IT System Failure: 3 British Airways Outage Lessons
Long weekends are usually great for relaxing. This past Memorial Day Weekend, however, was anything but for British Airways. At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, a power surge at a data center created a ripple effect, causing system failure on all of their systems. This IT error cost parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) nearly $650 million dollars. BA was forced to cancel 75,000 flights, affecting over 300,000 passengers, with thousands stuck in limbo at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. How, exactly, did things get to this point? And what can your business learn from BA's mistakes?
Slashed IT Spending
British Airway’s chief executive, Alex Cruz, has been accused of deep budget cuts, including downsizing staff and outsourcing to obscure third parties. According to The Stack, Cruz has apologized for the system failure and has denied claims from the GMB union that the meltdown occurred as a result of staff cuts and foreign IT outsourcing. The group suggested that BA had cut ‘hundreds of dedicated and loyal’ IT staff to outsource its IT requirements to India in an effort to save money. In addition, BA’s backup and disaster recovery systems also failed, unable to spin the data centers back up to support airline functionality.
Covering Your Assets
The backlash from this incident makes it clear that customers and investors have limited mercy when it comes to technology blunders. But British Airways is far from the only big name in the news for IT-related disasters, and if these giants can fall short on the IT basics, we can't help but wonder how many SMBs are leaving their systems to fate. Advances in technology and enterprise-level business solutions are now readily available to the SMB market. There are affordable disaster recovery programs that can ensure a business is back up and running within hours, even minutes, and proactive IT support programs that help mitigate disasters altogether.
Outsourced IT, Done Right
Several sources have commented that British Airways' decision to outsource its technology to a company in India could have exacerbated the problem. No definitive answers have been given, but as an IT outsourcing company of 25 years, we can confidently say that WHO you outsource to makes all the difference during a disaster. A proactive and reliable IT partner monitors systems around the clock, alerts you of problems before they're problems, ensures redundancy and that backup systems are tested and fail-safe, and just has your back. Before you commit to an outsourcing partner, find out if their consultants can accomplish these basics and gauge how committed they are to helping your business succeed.
Looking for a better Outsourced IT experience? Check out this quick video:
Disaster Recovery Planning
A Disaster Recovery plan is useless unless it can actually recover your business from a disaster. Did you know that there are services out there that can ensure your backups are tested daily? Some companies may be comfortable with quarterly backups but technological innovations have set a new solution standard when it comes to data backup. Intelligent Business Continuity goes beyond data protection to deliver automated assurance, continuous protection, secured storage and instant recovery.
Don’t let your business suffer from system failure. Having reliable support and a fully tested disaster recovery plan in your back pocket is vital to the success of your organization. For more information on how iCorps can help, reach out for a free consultation.