Discover why PagerDuty users are switching to xMatters. Listen to insights from Ben Narramore, Director of Global Operations at PlayStation.Watch webinar

Uptime Blog

IT Communications Systems Have Limits

IT Communications Buyers Guide

It’s going down. It’s a data breach, a malware attack, server failure, third-party software issue, something bad. You know you need to get 500 people to perform hundreds of different tasks right now. Do you have the IT communications system to make that happen? Large enterprises have to ask themselves this question every day. According to Forrester, 59% of IT professionals say that improving their incident and problem management process is an area “most in need of improvement.”

Providers of IT communications systems manipulate buzzwords like flexible, powerful, and reliable to promote what they’re selling. You might hear some vendors exaggerate their capabilities. We have a more complete list in our IT Communications Buyers Guide, but here are just a couple of claims you might hear that you should vet carefully.

We can help you maintain large groups of users
Large enterprises have thousands or even tens of thousands of employees. Factor in partners and customers, and you could have hundreds of thousands of communication recipients. When you have to send messages to individuals or groups, your contact data has to be up to date so your messages don’t go to incorrect addresses or — even worse — to former employees or customers who have left their companies. An enterprise-grade vendor will regularly sync data so you don’t have to do it manually or require all message recipients to type in contact information themselves. Frequent, bidirectional syncing ensures that updates in a communications solution will be reflected in a system of record. Make sure your vendor can accommodate your entire extended workforce with granular control over inclusion, permissions, and groups.

We can scale to meet your needs
“Multiple” processes from smaller vendors can be more limited than you need. The time to discover this is NOT during a critical IT incident. If you can notify only 20 or 30 people simultaneously, it’s time to get a true enterprise solution. A notification suitable for large-scale businesses will allow you to alert an unlimited number of people at one time or trigger multiple events to multiple audiences in parallel. With today’s more diverse, more distributed enterprises, scaling must include the ability to initiate collaboration during incidents for communication applications. For example, IT communications need to go beyond just assigning tickets to single individuals. They must enable one-touch conference bridges to accommodate large collaborative groups – instantly.

If you are looking to scale, you’re not alone. Gartner predicts that enterprise software spending will jump 5.5% this year to $335 billion. Gartner is also forecasting that global spending on IT services will increase 2.5 percent this year to $981 billion, even as datacenter infrastructure spending remains essentially flat.

We’re mobile
In today’s world, it’s not worth even showing up to the party without a mobile solution. But there’s “mobile” and then there’s mobile. The distinction can get especially muddied when evaluating communication providers since many will claim the ability to deliver messages to mobile devices as “mobile capabilities.” Be sure to distinguish between the capability for message recipients to receive messages on a mobile device and the ability for incident owners to trigger communications from a mobile device with the same functionality they get from a desktop.

We integrate with your enterprise
In a new API-laden world, integrations between applications have never been easier. Be sure to assess a vendor’s integration as it’s related to your own needs and not just based on volume of vendors. Almost any application can now trigger a communication via APIs. Are sample integrations cited by the vendor actually in production within large customers or just prototypes posted to community sites? There’s a distinct difference between a certified, closed-loop integration and something created during a hackathon for non-production need

For more ideas on making sure you’re getting the security, capabilities, availability, and support, read our IT Communications Buyers Guide.

Request a demo