Median annual IT outage cost for retailers near $10 million

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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IT outages can carry catastrophic costs.

Retailers are paying a heavy price for incidents where their technology stacks go down.

The median annual cost of IT outages for 173 surveyed retailers is $9.95 million, according to  the first “State of Observability for Retail” report from unified data platform provider New Relic.

The study also shows that retailers experience high-business-impact outages at a higher frequency than other industries, with 37% of respondents reporting these outages at least once a week compared to the overall average of 32% across industries. In addition, more than half (55%) of respondents noted it takes at least 30 minutes to detect high-business-impact outages and 61% indicated it takes at least 30 minutes to resolve them.

Retailers also spend more on outage observability technologies than most other industries, according to the survey. Almost half (49%) of respondents said they spend $500,000 or more, and 31% said they spend $1 million or more per year on observability.

More than four in 10 (43%) of respondents said they have improved their mean time to resolution (MTTR) since adopting an observability solution, while close to six in 10 (57%) of respondents noted more than $500,000 in total annual value, In addition, 43% said the total annual value is $1 million or more, and 21% estimated they receive $5 million or more per year in total annual value from observability solutions.

A look ahead

  • By mid-2026, almost all (98%) respondents are expected to have deployed alerts, as well as network monitoring and security monitoring (both 97%).
  • In the next one to three years, more than half (53%) of respondents are expected to deploy synthetic monitoring, 42% are expected to deploy mobile monitoring, and 39% are expected to deploy browser monitoring.
  • By mid-2026, 90% of respondents are expected to have deployed browser monitoring, 85% expected to have deployed mobile monitoring, and 79% expected to have deployed synthetic monitoring.

[Read more: CSA Exclusive: Retailers’ biggest cybersecurity concerns are...]

Other findings

  • Seven in 10 (69%) respondents toggle between more than four observability tools in an effort to understand the different aspects of their business.
  • More than four in 10 (42%) of respondents said their organization is likely to consolidate tools in the next year to get the most value out of their observability spend.
  • The top observability solution architecture preference among respondents is a single, consolidated platform (46%).

“If a retailer’s website goes down for even 30 minutes on a high-traffic day like Cyber Monday, it could cost them millions of dollars, not to mention negatively influence their brand perception,” said New Relic chief strategy and design officer Peter Pezaris.