Just how devastating is core system failure for your business?

The Boardroom

by Duncan MacRae| 30 April 2014

Lost sales, data and productivity hits companies hard.

Alarming details about the devastating effect on business when core systems fail have been revealed in a new study by Globalscape, a developer of secure information exchange solutions.

The survey of 283 IT professionals and business end users found that nearly 90% of organisations unexpectedly lose access to critical systems, including mail servers, back-end processors, and file servers, and almost a third deal with downtime issues at least once a month.

James Bindseil, president and CEO of Globalscape, said: "Downtime, while understood to be tremendously costly and frustrating, has become commonplace and even expected in the enterprise. Oftentimes, downtime can be avoided, and companies should expect more from their vendors."

Beyond the obvious loss of employee productivity, IT executives shared the costly and widespread ramifications of downtime on their businesses. Of those who responded:

- 76% said downtime frustrates their end users

- 43% lost crucial data or important communications

- 52% said their workforce has been unable to send or receive
critical, timely files

While lost files or delayed emails may not have an "assigned" value, every minute that a core system is down costs companies money.

Globalscape's survey found that 60% of enterprise employees who estimated the financial cost of downtime on their organisation said that a single hour without critical systems costs their company between $250,000 and $500,000--and one in six reported that one hour of downtime can cost $1,000,000 or more.

Despite what end users might think, IT isn't always at fault when core systems go down. More often, servers become overloaded, shutdown, and require manual intervention before the system is restored. To avoid the issue, many enterprise IT professionals use active-active or active-passive clustering, but active-passive environments can still leave companies at risk.

In fact, survey respondents who have active-passive clustering environments reported losing 34% more data and critical emails than those respondents who have active-active clustering environments.

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