Why do IT service outages keep happening at retail?
Earlier this week it was reported that Target’s checkouts, website and mobile app went down as a result of a technical glitch. It was the third such outage for the retail chain in as many months and, while the glitches have not appeared to have had a material effect on Target’s earnings to date, these incidents have to be concerning to management, at the very least.
While Target has made headlines with its outages, it is far from being alone when it comes to IT-related disruptions, according to a new survey of 300 IT decision makers by LogicMonitor. The study found that 96 percent of organizations have experienced disruptions, with the typical organization surveyed experiencing five outages and five brownouts over the past three years. Ten percent of organizations had 10 or more outages and brownouts over the same period.
“Organizations today are increasingly dependent on the availability of their IT infrastructure,” said Gadi Oren, vice president of technology evangelism of LogicMonitor, in a statement. “A single IT outage can have huge negative business impacts including lost revenue and compliance failure, as well as decreased customer satisfaction and a tarnished brand reputation.”
The biggest costs associated with IT glitches, according to the survey, are lost revenue and productivity, compliance and mitigation costs, damage to the brand and lower stocker prices for publicly traded companies.
Survey respondents pointed to six common causes for slowed or downed systems. These included network failure, usage spikes, human error, software malfunction, hardware failure and third-party outages.
According to the survey’s participants, 51 percent of the outages and 53 percent of the brownouts they experienced could have been avoided. The two biggest misses when it came to avoiding IT service disruptions were a failure to notice when usage neared “danger level” and when hardware or software performance showed signs of degradation.
- Target’s systems briefly go down for third glitch to hit shoppers in 3 months – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- New Study Reveals that 96% of Enterprises Face Costly IT Outages, Though IT Says 51% of Downtime Is Avoidable – LogicMonitor/Globe Newswire
- How well did Target handle its no good, very bad weekend? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the most common reasons for IT outages and brownouts within retail and consumer-direct brand organizations? How can these incidents be avoided?