Managing Technology Incidents

Technology Incidents

No matter how well you plan, something will go wrong. You can do a lot to prevent technology incidents and recover fast from failures. However, something will always bite you, and you need a plan for this eventuality.

Over the recent years, we have heard of several high-profile incidents impacting brand companies. In 2021, Facebook suffered one of its worst outages, affecting many parts of its service. This impacted thousands of customers and businesses worldwide and was not well received by their clients. 

If you are in business, then you are in the technology business. Of course, you might not want to be in the technology business, but that is the reality – and you need to plan for the worst. This short article examines what you need to do to reduce outage and incident risks.

What is the impact of incidents?

At SaneChoice, we have multiple services, including email and hosting. Our customers rely on these services to interact with clients, families and other businesses. If these services are offline, a great deal of disruption (and stress) is caused to our clients. There is also a high probability of reputational damage and financial loss. 

A recent incident with Rackspace Hosted Exchange (which is still ongoing at the time of writing) saw a security incident force them to shut down their mail platform. As a result, thousands of customers lost contact with the outside world for several days until a migration of accounts occurred. There were also emails stuck in limbo with no telling where they had gone. The customer complaints ramped up over the days of the outage, and many have migrated away permanently – never to return.

We take no pleasure in Rackspace’s incident. It is a terrible situation for any business, and we would not wish this on any of our competitors. Under the circumstances (a security incident), Rackspace did the right thing by shutting down the environment. However, this is little consolation for the thousands of clients depending on reliable communications. Furthermore, clients expected Rackspace to be far more resilient to security incidents than smaller companies. 

How to reduce the impact of technology incidents

The chances are that you are not running a multi-million-pound business supplying email services to thousands of clients. Instead, you are a small business selling products and services to considerably fewer customers. This makes your life a little easier and makes you less of a target for attackers – threat actors tend to go for the branded big fish. However, whatever you are selling, you need to be prepared.

The first thing you need to identify is obvious: understand the critical services that keep your business ticking over. Only once these services are identified can you start thinking about what can go wrong – and what you can do to mitigate the risk. The mitigation for a website owner might be regular backups or snapshots. For a service provider, it might be to have an alternative to migrate to if the primary service fails. Regardless of the solution, it all starts with understanding what matters to your core business operations. 

The next thing you need to do is make sure your plan works. For example, can you restore your website from a point in time? Is your alternative mail provider up and running and ready to take over? Are your processes and procedures well-formed, and document the steps for a disaster recovery invocation? A plan you cannot execute successfully is just a plan.

The final aspect is understanding the time it takes to execute that plan. And, if possible, improving the execution time to make it as short as possible. Once the timings are understood, ensure that this information is available to your clients so it is transparent what can happen during a crisis – and how long it will take to recover. 


We all hope that the worst does not happen. But the reality is that a serious technology incident will occur at some point in your business career. So think about these risks, create a plan and ensure you can execute successfully. Spend time doing this to avoid placing your business in the same bucket as Facebook and Rackspace.

SaneChoice started in 2004 when a customer was frustrated by their hosting provider at the time. Since that year, SaneChoice has been providing technology services to clients worldwide, with a strong focus on helping small businesses understand technology.

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