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Dependency of digital infrastructure causing major IT problems

By Shannon Williams
Tue 15 Dec 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Business dependency on digital infrastructure and technology is causing major IT incidents, according to a new study. 

The report, Major Incident Management Trends 2016, conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by communications-based business process firm xMatters, examines the state of IT emergency response. 

It showed that while 90% of large businesses report experiencing major IT incidents throughout the year, only about half have a team dedicated to handling such occurrences.

According to the study, 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 cited a lack of standard processes for the shortcomings.

"Reliance on digital infrastructures has dramatically increased the impact and frequency of major incidents," the report states. "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, the report explains. According to David Gehringer, principal at Dimensional Research and author of the study, without these standards, IT departments lack benchmarks and best practices to help drive improvements.

The survey found that nearly 60% 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 explains.

"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,” he says. 

Dimensional Research's "Business Impact of IT Incident Communications: A Global Survey of IT Professionals" survey from March this year showed improved IT alerting systems benefited the business, and 91% of the 300 surveyed said poor incident communication increased downtime. 

Eighty-seven percent indicated that guaranteed IT alert delivery would accelerate issue resolution, and 85% said issue resolution would be accelerated by a response system that initiates steps with a single click on a mobile device.

Randi Barshack, CMO of xMatters, says 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. “In terms of business stakeholder frustration, we found that lack of effective communication trumps occurrence of incidents in the first place," Barshack says.

"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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