How Does IT Downtime Affect Your Business

How Much Does IT Downtime Really Cost Your Business?

We live in a digital world and if you don’t take the right steps, it can seriously impact your company. The importance of having a backup system in place cannot be stressed enough. When it comes to business networking there are many things you need to look after such as hardware, software and security. One thing that often gets overlooked is ensuring that you have adequate levels of redundancy in your business to prevent IT downtime. Many small business owners think IT downtime only costs them a few productive hours, but there’s a lot more at stake when your systems go down. Customer satisfaction and loss of brand integrity are just two of the key losses apart from the more evident costs such as lost productivity and a temporary dip in sales. Here’s a few other ways downtime can hurt your business: IT Downtime Causes Customer Loss If you own a business, then you know how important it is to keep your customers happy. However, sometimes, things go wrong. For example, you might have a power outage, and this could cause problems for both your employees and your clients. If you don’t take steps to prevent these kinds of situations from happening, then you’re likely to lose money and customers. Today’s buyer lacks patience. They are used to getting everything at the click of a mouse, at the tap of a finger. Suppose they are looking for the kind of products/services that you offer and your site doesn’t load or is unavailable, even if temporarily, you are likely to lose them to a competitor permanently. Damage to Brand Reputation Customers are now using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and blogs to vent their bad brand experiences. Imagine an irate customer who doesn’t know if their card was charged on your site, or not, due to a server error. If it’s your bad day, they will probably be using Facebook or Twitter to share their bad experience, and it could be viewed by hundreds of people, causing irreparable harm to your brand image. Customers who have bad experiences are two to three times more likely to leave a negative review than customers who had a positive experience and leave a review. This is all the more reason to make sure your systems have backups in in place to prevent IT downtime for your business. IT Downtime Causes Loss of Productivity When your systems don’t work, this can have a direct impact on your employees’ productivity. Consider a research firm of 200 employees where they primarily rely on internet connectivity to access the knowledge base. If the server hosting the knowledge base is down or the Internet goes down, there’s a total loss of at least 1600 work hours for just one business day. It’s important to have backup Internet and servers for your business to prevent this kind of downtime. With a backup or fail-over Internet line, you no longer have to worry about IT downtime if the primary Internet line goes down. Backup servers are equally important, ensuring your employees can continue to work if one goes down. Overtime, Repair and Recovery, Compensatory costs In the above case, imagine the overtime wages the business would have to incur if they were to make up for the work loss they faced owing to IT downtime. In addition, there’s always the cost of repair—the money the business would have to shell out to fix the issue that caused the downtime and get the server up and running again. In some cases, businesses would have to incur additional costs to make customers happy. These could include giving away the product for free or at a discount, or using priority shipping to make up for a delayed order. Possible Lawsuits Businesses could also be at the receiving end of lawsuits. For example, a downtime that has an impact on production, service level agreements with customers, or delivery and finances of the customer could invite litigation against your business. Marketing Efforts Rendered Useless Consider your business is running a pay-per-click advertisement that shows up for the right keywords on Google, or an extensive e-mail campaign that your business engages in. However, when the prospect clicks on the link, all they see is an error message that your website isn’t available. Isn’t that a waste of your marketing budget? Making sure your website is available for customers 24/7 is extremely important in this digital age. Website availability is just another example of IT downtime that could harm your business. The Bottom Line It only takes one natural disaster, one technical snag, or just one power outage to cripple or put you out of business, both virtually and in reality. It’s probably time to think about how you can mitigate the threat of IT downtime and whether your Managed Service Provider can act as an effective and efficient ally in this battle for you. See how Managed Services and IT Support can help you today.

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