A new survey by the Uptime Institute found that power issues are becoming less of a problem for data center operators, but networking and software issues are emerging as an increasingly bigger problem.\nThe Uptime Institute's third Annual Outage Analysis notes that while improvements have been made with technology and availability, outages remain a major industry, customer, and regulatory concern.\u00a0\nThe report also shows that the overall impact and direct and indirect cost of outages continue to grow. When asked about their most recent significant outage, more than half of respondents reported an outage in the past three years and estimated its cost at more than $100,000; among those respondents, almost one-third reported costs of $1 million or above.\n\nLearn more about data-center technologies\n\nData-center training needs to change to meet staffing demands \nHow AI can create self-driving data centers\n4 essential edge-computing use cases\n Serverless computing: Ready or not?\nCOVID-19 best practices for data-center operators\n\n\nThe trend is only natural. In the past, your data center was your IT infrastructure. Now add cloud services providers and SaaS. If Outlook 365 has an outage, you have an outage. If AWS has an outage, you have an outage.\n\u201cResiliency remains near the top of management priorities when delivering business services,\u201d said Andy Lawrence, executive director of research for the Uptime Institute, in a statement. \u201cOverall, the causes of outages are changing; software and IT configuration issues are becoming more common, while power issues are now less likely to cause a major IT service outage.\u201d\nUptime notes that although there were significant disruptions affecting financial trading, government services, internet and telecom, the outages that made headlines in 2020 were often about the impact to consumers and workers at home, with interruptions to applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Teams, Zoom, fitness trackers and the like.\nSome of the findings from Uptime\u2019s 2020 survey include:\n\nAlmost half (44%) of data center operators surveyed think that concern about resiliency of data-center\/mission-critical IT has increased in the past twelve months.\nSerious and severe outages are less common (one in six reported having one in the past three years) but can have catastrophic results for stakeholders. Vigilance and investment are necessary.\nMore than half (56%) of all organizations using a third-party data service have experienced a moderate or serious IT service outage in the last three years that was caused by the provider.\nNetworking and configuration issues are emerging as two of the more common causes of service degradation, while power outages are becoming somewhat less of an issue. Power issues are historically caused by failures in UPSs, transfer switches and generators.\n\nWhile tech gets much of the blame for failures, the human element must be taken into account as well. Just what level human error plays is difficult to measure. In Uptime\u2019s 2021 data center resiliency survey, 42% of respondents said they had experienced an outage in the last three years due to human error.\nAmong those, 57% cited data center staff execution (failure to follow procedure) and 44% cited incorrect staff processes\/procedures as root causes. From the research, it is clear a better focus on management and training will produce better service delivery performance.