Jan 23 2015

Why Avoiding Monitoring Can Be Costly for Your Business

It’s cheaper to invest in tools that alert IT to problems early, than it is to clean up after a huge outage or breach that went undetected because there was no monitoring.

The saying is that what you don’t know can’t hurt you, but what your IT leaders don’t know might devastate IT operations.

In a post on Geek Speak blog (named a BizTech Must-Read IT Blog this year), Leon Adato, who’s a Head Geek in the Thwack Community, shared why installing some form of monitoring in all areas across the business can be a lifesaver.

Adato used an example from a healthcare organization to make his case.

[A] 300-bed hospital considered implementing a $5,000 automated temperature monitoring system for the freezers where the hospitals supply of food was stored. The system would have saved staff time by measuring the current temperature in each of the coolers and freezers, and sending notifications if the temperature was out of acceptable range.

Hospital administration declined, deeming the solution too expensive just to know that a freezer was five degrees too cold. Needless to say, one of the staff members eventually left the door to the main cooler open, which caused the compressor to run all evening until it failed completely. The next morning, staff arrived only to find all the food in that cooler had spoiled. Recovering from this failure required emergency food orders, extra staff, repair services and a lot of overtime.

The total cost of the outage came to a cool $1 million—200 times more than the cost of the monitoring system deemed to be “too expensive.” This kind of scenario, where a small upfront investment could have prevented costly problems down the road, should sound hauntingly familiar to IT pros.

That’s why it behooves IT professionals to spell out the true cost of not investing in monitoring or disaster recovery tools. While non-IT executives might balk at the upfront cost of investing in monitoring or backup tools, the damage-control price tag after a breach or outage is often times far steeper.

As Adato puts it, “the cost of not monitoring is often far greater than the tools that could help us avoid failures in the first place.”

Have you successfully convinced non-IT managers or executives to invest in monitoring or backup tools? If so, we’d love to hear your stories in the Comments section.


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