December 10, 2015

How to minimise IT downtime and maximise customer satisfaction?

Esa Sorola

Lead Architect, Tieto Managed Services, Tieto

Business rocks on mainframe part 1/6 – Imagine for a moment that your life would depend on a computer to keep you alive. What kind of computer would you choose for that purpose?

A computer that has unplanned downtime of over 1.5 hours per week and that requires a reboot at every upgrade? Or a computer that is always on, and allows doing upgrades without any downtime?  The choice would for sure fall on the latter to keep your heart beating.

Let’s think a while about the heart of your business.

  • How long a break can your business heart tolerate in this turbulent digital age?
  • How much revenue would you lose during a 1.5 hours outage each week?
  • How much additional costs would this downtime bring to your business?
  • How much would your brand reputation suffer each week?

Multiply your answers by 52 to get the financial impact of downtime per year. My guess is that the number you’re thinking of now is quite remarkable for your business. I call this number your ‘Downtime Budget’ that you lose every year due to unplanned outages in your IT.

In addition to the amount of money lost, you probably need a brilliant marketing & communications department to make it all look good for your stakeholders.

How can I minimize my ‘Downtime Budget’?

As with your own heart, you want to plug your business heart into a system that keeps it running day and night. When digging down to the core of your IT, you’ll probably find the most critical component to be a system or server you’re running your business on.

In the current times of cloud computing, we tend to forget that applications and software do not really run in a cloud. Cloud is just another way of distributing a specific app or software to the masses, while the apps and software actually run on real physical systems called servers. The reliability of those servers determine how well the heart of your business is doing. To minimise your Downtime Budget and maximise customer satisfaction it is crucial to choose the server platforms behind your clouds with care.

According to Dunn & Bradstreet, 59% of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1,6 hours of downtime per week (= 99% of availability of your IT). And these are TOP500 companies!

When comparing different types of server systems, you’ll find out that the worst performing servers in terms of availability are x86 based systems which many of the new clouds are based on.

How much downtime can you afford?

An availability of 99 percent translates to 1.68 hours of downtime per week. The first line in the table represents x86 type of servers, usually running Windows. The last line represents IBM z System servers, usually running Linux or z/OS.  Which one would you choose for the heart of your business?

Would you like to use the same system as the best players do?

The good news is that there are also systems that give you an availability level of 99.9999 % (only 0,6 seconds of downtime per week). What would that mean to your downtime budget? And how much happier would your customers be?

The highest possible availability is one of the key reasons why the most critical businesses in the world use IBM z System as the core of their IT. IBM z System is known as one of the best, if not the best server system in the world.

What’s equally great is, that you no longer need to be one of the big corporates or institutions to have the privilege of using the very best core systems. You can now take z System capabilities in your use at a fraction of the original price thanks to cloud-like shared capacity models and new z System functionalities like running open Linux on z System.

I’ll let you know more about this in my coming posts, so keep tuned in!

- - -

Stay up-to-date

Get all the latest blogs sent you now!