When It Comes to Application Downtime, Perception Isn’t Reality

CloudEndure recently published their 2014 State of Public Cloud Disaster Recovery report. Their findings regarding application downtime suggest that those providing access to SaaS applications may be suffering from a slight departure from reality. If not careful, this dreamlike state can result in an expectation mismatch capable of destroying the client-vendor relationship.

Some of the key finding of this survey include:

  1. While almost all respondents claim that they meet their application availability goals – 26% said that they don’t measure service availability at all.
  2. While 79% of those surveyed have a service availability goal of 99.9% or better, over half of the companies had at least one outage in the past 3 months.
  3. 68% rated service availability as highly critical to their customers
  4. 40% of organizations don’t share system availability statistics with their customers.
These survey results very interesting. Lets start with the first item on the list above. How can you claim that you meet application availability goals when you don’t measure service availability in the first place? I don’t even know what to say about this except that 26% of those surveyed seem to be living in a mystical land ruled by a powerful Unicorn King.

In regards to the second key finding, most believe that they meet their 99.9% availability goal but many of these have had and outage in the last 3 months. I suppose the last 3 months could have been an outlier. I guess it could also be possible that the outage was very brief. So maybe this isn’t too delusional, but still highly suspect.

What surprises me about item 3 is that only 68% rated service availability as highly critical to their customers. Maybe this is because the SaaS applications that they are providing have an insignificant impact on the productivity of their clients. If so, then the 32% that don’t rate service availability as highly critical have some other issues that they need to tackle.

The last item – item 4 – very concerning. First, successful businesses provide their clients with something that they need. If you are providing your clients with something that they need, and that they rely on or that is mission critical to their business, then they deserve to be informed about application status. If they are not properly informed then they are likely to distrust you, particularly when system availability goes down or starts acting on the fritz. As a result they will be prime for a competitor to steal. If you want a loyal, trusting relationship with your clients you must communicate application status in a timely and appropriate manner. You need an application status page that focuses on informing your end-users.

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