Nowadays, most companies rely on cloud-based networks to offer their products and services. It is, therefore, crucial to have a solid IT infrastructure. Unscheduled downtime can affect your business in many ways, including reduced productivity, lost customers, reputational damage, and high remediation costs. Whenever the IT system gets downtime, your small business will suffer.
According to research by Gartner, the average cost of downtime per minute is $5,600. For one hour, the cost can go up to between $14,000 and $540,000. However, the cost varies depending on business size and industry. It is crucial to understand how a system downtime affects your organization’s operations.
Causes of downtime
Let’s begin by looking at the causes of downtime. Here are some main causes.
Human error is a common cause of unplanned downtime. Employees can unplug cables, or delete data accidentally, which could lead to downtime. Fortunately, you can reduce human error through regular training of your employees.
Hardware or software failure
If you are using obsolete hardware or software, you increase the chances of a system outage. Applying patches without testing them first can cause the entire application to become corrupt.
Floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes can affect the power supply, which can lead to damage. Natural disasters can lead to downtime if they extend for longer.
Configuration errors create security gaps in the network and thus make it vulnerable to cyberattacks. You can avoid misconfiguration errors by automating the process. Make sure you test the configurations in a last before you implement them to your system.
Consequences of downtime
When you are unprepared, you’ll have to deal with the consequences of downtime. The effect of the downtime can either be long-term or short-term, depending on the frequency. Here are some consequences of downtime.
Losing network access in your business could bring your workplace to a stop. If you are like most companies, then you rely on online communications. Critical systems will become unavailable when there is downtime. You use task management systems, virtual chat software, email, and customer support systems. Your employees will not have work to do when your business experiences downtime. You’ll end up paying rent and salaries even though there was no meaningful work due to the downtime.
Downtime not only affects your business but your clients as well. When there is downtime due to cyberattacks, it can result in stolen or damaged data. Any unexpected downtime can expose your customer’s data to cybercriminals. Most companies back up their data to avoid unexpected data loss. Organizations that rely on big data analytics to make their decisions can lose their data resources when downtime occurs.
Lost business opportunities
If you do substantial business online, loss of network means that your customers will be unable to find your products or services. Fewer customers means your revenue will be reduced. A downtime makes it impossible to connect with your customers. Employees will be unable to offer support since they don’t have the necessary tools. Therefore, a downtime can drive away your prospects and existing clients.
Damaged brand image
Customers expect a seamless experience every time. Downtime is unacceptable and delays are just intolerable. All it takes to damage your brand’s image is a single downtime event. When you get repeated downtime, your customers will be unhappy and they’ll leave bad customer reviews.
One way you can minimize downtime is by taking a proactive approach to operations and systems maintenance. With the necessary backups, redundant and rollover, you can easily eliminate downtime. You can get help from a team of experienced individuals monitoring and being proactive to prevent downtime and that is where SystemsNet comes into play. Contact us today.