The time it takes to get engineers onsite (52% in the US and 42% globally), inadequate network monitoring (41% in the US and 36% globally) and a lack of in-house skill (40% in both the US and globally) are among the biggest challenges organizations face in resolving a network outage quickly, according to a recent study commissioned by Opengear, a Digi International company.

In addition, more than a quarter of respondents globally (26%) and in the US (25%) said their organization’s biggest priority when a network outage strikes is to get engineers onsite as fast as possible. However, reduced onsite workforces and a greater reliance on working from home has proven difficult to overcome. Other priorities included diagnosing issues quickly (40% in the US and 32% globally), informing customers (16% in the US and 20% globally) and putting in place measures to prevent it from happening again (16% in the US and 17% globally).

While many companies already employ an out-of-band (OOB) management network to ensure remote access to their IT infrastructure, the current challenges of getting engineers onsite is driving a change in how that OOB network is utilized.

‘Measuring the True Cost of Network Outages’, Opengear’s in-depth research study of 500 global senior IT decision makers, discovered that in responding to this challenge more than half of companies (60% in the US and 57% globally) have turned to a network automation approach across their network, with over a fifth of organizations (24% globally) currently describing their network resilience at the edge as adequate or poor.

“In today’s current climate it is proving difficult for organizations to get engineers onsite, especially at edge/branch sites to resolve network outages,” said Steve Cummins, vice president of marketing at Opengear. “Add to this the time spent travelling coupled with the loss in business during an outage, it’s no surprise that many organizations are adding NetOps capabilities to their Out-of-Band networks, expanding their ability to manage & repair network outages deployed at those remote locations.”

Concerningly, despite the reputation and monetary damage of a network outage, more than half (51% in the US and 59% globally) of organizations surveyed have not implemented a preventative maintenance program to minimize downtime. In fact, fewer than one in six (16% in the US and 17% globally) say their organization’s biggest priority in the event of a network outage is to put in place preventative actions to stop it from happening again.