Network Outage Nightmare: Opengear Reveals Most US Businesses Grapple with Regular Downtime

Network Outage Nightmare: Opengear Reveals Most US Businesses Grapple with Regular Downtime

By Greg Tavarez

From the impacts of the global pandemic to the never-ending saga of geopolitical tensions (like Brexit, as well as conflicts such as the war in Ukraine), organizations find themselves caught in a perpetual cycle of turbulence. The uncertain economic outlook, riddled with inflationary pressures and budget constraints, only adds another layer of complexity to the already demanding landscape of enterprises. It's a never-ending juggling act that tests the resilience and ingenuity of businesses on a daily basis.

Yet, amid the constant struggle to adapt and thrive, a persistent and costly problem continues to plague organizations: network outages. Despite the ongoing scrutiny of company expenditure in the face of the inflationary crisis gripping the U.S., these disruptive incidents persist, leaving organizations grappling with financial and operational consequences. A recent report by Opengear sheds light on the prevalence of network outages, revealing that 96% of organizations in the U.S. experience downtime at least once every quarter.

Imagine the inconvenience of a network outage at home — no internet, no streaming, and a frustrating halt to digital life. Now, multiply that inconvenience by a hundredfold, and you begin to grasp the gravity of a network outage in a business setting. According to the report, one minute of network downtime can result in average losses of $4,344 for organizations, with a substantial 24% of businesses losing between $2,501 and $5,000 during that brief period. These figures reflect the financial cost incurred by organizations, capturing the revenue and sales that would be lost during one minute of downtime on an average working day. It's no wonder that chief information officers and their IT teams must navigate these disruptions with unwavering diligence and innovative solutions.

As a consequence of these network outages and the mounting challenges they pose, an increasing number of CIOs find it difficult to meet the expectations of their customers in today's demanding environment. Almost 80% of CIOs express concerns about the difficult task of satisfying customer demands, sentiments echoed by 68% of network engineers who shoulder the responsibility of maintaining network resilience, as revealed by the survey.

To combat this issue, CIOs are adopting a proactive stance. Over the past 12 months, nearly all CIOs in the survey say they bolstered their budgets to enhance network resilience. In their efforts to secure seamless operations, almost half of the surveyed CIOs have allocated over 50% of their IT budget to infrastructure spending.

The crucial aspect lies in where this investment is directed. Organizations are recognizing the need for always-on access to critical resources, whether for day-to-day operations or worst-case scenarios like network outages. This realization has spurred the adoption of Smart Out of Band technologies.

Smart OOB technologies provide organizations with an advanced and reliable approach to managing network infrastructure. These solutions offer an alternative and secure pathway for remote access and control of critical network devices, even in the event of network outages or disruptions.

By utilizing separate management channels and leveraging cellular or secondary network connections, Smart OOB technologies enable IT teams to remotely monitor, troubleshoot and remediate network issues from any location, ensuring uninterrupted access to critical resources. This enhances business resilience, reduces downtime and accelerates incident response, ultimately improving overall network reliability and minimizing the financial and operational impact of outages.

“Our research findings lay bare the challenges that organizations in the U.S. are facing with network outages in 2023,” said Gary Marks, president at Opengear. “It’s perhaps unsurprising that CIOs are allocating more investment to network resiliency to ensure that downtime doesn’t occur. The key is where this investment is being targeted."

Organizations must be proactive. That cannot be stressed enough. By leveraging technology and strategic planning, businesses fortify their networks, ensuring uninterrupted access to critical resources and safeguarding operations in an era where resilience is paramount.

Edited by Alex Passett
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MSPToday Editor

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