While 90 percent of large businesses report experiencing major IT incidents throughout the year, only about half have a team dedicated to handling such occurrences, according to an xMatters survey of 400 IT professionals.
The report, conducted by Dimensional Research, found nearly two-thirds of IT departments have target resolution times when an outage occurs, but three-quarters of them routinely exceed their target times.
The survey also found that nearly 60 percent of large organizations experience a major IT outage at least monthly.
"Given the diversity in digital infrastructures, we find that the first thing businesses often need to do when an major incident occurs is get a conference call going with representatives from multiple departments, groups and supporting vendors," Randi Barshack, chief marketing officer of xMatters, told eWEEK. "This alone can take hours because companies, despite having the most modern supporting systems and monitoring, still use manual operators to organize these calls and reach out to the appropriate representatives. As a result, enormous amounts of time are wasted on simple communications that can be easily automated."
Barshack noted the fact that more business stakeholders (56 percent) are frustrated by a lack of timely communications during a major incident than the actual incident itself was interesting insight.
"It points to the fact that the business realizes that IT departments are doing their best and can't always avoid issues- even major ones- but there's no excuse for not communicating," he said. "We definitely found it concerning that only about half of companies have a major incident management team in place."
He noted the vast majority of large enterprises experience widespread major incidents at least several times a year--and many experience them more frequently—and wondered why organizations would not be prepared to handle these issues.
The size of major incident teams varied as well, but 80 percent of teams in the survey have 10 employees or fewer. However, fewer than half the businesses in our survey have dedicated personnel on their major incident teams.
"The Holy Grail is being able to predict and prevent incidents in the first place. With more granular monitoring and increasing ability to harness the data being generated, there's great hope for being able to prevent a larger majority of incidents," Barshack said. "Ironically, prevention often gets overlooked as a goal or metric celebrated by IT management since it's still pretty difficult to know when an incident has been prevented. I don't think major incidents ever go away, but I think that IT teams should learn to add prevention to their list of metrics and get credit for prevention."