Critical systems and data centers are immeasurably more reliable than they were two or three decades ago. In most cases, problems are identified and resolved before users and customers notice. Not only has equipment become far more reliable over time, but management processes are now in place to anticipate failures or limit the consequences. In an era of cloud, distributed architectures, traffic management, and low-cost replication mean that IT can re-route around many failures, in some cases automatically.

Despite this, Uptime Institute’s research finds that major failures are not only still common, but that the consequences are high, and possibly higher than in the past – a result of our high reliance on IT systems in all aspects of life. In 2018, there were major outages of financial systems, day-long outages of 911 emergency service call numbers, aircraft losing services from ground-based IT landing systems, and healthcare systems lost during critical hours.