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What happens if your network isn’t resilient?

By Paul Beacham

General Manager TDM Data, Ethernet, Optical & Managed Services

The bigger picture of a resilient network

If you don’t get your network right, you’re risking your business. More than that, you’re adding risk to other businesses too. Because these failures are well reported. Remember British Airways and their IT outage? 75,000 passengers had their travel plans disrupted and it cost the company over £52 million in passenger compensation. Then there was Amazon’s S3 storage solution outage. A big player whose two and half hour outage had a knock on effect for websites and applications like Slack, Trello, Netflix, Reddit, Quora, and others.

These problems cost companies millions. They affect productivity, sales, communications - the list goes on. According to Gartner, the average cost of an outage to a business is £4,250 per minute. When you consider the hourly cost of £255K, it gets scary. However, an Avaya study indicates the range is from $140K to $540K per hour. From sector to sector the impact will vary. Financial services organisations who experience an average of “three outages per month, losses can be significant over a financial year. £3.78m over 12 months for an average financial institution* Customers have high expectations of their financial services providers, so the reputational impact can be considerable, too.”    

Are you risking more than just hard cash?

It’s not just about hard cash loss, but also what it says about you as a business. Or rather, how the reputation of a business who relies on you can be affected too. I was really interested to read an article by Nick Ismail on the Information Age. He discussed the concept of ‘technical debt’. Here’s how he explained it.

''If you borrow money and don’t repay on time, you incur monetary debt that, due to interest, only increases over time. Similarly, if you solve a computer problem with a shortcut rather than with a long-term solution, you incur technical debt, and the cost of repaying that debt rises over time.''

As Nick goes on to say, shouldn’t every company that has a burden of responsibility take a hard look at their suppliers, their existing infrastructure and their networks to evaluate their strength and potential ‘cost of technical debt’?

How does this relate to our channel?

What if there’s huge demand for your service, but you simply don’t have the bandwidth?

What if your current supplier starts to let you down? What if your security is threatened?

What would a glitch do to your always-on capability? How robust is your network?

What assessments have you made?

What’s your technical debt?

A lot of questions but I think this is where suppliers need to be on their game. The brand value of your customer will be impacted. They'll lose their customers, and in turn you’ll lose business and damage your own reputations.

Our entire network is 100% resilient.

This is down to every single one of our ethernet edge nodes – that stretch from Shetland down to the Isles of Scilly and everywhere in between – diverse fibre resilience into our fully meshed core. It’s a fundamental network architecture design principle that gives the channel business continuity assurance. Not forgetting that this core and backhaul network architecture couples with an extensive selection of access resilience solutions. This means we’re uniquely placed to support multiple end-to-end solutions.

How do we support you?

Our commitment to the channel and underpinning your business growth ambitions isn’t just restricted to network resilience. We understand the market is driving for higher bandwidth and we’re proactively investing in building our capacity. That includes 10Gb ports into the network and 100Gb backhaul. We’re committed to proactive investment that’ll underpin the channel and the markets’ growth ambitions.

It used to be that changing bandwidth speeds in response to demand was difficult, slow and expensive. Not anymore. We believe that Bandwidth On-Demand is a necessity. Our customers can upgrade or downgrade their bandwidth on our self-service portal and through an integrated API interface in less than ten minutes. This is all part of our drive to help you be more agile and responsive to your customer requirements and the industry’s changing connectivity demands.

We’ve heavily invested in our network and are pre-building for 10GB ethernet. This means our network is prepared for extra demand – you can fluctuate your capacity depending on the demand of your customers. We believe that in a fast moving market, network resilience and proactive capacity investment should be key criteria in your choice of connectivity partners to de-risk that issue of technical debt. We’re removing the risk and making not just networks, but businesses, more secure.

Let me know?

I’d be really keen to know your views. In the coming weeks, I’ll write a follow-up to this article highlighting your thoughts. What do you think? Have you assessed your technical debt? Connect with me on LinkedIn and drop me a message.

* According to Splunk’s Guillaume Ayme, who cites research into IT outages carried out by Quocirca

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