IDC Survey: Downtime Costs Large Companies Billions
February 19, 2015

Steven Wastie
AppDynamics

Unplanned application downtime costs the Fortune 1000 from $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion every year, according to an IDC report: DevOps and the Cost of Downtime: Fortune 1000 Best Practice Metrics Quantified.

The new report is based on an in-depth survey of DevOps and other IT personnel at Fortune 1000 companies, conducted with the cooperation of AppDynamics. The report offers real insights into the adoption and impact of DevOps practices in large enterprises.

“Our survey indicates that over 40 percent of these companies have a DevOps practice, and another 40 percent are actively evaluating DevOps," said IDC Vice President Stephen Elliot. "The DevOps teams are deploying new tools, building connections among various stakeholders, and increasing project speed and success, among other benefits that they are delivering.”

The research also brought to light the real costs and impact of outages. On average, infrastructure failure costs large enterprises $100,000 per hour. Critical application failures exact a far steeper toll, from $500,000 to $1 million per hour.

Whether infrastructure or application, 35 percent of respondents reported time-to-repair of one to 12 hours. Double-digit percentages — 17 percent for infrastructure failures, and 13 percent for application failures — measured their time-to-repair in days rather than hours.

Obstacles and Opportunities for DevOps

While the majority of Fortune 1000 respondents have or are considering DevOps practices, it is not a path without challenges. Well over half of those surveyed cite “cultural inhibitors” as the biggest risk for DevOps implementation. More than 40 percent point to fragmented processes, and slightly more than a quarter say lack of executive support are the biggest challenges to DevOps implementation.

At the same time, expectations for DevOps practices are high. Two-thirds of those surveyed expect DevOps to improve customer experience; almost as many are looking for it to lower IT costs.

Other outcomes that place high on the list of expectations include improved productivity, higher profits, and improved IT employee satisfaction. DevOps is expected to accelerate delivery of capabilities to the customer by an average of 15 to 20 percent.

Toward those goals, the initiatives that respondents plan to implement as part of DevOps include automation (60%), continuous delivery (50%), continuous integration (43%), automated testing (43%), and application monitoring/management (43%), among other capabilities.

Application management tops the list of new tools DevOps teams are likely to purchase. Tool additions or replacements are a definite priority, as IT organizations that have tried to custom-adjust their current tools for DevOps practices have a failure rate of 80 percent.

IT Sharpens Focus on Business Outcomes

Whether it’s improving the efficiency of IT operations or minimizing application and infrastructure downtime, the focus of IT is moving increasingly toward business outcomes, and to that end, the business transaction is the critical metric.

“This research points out that application performance equals business performance,” said Jyoti Bansal, founder and CEO of AppDynamics. “And it shows how DevOps can help to mitigate these performance issues. IT is moving beyond DevOps to BizDevOps, where IT works even closer with the business owners to understand how performance and customer behaviors impact business transactions, which really are the make-or-break metrics for success. In today’s software-driven enterprise, successful business transactions are the key to IT success, and they are the common language that can bring together biz, dev, and ops in productive collaboration.”

Steven Wastie is Chief Marketing Officer of AppDynamics.

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