The Challenge of End of Year IT Traffic Surges. What is the solution?

Thu 26 December 2019, Dedi Hermansyah

For some people the end of the year is eagerly awaited with the holidays arriving, but not for professionals in the Information Technology (IT) division. On the contrary, the end of the year with the momentum of Christmas and New Year holidays is a tense period when there is a surge in peak season traffic that requires continuous uninterrupted connectivity. One problem can cause tremendous consequences. You name it. A bad user experience, plummeting company image, even to the point of losing sales opportunities or rapidly losing out to competitors.

In Indonesia, one of the leading e-commerce companies experienced this issue during the first moments of the 2018 National Online Shopping Day (Harbolnas). Many customers complained that they could not make a transaction (checkout) because the company’s webpage was down on a number of occasions. The consequences of this are certain to have had an impact on the company’s business.

Even if you don’t expect to experience a technological issue of that scale during a holiday, it still must be anticipated. The IT division has to work harder to maintain the system’s availability in the peak season momentum at the end of the year. And even harder when various programs are put on by corporations, from Harbolnas to end of year promotions and discounts. These conditions certainly push traffic connectivity which skyrockets unbelievably. Customers, especially smartphone users, immediately switch to another site or application if they cannot quickly find what they need.

For this, there are at least three crucial things that need to be anticipated as early as possible, and not be missed. On the other hand, don’t let anticipation become its own problem by wasting your budget. Here are the three crucial things that can be done by IT professionals coming up to the end of the year.

1. Effectiveness of Supporting Infrastructure

For businesses that have more activities during the holidays, like e-commerce, travel or retail, infrastructure that supports the business site for the rest of the year may not be able to withstand the traffic load during holidays. The increased load can slow down the performance of the network connectivity resulting in many obstacles in the way of making smooth transactions. Many organizations respond to this issue by buying additional servers to accommodate peak season periods. However, this can result in a waste of capital with the equipment just sitting and collecting dust during the slow season.

The best way to anticipate this challenge is to improve infrastructure capabilities through the Cloud. Your IT assets and data stored in the Cloud can be decentralized on multiple servers which impacts responsive browsing experiences without sacrificing speed. Application hosting in the Cloud provides a number of capabilities, including redundancy, flexibility, and scalability which enable high availability and positive customer experience with the ability to adjust IT capacity as needed to meet traffic surges.

Another advantage can also be seen in terms of cost management. In general, IT operations during peak season require companies to purchase devices and storage with excess capacity, even though this capacity is only really needed at specific times of the year. With the user-friendly payment model offered by cloud technology, the company significantly reduces the risk of excess spending on computing and storage assets.

2. Reducing Downtime through Network Visibility

During peak season, many businesses are not aware of any problems, especially network issues, until a complaint comes in either internally or from a customer. And at that point, it is likely that they have lost thousands of potential business transactions and left a bad impression of the performance of the company’s network management. Given that competitors are only one click away, every minute of uptime is important even during the holiday season.

I think we all agree on the importance of network monitoring for end-to-end visibility in ensuring overall network performance, health, and security. But the biggest question is how this “visibility” should be used to achieve maximum effectiveness, especially during peak business season? The main feature to look for in a network monitoring solution is reached, where gaps in visibility can cause massive problems if network issues occur. Scalability is another factor that must be considered so that network visibility can keep up with your business development when network requirements are particularly high. Good interoperability is also a major component that enables network monitoring solutions to interact smoothly with IT and reporting tools.

Several global companies have made IT investments to use the services of a Managed Network Service that offers leading-edge Proactive Monitoring solutions as a business strategy. Network management services are seen as added value for businesses with IT managers not only being able to predict when downtime will occur and view the performance of network availability, but also to notify and resolve network issues before they themselves are aware of the issue, including packet loss, low latency, and poor bandwidth utilization, among others.

3. Back up… Back up… Back up!!!

Be aware, IT disasters come in various forms, ranging from equipment malfunction, cyber-crime, data center equipment failures, to sudden power cuts. And no business is immune. These things would be a major disaster, especially if they occur at the end of the year.

Therefore, businesses must ensure that they have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that includes processes and procedures to ensure business continuity during a disaster. Since most organizations have already switched to the Cloud, the best approach is to implement a cloud backup and disaster recovery solution that offers continuous and secure data protection.

For companies that do not have Human Resources (HR) large or capable enough to implement the Cloud, services from Manage Cloud Providers, like Telkomtelstra, have Manage Disaster Recovery Services and Manage Backup Service solutions for the cloud to support companies with IT disaster recovery solutions and ensure rapid recovery during critical situations, especially during the holidays and peak season.

(*) This article was written by Dedi Hermansyah, VP IT & Systems of telkomtelstra