IT/Facilities Survey Shows Availability Requirements on the Rise


A recent survey from Columbus, Ohio-based Liebert Corp. provides some interesting information about what IT and facilities professionals know--and don't know—about the cost of downtime.

Computer and network availability requirements are on the rise, according to a survey of information technology professionals by the Liebert. Of the more than 500 respondents to the survey, 55% said that computer availability requirements have increased over the last two years, while an additional 26% indicated that availability requirements are already at 100 percent. More than half of those polled report their organizations now have availability requirements of at least “five nines,” or less than six minutes of downtime per year.

Other survey highlights include:

  • 34% of respondents did not know the average hourly cost of downtime for their organizations.

  • Software failures, hardware failures, power interruptions, human error and viruses were all identified as “possible or highly probable” causes of downtime by a majority of respondents.

  • IT managers are involved in the specification or purchase decision of computer support systems in 86% of organizations surveyed.

  • Facility managers were involved in the purchase or specification in 79% of organizations surveyed.

“We expected to see availability requirements on the rise, but were surprised at the number of respondents who don’t know their downtime costs,” said Bob Bauer, president of Liebert. “As these organizations evaluate measures to increase network availability, it is vital that they have an accurate measure of the cost of network downtime.”

Bauer also noted the high level of involvement of IT management in specifying or purchasing computer support systems, such as power protection and environmental control.

“These systems were traditionally the responsibility of the facility manager,” said Bauer. “Now, IT management is often as involved, or more involved, than facility personnel. This increases the need for IT and facility management cooperation."

The 2004 Liebert Availability Report is available at .

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