Why Business Continuity is the Biggest CIO Consideration

By Special Guest
Matt Larson, CTO of Dyn
February 23, 2016

The first and last job for every CIO is to ensure a network infrastructure that is always available. As Internet assets increase in importance not only to the bottom line but to the very core of many large organizations, business continuity solutions have become mission-critical components of the enterprise toolkit. Outright outages can have huge negative impacts on a business - and its CIO - but slowdowns in performance and issues with availability can also have far-reaching impacts on a Web-centric business, turning potential customers to competitors.

Protect Revenue and Brand Reputation

A 2014 study by Avaya found that 80 percent of network outages result in lost revenue and that the average outage within the financial sector resulted in over $540,000 in lost revenue. For large Web properties and enterprises across sectors, ensuring business continuity means ensuring profits.

Network slowdowns and failures also hurt reputation. For savvy consumers with high expectations for website responsiveness, a delay of more than three seconds when accessing a website is a reflection on the quality of the company and can lead to a trip to a competitor’s site. For financial institutions banking on sleek mobile app experiences, site slowdowns and outages can erase all the goodwill that the company has engendered with customers in one bad experience. For retailers, one bad impression can be enough to lose a customer for life.

Monitoring and controlling Web assets with Internet Performance Management tools is the only way to fully understand performance, availability and reachability issues for end-users around the world, providing IT execs with the knowledge and control to avoid costly business continuity issues.

Improved Mean Time to Innocence

The increasing complexity of interconnected networks has made pinpointing root causes for errors more difficult than ever. In the event your assets are experiencing slowdowns or an outright outage, your cloud providers, CDNs, and acceleration services may claim to be "up" but that does not necessarily mean that they are reachable. In many cases they are experiencing a constant rate of low-level failure that is largely outside IT's control and is still affecting users.

Root cause analysis is the only sure-fire way to reduce “mean time to innocence”: you want to determine as quickly as possible where any problem lies so you can dispatch resources in the appropriate direction.  Successful troubleshooting requires proper insight into your internal and external infrastructure, from data centers to ISP performance to cloud and CDN routing and configuration. The most effective way to understand performance in the network is by constantly monitoring the most important third parties that your systems depend on and implementing tools that alert you when they have performance issues that could affect you.

Quickening the mean time to innocence can have impacts on more than the IT space. Knowing where performance issues start can help your company provide better client support, improving communication and providing a service feature that can set your company apart from the competition.

Failure is not an Option

There are few events more damaging to a company (and its executives) than an outright failure - especially if that failure could be foreseen and prevented with the help of Internet Performance Management and monitoring and traffic management tools. In March of last year, one of the largest online retailers experienced an outage that caused one of their premier storefronts to be unavailable for 11 hours from what would later be described as an “internal DNS error” costing the company millions. And while your business might not be one of the most-trafficked Web properties in the world, a half-day outage is a hit any business would prefer to avoid, especially with cost-effective secondary DNS and Internet monitoring services available to help avoid disaster. Understanding the routing, performance and security characteristics of just your internal network is not enough in today’s cloud and CDN dependent ecosystem: you need a view of the entire Internet.

Conclusion


Internet Performance Management tools help to identify and mitigate risks that can lead to business continuity issues, providing the always-available reliability that CIOs need in a dynamic online environment. Tools to monitor Internet performance and take action if problems occur are the answer to most high-level business continuity issues, helping enable better security, provide mission-critical insights into the global Internet and ensuring that a disruptive event doesn’t cost the company time and money.




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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