​Poor planning key as businesses struggle to deal with IT incidents

“Reliance on digital infrastructures has dramatically increased the impact and frequency of major incidents."

Though 90 percent of large businesses report experiencing major IT incidents throughout the year, only about half have a team dedicated to handling such occurrences.

A new global survey of 400 IT professionals - including New Zealand - has revealed that nearly two-thirds of IT departments have target resolution times when an outage occurs, but three-quarters of them routinely exceed their target times.

The report, conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by xMatters, cited a lack of standard processes for the shortcomings.

“Reliance on digital infrastructures has dramatically increased the impact and frequency of major incidents,” says David Gehringer, Research Analyst, Dimensional Research.

“IT and business leaders within individual companies are mostly aligned on what constitutes major incidents and how to resolve them.

“However, standard definitions and processes are lacking between companies and across industries. Without these standards, IT departments lack benchmarks and best practices to help drive improvements.”

Gehringer claims that nearly 60 percent of large organisations experience a major IT outage at least monthly.

“At long last, IT departments and business leaders are on the same page when it comes to recognising the severity of business impact during a major incident and the importance of solving disruptions as quickly as possible,” Gehringer adds.

“However, they’re unfortunately falling far short of their goals of solving problems on time and in an efficient manner, often due to poor alerting and communications management.”

In addition, a second study showed improved IT alerting systems benefit businesses, with 91 percent of the 300 surveyed citing poor incident communication for increased downtime.

Furthermore, 87 percent indicated that guaranteed IT alert delivery would accelerate issue resolution, while 85 percent believe that issue resolution would be accelerated by a response system that initiates steps with a single click on a mobile device.

“The survey findings show both enterprise IT teams and business leaders have come to grips with the occurrence of major incidents and IT outages, but insist on effective communications,” adds Randi Barshack, CMO, xMatters.

“In terms of business stakeholder frustration, we found that lack of effective communication trumps occurrence of incidents in the first place.

“xMatters provides a modern intelligent communications and alerting technology that today’s market needs to be successful and quickly resolve critical IT and business disruptions.”

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