What is the best practice for avoiding website outages and maintaining peak performance online?
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With businesses increasingly reliant on their internet assets to provide services, deliver the best customer experience and, importantly, keep profits up, downtime is a major issue.
An average of 3,000 outages affect the internet every day and downtime can have a significant impact on company operations and its bottom line. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why downtime can be disastrous for a business:
1. You can’t meet customer expectations:
Today, customers expect a trouble-free, efficient online experience. Their high expectations when it comes to website response mean that a delay of over three seconds can drive them to a competitor’s site instead.
As a result, any availability issues – or a full outage – can have huge consequences for a web-centric business, potentially pushing customers into its competitors’ grasp.
2. You lose out on revenue:
As internet assets directly affect both core business tasks and customer experience, they also have a serious impact on the bottom line.
A study by Avaya highlighted that 80 percent of network outages result in lost revenue, with the average outage within the financial sector costing upwards of as $540,000 in lost revenue. IT executives cannot avoid costly outages without knowledge and control over the internet.
3. Your business’ reputation is tarnished:
Site outages or slow-loading pages harm not only revenue but also brand reputation. Dyn research reveals that over 85% of consumers admit that the speed and quality of a website’s performance affects their trust in that company.
This can have a huge impact; one bad experience can lose a customer’s loyalty for life. Full outages or slowdowns mar the user experience but also quickly undo years of building customer trust.
With so much at stake, many CIOs need to consider how they can navigate the network and ensure their organisation’s internet assets stay up and running in the unpredictable landscape whereby outages are frequent.
First thing first, it comes down to being prepared. Whilst outages can prove disastrous, prior planning can prevent poor internet performance and downtime. Although thousands of internet outages can affect cloud service providers, CDNs, and transit providers every day, cost-effective tools are available for those businesses committed to developing a 100% uptime strategy.
Secondary DNS and internet monitoring services can help IT avoid outage disasters, removing any excuse for outright internet failures. When a failure or outage occurs, businesses taking advantage of these tools will be in the best position possible to react quickly.
Secondly, in today’s cloud and CDN dependent ecosystem, CIOs must understand far more than the routing, performance and security characteristics of their internal network: visibility into the entire internet is key.
Internet performance management tools exist to help IT identify and mitigate risks which can lead to business continuity issues. By constantly monitoring the most important third parties that IT systems depend on and implementing tools which send alerts whenever potential performance issues arise, IT can fully understand performance in the network.
Lastly, a backup plan is key for those organisations which need to consistently deliver services to their customers. Organisations experiencing a connection outage with no backup plan will have to wait patiently for the problem to be resolved instead of taking matters into their own hands.
Not every company will have to wait out connectivity issues. The internet offers a huge variety of connectivity options for businesses that know where to find them. DNS lookups inform customers where they can reach the business’ services, whether that’s in the cloud or on premise.
Cloud monitoring tools exist which can both inform businesses which cloud locations best serve their customers and constantly monitor these connections to cloud locations. When an outage is detected, they can alter DNS settings to “redirect” customers to an alternative route to reach the business’ available services.
While the internet may seem unpredictable and out-of-control, the truth is that today CIOs can access better mission-critical insights into the global internet to ensure a disruptive event doesn’t set the company back in both time and financial resources.
Armed with these real-time insights into the network, companies can optimise the way they manage, monitor and control their internet assets, and ultimately avoid outages to successfully deliver the best possible experience for their customers, regardless of time or circumstance.
Paul Heywood is MD EMEA at internet performance management firm, Dyn.