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What’s the revenue Delta following a major IT issue?

Yeah, OK, so the title is a cheap pun, but the trials and tribulations for Delta Airlines this week were anything but funny, both for the business and the poor holidaymakers trying to get away.

The whole episode got me thinking about just how little we as consumers tend to consider the potential complexity of systems that power today’s easy-to-use, buy-at-the-touch-of-a-button applications, and interfaces.

For those that haven’t been following the news, a serious IT outage grounded much of the Delta fleet this week, with over 1700 flights reported canceled on Monday and Tuesday alone. Analysts have estimated that the incident might knock 10% off Q3 earnings for the company.

Ouch.

Turns out the cause this time round seems to have been hardware issues relating to an electrical power surge, but it could just as easily have been the result of an outage in one of the many related software systems that power today’s businesses.

Once you start looking, there are more cases of software failure causing problems – whether operational, financial, reputational or even all three – than you can shake a stick at. Just a couple of years ago in the UK, retailer Screwfix accidentally reduced the price of everything on their website to £34.99. I’ll take a bathroom suite at that price, thanks.

That was bad enough for their reputation but pales into insignificance next to the £56 million fine that bank RBS was hit with after an episode in 2012 when their ATMs stopped working.

I could go on…

Obviously, it’s critical for all large organizations to have the right disaster recovery plans in place, but wouldn’t it be better to do everything possible to reduce the chance of a problem occurring in the first place?

Our DevOps Toolset allows businesses to manage change in their SAP systems quickly, safely and transparently, helping to minimize the chance of delivering something into production that could break the system and damage your business. If it should happen, the unique Backout function lets you roll back the changes.

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