EDISON, N.J. — More than half of senior IT decision-makers and network managers globally say they have had four or more network outages lasting more than 30 minutes in the past year, with outages costing half of the surveyed organizations worldwide between $300,000 and $6 million in downtime, according to a recent study commissioned by Opengear, a Digi Intl. company. In the U.S., nearly two-fifths (38%) reported losing more than $1 million in the past 12 months alone.

The report, “Measuring the True Cost of Network Outages,” also revealed that U.S. businesses put significantly greater emphasis on network resilience than any other country surveyed. In fact, network resilience has become the top priority for 73% of U.S. IT departments, as well as 70% of U.S. companies at the board level. Globally, responses were at 49% and 47%, respectively.

“The true cost of a network outage is much more than just lost revenue,” said Steve Cummins, vice president of marketing at Opengear. “Our survey found that reduced customer satisfaction was the biggest impact of an outage, according to 41% of respondents, ahead of data loss (34%) and financial loss (31%). Organizations need to think in advance about how they can avoid and then recover from an outage quickly, before the consequences become severe.”

The study also found that although more than three quarters (78%) of organizations globally have set aside a specific budget to ensure network resilience, almost half (49%) had outages increase by 10% or more over the last five years. Outages were even more prevalent in the U.S., with nearly one-third (32%) reporting an increase of 25% or more. Additionally, more than four out of 10 (42%) U.S. businesses reported that network outages took more than one working day on average to find and resolve after they were reported, with an average of nearly 10 hours across the country.

With many organizations running geographically spread networks, travel time to get engineers on-site has become the most common challenge in resolving network issues quickly, according to more than two in five (41%) globally and over half (52%) in the U.S. But the U.S. differs from other regions with the second most common challenge, inadequate network monitoring (41%); whereas globally, companies reported a lack of in-house engineering capabilities (40%).

“Given the time invested to resolve network outages and the costs incurred, finding a solution that addresses these is an urgent priority,” Cummins said. “This is where an out-of-band management solution can be highly beneficial. Companies around the world recognize that the ability to operate independently from the production network, and detect and remediate network issues automatically can dramatically improve security (48%), save time (45%), and, most importantly, reduce costs (41%).”


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