Incident management has long been a critical component of IT operations. When issues arise, organizations must respond swiftly to mitigate the impact and restore normalcy. However, the nature of incidents and the complexity of modern IT ecosystems have evolved dramatically in recent years. To meet these challenges head-on, organizations are increasingly turning to automation as a fundamental pillar of their incident management strategy to improve Median time to Respond (MTTR), eliminate toil and lower costs.
Given the alarming surge in expenses, incidents now threaten organizations with losses upwards of tens of millions of dollars annually. Organizations remain perilously exposed, leading to catastrophic outages that damage customer trust and employee productivity according to a recent report from Constellation Research on the state of IT operations and incident management.
How Many Incidents Require Escalation?
With the frequency of incident escalations increasing year-over-year, remediation comes at a high cost. When escalation happens, multiple teams and experts get involved, spending valuable time and resources that could be used elsewhere.
In the 2023 Dimensional Research survey that the Constellation report references, respondents said close to 67% of incidents required escalation; a whopping 12% increase over the previous year. Not only that, 57% of respondents indicated that 60% or more of their incidents are regularly escalated, resulting in multiple skilled resources spending many hours on mundane or repeatable incidents that cost more in terms of personnel than in terms of infrastructure.
What’s the Cost of Incident Response?
For a company with 5,000 employees or more, almost 12% of major incidents cost them $1 million or more, and 2% of companies reported it cost them $5 million or more, according to the Constellation report. Furthermore, 48% of these large enterprises encountered six or more major incidents per year and 9% of them had 21 or more major incidents per year. For nearly half of these companies, incident resolution costs anywhere between $20 million to $100 million annually, a staggering amount that is hard to justify for something as simple as keeping the lights on.
Automated Incident Response is the Future
In a world where it’s simply not sustainable to scale your on-call and DevOps team to match the complexity of your environment, productivity improvements are the only logical solution. Automation can help create a self-driving IT at the scale the business demands rather than waiting for site reliability engineers to manage it. Respondents agree.
The Constellation report finds that 99% of survey respondents would like to see some form of AI or automation to avoid manual intervention. Similarly, 89% of respondents suggest that companies with a high degree of automation have the most effective incident response.
“It’s easy to measure time savings from automation. Each time the automation is run, you can just add up the minutes and hours for work that wasn’t required. Almost 170 remediations were automatically triggered last month, conservatively saving over 20 FTE days of DevOps work, while improving app performance. For all these reasons, as we bring each automation online, we briefly celebrate the benefits it will bring, then quickly shift to asking, ‘What can we automate next?’”
Louis-Philippe Kronek, General Manager Online,
In a world where nearly half of all incidents are straightforward and repetitive, automation is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It empowers organizations to detect, respond to and resolve incidents with unparalleled efficiency and accuracy at record speeds. But most importantly, it will enhance the resilience of your IT infrastructure and free up valuable human resources to focus on higher-value tasks.
Operational Excellence in DevOps
The cost of incident management is a significant concern for organizations of all sizes. However, by embracing automation, you can not only reduce these costs but also improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your incident management processes, like some of our customers have already seen. As technology continues to advance, automation will play an increasingly vital role in ensuring resilience and sustainability.
“The time has come for IT leaders to re-imagine their IT operations and make them more efficient. This involves resolving incidents as quickly as they can to build digital resiliency into their systems. Otherwise, the next major incident could be a fatal blow.”
- Andy Thurai, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research
At Shoreline.io, our goal is to help production operations teams improve productivity and tackle incident management, one automation at a time. Our cloud orchestration layer for automated incident response makes it easy to search across your entire infrastructure to find, diagnose and automate the repair of issues to reduce the risk of major outages and improve resilency.
Get the full report here.