Network downtime unavoidable, IT execs say

Survey shows most IT executives expect network and systems downtime to impact their bottom line

A majority of IT executives expect in 2007 to experience at least a few hours of network downtime, which could impact their revenue.

A majority of IT executives expect they will experience in 2007 at least a few hours of network downtime, which could affect their revenue.

Results from a recent survey of more than 200 senior corporate executives and IT managers reveal that, while 99.999% availability remains the nirvana of network performance, most executives and IT managers don't expect to reach it this year. The survey shows that 97% of respondents at large companies expect downtime, and about half of those expect the outages to be significant enough to impact revenue. About 95% of all companies say revenue would "slow significantly or stop" if certain key IT systems were not accessible.

The survey data, which is part of a larger study by business service-management vendor Managed Objects, also reveals that higher-ranking executives are more confident about the state of their network and IT systems than the IT managers who touch the infrastructure on a daily basis. For instance, 47% of IT managers at large companies -- those with more than $1 billion in revenue -- admit failures could occur in 2007, while just 30% of C-level executives believe the same.

There’s also a disparity between how executives at small and large companies view the likelihood of significant downtime occurring. About 20% of C-level executives at smaller companies -- those with less than $1 billion in revenue -- acknowledge that significant downtime is "inevitable," compared to 4% of C-level executives at larger companies saying the same. Meanwhile, about 10% of IT managers at both small and large companies see significant downtime as inevitable.

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