What Makes Downtime So Painful for Banks
As banks move more and more of their services online, a single crash can prove catastrophic. That means financial institutions must avoid the risks associated with downtime by investing in capacity planning now.
In today’s world of round-the-clock banking, financial institutions can’t afford to miss a step. That’s because every second of every day, workers deposit their paychecks, businesses transfer huge sums of money, and customers withdraw currency — online financial services, now commonly referred to as “FinTech,” must prove seamless in their performance.
By contrast, the gravest mistake a bank can make is to let their online services crash, causing dreaded downtime. This cuts customers off from their personal or professional savings, forever tarnishing a bank’s reputation.
Effective capacity planning is the only real defense against such a blunder — and yet banks everywhere continue to forgo it.
According to TechCentral, South Africa’s Standard Bank faced a total online shutdown on August 3, leaving customers completely locked out of their online services for an entire Monday. Amid an onslaught of complaints and consternation, the bank posted a message to their website, which explained that “Internet banking is temporarily unavailable [and] we are working on restoring services urgently. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.”
Credit card, debit card, and ATM use were still available, but even the bank’s branches were shut down due to the outage. Even worse, customers were given no indication as to when the bank’s services — and their money — would be available. Current and former patrons took to the internet in a social media firestorm, spreading outage and complaints about Standard across Twitter, and Facebook, among other platforms.
The development of the FinTech industry has allowed banks to expand their markets globally. This is wonderful for business, but it also puts enormous pressure on a bank’s servers, systems, and IT infrastructure to move like clockwork 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But as stories like those of Standard and First National Bank demonstrate, banks can’t afford to suffer even a single outage. One mistake sends customers scrambling to other banks that haven’t experienced an outage, and every minute of downtime can cost an institution millions of dollars.
But planning for a bank’s future IT capacity is difficult because it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when huge numbers of customers will reach for their accounts. It requires not only enormous server capacity, but also an ability to effectively predict and prepare for spikes in service.
That’s why some of the world’s largest financial institutions are turning to TeamQuest to help them prepare their IT systems for user overloads. One such institution, responsible for 55,000 virtual and physical systems and over 10,000 applications, made use of our predictive capacity planning and was able to reduce capacity-related outages by 20%. That represents some serious ROI.
TeamQuest predicted that Black Friday of last year would figure as the highest service spike in the company’s history. We were right — but because the institution had taken TeamQuest’s predictive analytics to heart, they experienced nothing short of a “seamless” service. Due to successes like these, the institution was able to pay off their TeamQuest IT package within a single year.
TeamQuest can help financial institutions improve their IT maturity and increase their resistance to outages. With effectively capacity planning, banks can decrease their downtime and, thus, increase the number of happy customers.
(Main image credit: photosteve101/flickr)