Five Ways to Minimize the Risk of System Downtime

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Scope out the right vendor

If you're experiencing a loss of critical systems, it's possible that there's more to blame than your current environment. Vendors and partners may not be able to commit to the level of availability that your organization requires. Before signing on with a vendor, take a close look at the service-level agreement to make sure it's aligned with your organization's goals and requirements. If your current vendors are consistently falling short of SLAs, consider implementing an active-active cluster or an alternative vendor that meets your needs.

System downtime plagues organizations throughout every industry. A recent survey by Globalscape shows that 90 percent of organizations have experienced downtime and a third deal with it at least once a month. On the surface, losing access to core systems, including email servers and backend processors, is frustrating and cripples employee productivity. Unfortunately, that's not the worst of it — finances, data and security are all casualties of planned and unplanned downtime.

On the monetary side, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed estimated that a single hour of downtime costs their company between $250,000 and $500,000 — one in six reported losses as much as $1 million or more. For 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies that estimate 1.6 hours of downtime a week, incidents of downtime could cost them as much as $41.6 million every year.

Making matters worse, the negative ramifications of downtime extend beyond finances. More than 75 percent of senior executives reported losing critical information as a result of downtime. And when crucial communication systems go down, such as the email and file transfer server, many employees turn to consumer tools to handle corporate data to remain productive – a major security and compliance risk. In fact, according to a recent survey on the sharing of sensitive information:

  • 63 percent of employees use remote storage devices, such as USBs.
  • 45 percent rely on third-party consumer file storage sites, including Dropbox and Box.com.
  • Nearly a third use their personal email accounts.

Although IT may not be able to completely eliminate downtime, there are five ways IT administrators can minimize the risk of losing access to core systems during outages, whether planned or unexpected.

James Bindseil is president and CEO of Globalscape, a managed file transfer solutions provider that helps organizations securely and efficiently send and receive files and data.

 

Related Topics : IBM Looks to Redefine Industry Standard Servers, APC, Brocade, Citrix Systems, Data Center

 
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