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record one-third or 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.

The costs of the “binary downtime” (yes/no) are immediately apparent. While these costs are significant, they pale in comparison to what process inefficiencies can do to a business in a span of months and years. The costs of the new downtime can severely limit business capabilities and cost enterprises many millions of dollars over a span of years.

The new downtime is based on an organization’s application performance. It covers a variety of different symptoms bundled under this one phrase. Your enterprise can easily experience multiple symptoms, but having even one is enough to constitute the new downtime that costs your company so dearly.

The new downtime that affects application performance includes:

Inability to Process Business

Application performance governs the majority of what constitutes the new downtime. As such, business applications that technically work — but are unfit to properly process business — are creating downtime. After all, if you can’t effectively handle workflows and business transactions, your business is not operating effectively.

Loss of Quality in Accessing Services

Parallel to business processes, the act of accessing services is equally critical in the customer experience. An unoptimized application that works “well enough” is no longer acceptable in the modern business landscape. If you go to a website, and it takes around six seconds to load, you’ll be immediately put off.

Six seconds isn’t much time and the website may even work perfectly once loaded — but the sheer lack of quality in the website build or network experience is enough to dissuade customers from visiting your website. You’ll quickly lose out on potential clients, and the costs can stack up in the blink of an eye, hurting your business immensely.

Hindered Work Performance

Suffering from the new downtime doesn’t always affect you externally. For example, suffering from poor application performance can hinder your team’s ability to produce quality work.

The usual downtime is described as a period where your computer is unavailable and out of use. But if your work performance is unpredictable due to unreliable IT tools and applications, you’re no better off. In other words, if your business isn’t producing consistently good work, you can expect lesser results and unhappy clients.

The New Definition of Downtime

Each symptom of the new downtime points to suffering from inefficient and flawed application performance and enterprise workflows. Regular downtime is considered to be a temporary break from productivity that needs resolution ASAP to get back up and running.

However, the new downtime is much more dangerous to your company.

Modern businesses are all struggling to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. Slipping behind on your organization’s application performance is disastrous, as it leaves a wide-open channel for your competitors to pass you by.

It’s important to understand that suffering from “the new downtime” is whenever you aren’t running at full efficiency because of poor application performance. Luckily, there are a few ways to pull yourself out of it.

Resolving the New Downtime

Once enterprises know where their bottlenecks are, how do they go about solving them? Many organizations turn to fixes that put a metaphorical band-aid over the problem, rather than actually addressing the issue.

For example, many enterprises turn to WAN optimization in attempts to increase data transfer efficiencies across their wide-area networks. Rather than fix the core issue (outdated and impractical WAN delivery systems), businesses waste their time and money fixing obsolete technology.

Instead, implementing advanced SD-WAN technology fixes the core issues. When established correctly, SD-WAN can give priority to business applications via preselected bandwidth allocations.

Additionally, multiple data circuits work around the clock to back up the applications, ensuring that they always have the correct amount of bandwidth to function as efficiently as possible.

In practice, it means having multiple locations across the country interconnected on a modernized software-defined network. Each location benefits from optimized application performance that allows them to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

Avoiding Downtime with QOS Networks

You must handle the resolution of downtime with great care. Having an expert oversee the implementation of solutions is critical for success you can rely on.

At QOS Networks, we have experience and expertise in helping enterprise clients optimize their IT application performance by implementing next-gen solutions, including SD-WAN and enterprise security services.

We leverage our expertise in application performance to eliminate cases of the new downtime from struggling enterprises. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for you, contact us today.

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