The Significant Cost of Downtime
Any business owner who has experienced system downtime knows that it costs money, ruins the flow of your business operation during that period and altogether removes your mo-jo. Downtime has real monetary costs, be it a failure to prevent ransomware or a infrastructure failing to run a service that is critical for your teams to function.
When it comes to avoiding downtime there is only one thing which can really help: effective planning. If your organisation doesn’t plan for failure, it will fail.
There will always be a time when IT systems fail to operate as expected.
You can, however, not succumb to downtime – and this done by having multiple redundant systems that complement each other. Running an entire business function in one location or on one server can result in major failings in the event of a disaster.
If you aren’t sure where to start why not conduct a Roadmap exercise to see where your priorities lay? We believe that IT doesn’t need to be overly complicated, building IT systems that work requires open and honest conversations – and planning.
Using Automation to reduce Downtime
IT Automation is a core function in preventing downtime and its associated costs. If you can repeatedly spin-up the same system in a consistent way, then suddenly if it fails the financial and operational impact is much less – automated remediation is also a core function of an effective IT Department and should be explored.
This isn’t new technology, automation is the foundation of every industrial revolution. You may see automation of information systems being referred to Infrastructure As Code, which really means that it is deployed/installed in a pre-determined way.
Red Hat Ansible Automation is what we recommend, it is a vendor-neutral platform that can be used to automate the installation and remediation of issues in a very seamless way. The lovely thing about Red Hat’s technology is that it is trusted by 90% of Fortune500 companies for their most critical systems – it works and it’s very stable.
Ansible is a core part of many cloud-vendors systems and is used by government and business to consistently achieve more. Because it is Enterprise Open Source, you can also test it to destruction before investing further time or money to build automated environments.
Resilience and avoiding Downtime
Being able to automate and spin-up systems within minutes is very valuable. But if you don’t build resilient infrastructure then you may face the same issue time-and-again – downtime.
The ultimate goal of any IT Service Provider is to enable you to sustain the Five Nines: 99.999% uptime. This requires systems to be down for only five minutes in a single calendar year, no mean feat.
It is definitely do-able, but as you can imagine not if you only have one server or one-office providing a business function. Our IT Roadmap is built on capabilities – allowing stakeholders to set-out requirements and in-turn becoming capability-driven.
Be under no illusion that it does cost money to build resilient systems – having multiple servers across cloud vendors, or multiple offices disparate enough to function as backups to each other. A similar comparison is the standard of having two internet lines into an office to avoid internet downtime for the whole staff in the office.
If you factor in the cost of what downtime has (and will) cost your business you will likely find it an agreeable investment to build resilient systems.
Use automation to fix issues, network emulation to ‘wargame’ a variety of situations, update systems at scale and consistently rebuild your IT Estate through automation – at the drop of a hat if necessary, and have multiple-redundant systems so that system failure does not cause service failure.