The recent wave of high visibility outages and failures has brought attention to a problem that happens all too frequently in IT, but is seldom reported on unless the failure impacts the general public. At the root of the problem, from a technical standpoint, is the IT Resources Gap, a problem about which we frequently write. Computing economics have resulted in geometric growth in computing resources and availability of new and better applications at lower costs. But at the same time, IT budgets are showing little to no growth and IT staffing is lagging behind deployments as a result of insufficient budget and lack of available trained resources.
Earlier this month we published a blog post in regards to the U.S. Customs Outage. A nationwide system shutdown held up travelers across the United States, filling up airports with frustrated fliers who were unable to get where they were going due to these issues caused by a technical glitch. We also linked to a blog post we published last year, when the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines both experienced outages in the same day. We recommended that organizations “predict the unpredictable” by implementing an IT automation solution to protect them from potential technical flops. This blog post proved to be predictive in itself when this past Monday, United Airlines experienced yet another “IT issue” which forced them to cancel a dozen flights and delay many others—the outage in all affected over 200 flights.
Monday night, thousands of travelers in airports across the United States were stuck for hours, due to a technical glitch that affected U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). A nationwide system shutdown from the hours of 5 pm to 9 pm plagued airports in Miami, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale and more, lining up fliers and forcing them to wait anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours. This of course caused massive frustration amongst both airline employees and travelers alike. Many people were angered and shocked that in today’s uber-digital day and age, technical hiccups like these can still wreak so much havoc and have such a widespread impact. Security is a major theme in the IT industry today--but many IT and tech users are focusing all of their energy on protecting their systems from digital hackers, and failing to protect their systems from the unpredictable danger of technology malfunctions.