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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Introduction to Availability Management

The availability of IT services is the most basic requirement in any organization. Since organizations are often so dependent on their IT services for so many business functions, if the IT service isn’t available, the business of the organization effectively stops. Imagine what would happen, if the online banking service of a bank along with its Core Banking System is unavailable for one full day? All the banks customers will be unable to carry out banking transactions and do I even have to tell what would happen to the IT Service Provider if such a thing happened?

Availability Management is primarily a proactive process with a primary purpose of cost-effectively meeting the availability requirements the business has of its IT services both now and in the future.

If an organization has any doubts about the need for investing in Availability Management, consider the impact of being without vital business functions that rely on the availability of IT services. Financially, the cost of service downtime can be measured in terms of lost user time as follows:

Number of incidents × average outage duration × average number of users affected × average cost per user

Ex: If there are 10 incidents every year each causing an outage of 30 mins each. If each outage affects 50 users at a cost of USD 500 each, the calculation will be:
Total Loss = 10 * 30 * 50 * 500 = $7,500,000
Total Loss = $7.5 million per year

However, even the cost of lost user time can be small compared with the lost opportunity cost or consequential loss of not being able to trade during this downtime. There are obviously other industry sectors such as health care and security where the impact of losing key IT services is far more significant than a financial loss.

Availability Management can be extremely effective in identifying and eliminating potential causes of lost availability and in a commercial organization it will undoubtedly save more money than it costs.

Prev: Relationship between SLM and Other Processes

Next: Goals, Purpose & Objectives of Availability Management

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