Study shows human error to blame in majority of network downtime incidents
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

Enterprise networks are getting faster and more efficient by the day. But while technology seems to evolve and advance at a breakneck pace these days, the humans in charge of managing new tech aren’t always able to keep up.

That’s one of the main takeaways of a recent report from the Uptime Institute, which surveyed thousands of IT pros and found that the vast majority of data center failures can be blamed on human error – 70-75 percent in total.

And these aren’t always minor incidents either. More than 30 percent of IT services and data center teams experienced a “severe degradation of service” over the last year that could be blamed on human error, with 10 percent of respondents reporting that their most recent incident cost more than $1 million.

The survey went on to indicate that 60 percent of respondents believed that their most recent downtime incident could have been prevented with better management processes or a more robust toolset. When the outages cost companies more than $1 million, that figure grows to 74 percent.

“By under-investing in training, failing to enforce policies, allowing procedures to grow outdated, and underestimating the importance of qualified staff, management sets the stage for a cascade of circumstances that leads to downtime,” Kevin Heslin, chief editor of the Uptime Institute Journal mentioned in a blog covering the findings.

The survey attributes the scale of human error’s impact on network performance as being a symptom of larger networks becoming increasingly complex, especially in the face of enterprise decentralization. With so much of business performance hinging on enterprise IT to successfully connect users and workflows across the organization, the inability of IT to properly plan for potential issues – in the data center or at the remote office – has never been more critical.

The Institute warned against implementing any new systems or technology before staff has complete visibility across their network environment to ensure that there is a strong enough network backbone (and enough available capacity) to handle any major changes. And with teams turning to cloud, direct-internet-access, SD-WAN and SaaS to improve their business functions, they need a comprehensive monitoring solution to truly see end-to-end across a bevy of diverse network environments and ensure it’s primed for success.

No person (or network) is perfect, but when teams are armed with all the data they need to gain a complete visual of the state of the network at any given time, they can get ahead of performance issues before they trickle down to customers.


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Filed Under: Industry Insights, Performance Monitoring

Tags: cloud computing , cloud , network performance monitoring , network monitoring , developers , human error , data center