EDISON, N.J. — According to a recent study commissioned by Opengear, a Digi Intl. company, the biggest challenges organizations face in resolving a network outage quickly are the time it takes to get engineers on-site (52% in the U.S. and 42% globally), inadequate network monitoring (41% in the U.S. and 36% globally) and a lack of in-house skill (40% in the U.S. and globally).

In addition, a quarter of respondents (25% in the U.S. and 16% globally) said their organization’s biggest priority when a network outage strikes is to get engineers on-site as fast as possible. However, reduced on-site workforces and a greater reliance on working from home has proven difficult to overcome. Other priorities included diagnosing issues quickly (40% in the U.S. and 32% globally), informing customers (16% in the U.S. and 20% globally) and preventing it from happening again (16% in the U.S. and 17% globally).

While many companies already employ an out-of-band (OOB) management network to ensure remote access to their IT infrastructure, the current challenges of getting engineers on-site is driving a change in how that OOB network is utilized.

The survey, “Measuring the True Cost of Network Outages,” found that among the 500 global senior IT decision-makers that participated, more than half of them reported their companies (60% in the U.S. and 57% globally) have turned to a network automation approach, with over a fifth of organizations (24% globally) currently describing their network resilience at the edge as adequate or poor.

“In today’s current climate, it is proving difficult for organizations to get engineers on-site, especially at edge/branch sites to resolve network outages,” said Steve Cummins, vice president of marketing at Opengear. “Add to this the time spent travelling, coupled with the loss in business during an outage, it’s no surprise that many organizations are adding NetOps capabilities to their out-of-band networks, expanding their ability to manage and repair network outages deployed at those remote locations.”

Despite the reputation and monetary damage of a network outage, more than half (51% in the U.S. and 59% globally) of organizations surveyed have not implemented a preventative maintenance program to minimize downtime.