IT failures can be costly and being able to respond quickly is paramount to minimising the damage to your organisation's productivity and profitability. Trouble is, while IT departments are responsible for addressing technology failures, finding the right person within the department to look at the issue as soon as possible is often the challenge. Many companies don't have the right communication protocols in place. We look at five ways you can improve your company's incident management process in the face of an IT meltdown.
System failure image from Shutterstock
Like many things in life, technology is not always reliable and IT failures are just a part of corporate life. Be it a hardware malfunction, software bugs, data breaches, power outages or human error, your IT will inevitably experience screw-ups. When these things occur, it is in your company's best interest to fix them as soon as possible. IT is now at the core of business continuity for most organisations and outages can adversely impact your organisation's ability to function, causing productivity and revenue loss.
But IT departments are not responding fast enough. Earlier this year, xMatters, a communications solutions provider, commissioned a survey of 300 companies that showed 60 per cent of IT departments take more than 15 minutes to find the right person to respond to an incident. That might sound like a short period of time but when an outage occurs, by the 15 minutes mark, nearly half the employees in the organisation will be affected.
Business leaders are aware of this and 77 per cent of survey respondents believe their IT departments are way too slow in fixing key IT failures. An overwhelming 91 per cent of IT professionals surveyed by xMatters noted that poor incident communication is a major cause of extended downtime.
Xmatters regional vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan David Wall, said that reducing the time IT departments take to resolve issues will require the right people to be contacted efficiently depending on their availability and expertise. He has five tips on how to make this happen:
- Review your company's incident management processes to ensure that when failures do occur, notifications are only sent to IT personnels who can fix the issues and key stakeholders. Don't include non-essential personnel. Getting more people involved will only slow things down.
- Start and maintain on-call individual and group schedules and contacts list so you can set up automatic notifications.
- Automatic escalation procedures will ensure that when an incident does occur, something will be done even when the required IT personnel isn't available or when the situation changes.
- Update a third-party originating system through closed-loop integrations. You'll have an audit trail of activities.
- Measure everything so that there is accountability which will encourage performance improvements from IT departments.
How well does your IT department respond to incidents and how has that impacted your organisation? Let us know in the comments.