Most businesses do not appreciate network uptime until it is down. Few people realize how much loss can occur when the network or servers are not operating correctly until they see entire departments of people idle and searching for something to fill their time while repairs are put into effect.
CDW took a look at the problem in a survey run last year and released recently. In their 2010 CDW Business Continuity Straw Poll, CDW asked 7,099 IT managers about uptime and 1,794 reported they had experienced a network disruption of more than four hours since July 2009. The survey was closed after obtaining 200 completed responses from SMB’s with over 100 employees.
Two major take-away points from the report:
- From the 25% of the initial set that suffered significant outage and the average number of days business was closed due to such circumstances, CDW estimated these cost roughly $1.7 billion in lost profits last year.
- 82% of the most significant outages could have been avoided by enacting measures found in any comprehensive business continuity/disaster recovery plan.
Enter ITIL, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL is concerned with best practices surrounding the management of information technology. As a certification path, it starts out with the Foundations level which establishes, well, a foundation of BP understanding and an important overview of the landscape.
From there, important information technology service management (ITSM) issues are covered at the Intermediate level. One of them is the ITIL Planning, Protection and Optimization course which covers such mission-critical subjects as capacity management, availability management, IT service continuity management, information security management and demand management. Sound familiar? Probably because these are the things that would have saved those 1,794 IT manager’s.
More to the point, these are the things that would have saved $1.7 billion of loss last year. Considering the cost of obtaining ITIL certification in order to implement these management best practices, the business case is more than established.
On top of it, ITIL training doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Travel and in-person expenses are easily saved through providers like GogoTraining, an APMG ITIL authorized training organization (ATO), who delivers online, self-paced ITIL v3 certification training courses. Due to a unique business model and the savings afforded with online delivery, GogoTraining courses are among the most affordable on the market (online courses are in the low hundreds!). For ITIL, you can get the ITIL v3 Foundation for $448 (two courses on a buy-one-get-one package) and then enough Intermediate courses to fulfill the credit requirement to sit for Intermediate certification, all for mere hundreds of dollars. To save hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars? There isn’t much to argue on that point.
If your business has not considered the potential of downtime and the impact to the bottom line, a great way to start would be to obtain ITIL certification in order to put in place IT management best practices to avoid them in the first place.