Outages Are No Joke

Outages Are No Joke

Today, my friend shared a photo on social media of a parking ticket she had found on her car windshield this morning.

But this was no ordinary city parking ticket. Inside the crisp white envelope awaited a 7-year-old neighbor’s masterpiece – a doodled on “April Fools” ticket written in colored pencil with quite a hefty fine.

These are the kinds of photos we’ve come to expect on April 1, as our own friends – and even well-know celebrities and brands – share funny and fake images on their social media accounts.

But not everyone was laughing today. Mashable reported that Instagram experienced a brief, but widespread outage on April 1, which wasn’t very funny.

More and more types of organizations are utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach younger generations with important information – from the White House and urban municipalities, to universitieshospitalsurban parks, government entities, and much more. Millions also rely on Instagram to promote their businesses and reach potential customers.

So when Instagram is down, it’s more than just a matter of not being able to see Taylor Swift’s latest video clip on a treadmill. At stake are businesses, reputations, money, safety, security and much more.

Social media hasn’t been the only victim of an outage recently. According to the New York Daily News, FDNY’s troubled 911 system suffered a brief outage on March 31.

“During the outage, emergency medical service operators reverted to pen-and-paper to take down 911 calls — the way they did before the city upgraded to new technology three years ago. The city adopted a new dispatching system known as ICAD that suffered series of glitches when it was implemented in May 2013,” reporters John Annese and Ginger Adams Otis wrote.

On April 1, multiple cell phone and Internet service providers reported outages in the Tampa Bay region, reports news station WFLA 8. Customers woke up Friday morning to no mobile or Internet service, but by late morning, service had been restored.

And on March 24, news station KTUU 2 reported that many AT&T customers in Alaska lost cell coverage for hours when 12 of about 45 towers went down in the region.

In today’s connected world, there is little tolerance on behalf of customers for network outages. Disruptions like these can impact millions of people, slowing down connectivity and productivity and efficiency. And these outages come at a cost. Business Cloud News recently reported that downtime costs, on average, $5,600 per minute.

Business today cannot afford outages and downtime. Organizations now are being tasked with how to redefine traditional business models and asked to add new technologies to their business every day.

But one thing never changes – customers will continue to expect their applications and services to work every time, all the time.

That’s what makes the digital infrastructure behind these businesses so critical. Businesses need the assurance that they can easily adapt to and adopt the next technologies without impacting business.

Not only do businesses need assurance that their applications and services are always available, they also need complete visibility into their digital infrastructures to view and analyze what’s happening.

Don’t be fooled by not understanding what’s going on in your infrastructure. For more on how to improve your digital infrastructure monitoring strategy, check out our free whitepaper, “6 Steps to an Effective Performance Monitoring Strategy.”