Although most companies have automated IT service management systems, a mere 11 percent in an Everbridge survey of IT professionals have automated the process for responding to IT outages and incidents, resulting in expensive downtime.

The Everbridge research reportpolled 152 IT professionals to measure how often significant outages occur, how quickly their organizations can respond, and the cost of IT downtime. The company sells IT alerting software.

The finding that so few companies automate IT incident response is significant because nearly half (47 percent) of companies reported having at least six major IT incidents a year with an average downtime cost of $8,662 per minute. It took an average of 27 minutes to assemble an IT response team.

Key findings from the research include:

Most Companies Have an ITSM or Ticketing System:

Over 90 percent of companies reported using an ITSM or ticketing system. The two most commonly used were ServiceNow (26 percent) and BMC Remedy (20 percent).

Major IT Outages or Incidents Occur Quite Frequently:

As stated, 47 percent of companies experience a major IT outage or incident six times or more a year; 36 percent experience them close to monthly (11 or more times per year). More than a quarter of respondents reported that their companies experienced more than 21 incidents last year—that’s close to two per month. Only 9 percent of respondents reported that their organization did not report a major IT outage or incident in the past year.

The most common sources of incidents are network outages (experienced by 61 percent of companies), hardware failure or capacity issues (58 percent), internal business application issues (51 percent), and unplanned maintenance (41 percent).

Responding to IT Outages and Incidents is Complicated and Too Manual

  • Two thirds (66 percent) of companies have distributed IT organizations with people spread among multiple locations and multiple time zones.
  • 39 percent have more than 25 people included in their IT response teams; 28 percent have more than 50 people who need to be coordinated to respond to an incident; 16 percent have more than 100 people.
  • 43 percent of respondents reported that at least part of their process relies on manually calling and reaching out to people to activate the incident response team. Only 11 percent reported using an IT alerting tool to automate the process.

Response Times Could be Significantly Reduced by Automation

The mean time to activate and assemble a response team was cited as 27 minutes. Automated solutions can reduce this response time to 5 minutes or less.

IT downtime is Expensive and Hurts Productivity

The average cost of IT downtime was reported as $8,622 per minute.

63 percent of respondents stated that IT incidents or outages hurt employee productivity, 60 percent that they caused IT team disruption or distraction, and 34 percent that they decreased customer satisfaction. 13 percent reported that their organization had experienced bad press or publicity due to an IT incident or outage.

“The process to activate and assemble an IT incident response team is ripe for automation,” stated Vincent Geffray, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Everbridge. “Automation has been shown to speed response dramatically. Given the cost and frequency of IT disruptions, and the impact they have on productivity of organizations and potentially on customer satisfaction, the payback on automation is typically very swift.”

The sample for the research included 86 percent of respondents from companies of 1000 employees or more; 45 percent were from companies with more than 10,000 employees.