There is also unplanned downtime, occurring unexpectedly, most often due to defective components, software crashes (also caused by viruses), natural disasters, power failures, disruptions at the internet provider, or human error. According to the Visible Ops Handbook of the IT Process Institute, 80% of unplanned failures are due to poorly planned changes or incorrect configurations made by IT administrators.
Unplanned downtime can also happen during DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. During a DDoS attack, hackers send enormous amounts of bandwidth to a server, slowing it down or blocking it completely.
DDoS attacks are becoming increasingly common. According to NBIP, a joint venture between internet providers, the number of DDoS attacks has sharply risen in recent years. In 2018 this number grew by 15% compared to the year before. ING and ABN AMRO, for example, became victims of DDoS attacks several times. The servers became overloaded, affecting consumers, online stores, and services.
Disruptions and downtime are still a significant threat to the IT world with major consequences. Entire organizations can suffer from the financial pain caused by the effects of downtime, with noticeable direct effects such as loss of turnover and reputation damage, and indirect effects such as productivity loss. Loss of production occurs when employees cannot access the systems and are unable to work.
Downtime of an internal business application can lead to different types of losses:
It is challenging to quantify the impact of such disruptions in terms of costs. However, downtime is becoming more and more expensive because of increasing dependence on online systems. The costs of downtime vary and depend, among other things, on the company size and industry. The role of IT systems within business operations is also crucial. For companies that depend solely on delivering to customers from IT and network services, such as telecommunication service providers or e-commerce companies, downtime can lead to remarkably high costs.
When Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp went down globally for a few hours in early 2019 due to an incorrect configuration on a server, the price of the shares fell by 1.4% the next day (The Street, 2019).
In addition, the repair costs must also be taken into account – whether it’s the cost of repairing the equipment, recovering from lost profit, or potential overtime for employees to recover lost work.
Organizations need to identify the bottlenecks in their systems and the possible consequences or costs of downtime. Only then can you work on a solution to minimize downtime as much as possible.
In the next part of this blog, we discuss further how downtime can be minimized.