Today’s offices are dependent upon multiple different connections to keep them running. From their wireless network to cloud-based task management apps, if just one of those vital services goes offline, it can mean costly system downtime.
For example, the project management application Asana went down earlier this year, leaving the over 50K businesses that depend upon the app at a standstill on their projects and tasks for several hours.
As bad as it is to have a cloud provider go offline, things can get much worse when it’s your own internal IT infrastructure that goes down. When you have a crashed server or network that’s been hit with ransomware, it can mean hours or days of lost business and other costly consequences.
Avoiding downtime is a key objective of using a managed IT service plan. Technology has become so ingrained in everything a company does, that keeping that infrastructure healthy keeps your business healthy as well.
Major Causes of Downtime
Unfortunately, downtime can come at you from multiple places. Unless you’re monitoring all your systems for warning signs and have a solid plan in place to recover quickly from a natural disaster or data breach, extended downtime is almost inevitable at some point.
Major causes of downtime for companies include:
- Network outages
- Human error
- Server failures
- Power outages
- Application errors
- Natural disasters/weather events
- Cyberattack/data breach
- Third-party/cloud system outage
- Storage failures
The Consequences of System Downtime
Downtime impacts companies in multiple ways, all of them bad. Losses can also be spread out well past a major downtime event, plaguing a company for years afterwards.
According to IBM Security’s 2019 “Cost of a Data Breach Report,” the longtail costs of downtime due to a data breach are spread out past 2 years, with:
- 67% of the costs in year 1
- 22% of the costs in year 2
- 11% after year 2
Here are the ways that system downtime impacts your company.
1. Lost Productivity
Just handling one malware infection of your website server, can keep members of your staff tied up for a week. If you’re a manufacturer and you have an unplanned network outage that causes vital systems to go offline, that can mean tens of thousands of dollars a day in lost productivity.
When you have an outage, your employees can’t attend to their usual tasks, and either they’re left at a standstill trying to do what they can manually, or they’re putting out fires trying to right what went wrong. Either way that’s a significant cost the company.
2. Lost Revenue
If you can’t do business as usual due to an outage, that means missed opportunities and missed sales.
If you’ve lost your network, you can be completely disconnected from the systems you reply on to answer customer inquiries, process invoices, and answer phones. That means a potential customer that can’t reach you when they need your product or service, may end up going to a competitor.
3. Devastating Business Loss
Small businesses that don’t have proper support through managed IT services, are often are caught unprepared when an outage occurs, and many never recover.
60% of small businesses end up closing within 6 months of a cyberattack. That’s a majority that get put out of business permanently because they weren’t prepared for the extended downtime and other consequences associated with data breach.
4. Recovery Costs
When you need emergency IT help to fix an outage, that reactive help comes at a much higher cost than if you had had someone watching over your technology proactively. It’s like the difference between regularly changing the oil in your car or the cost of never doing it and then having to fix your car after it breaks down.
The average time spent resolving an IT downtime incident is 200 hours. Companies end up paying about $5,000 per year in emergency repair or downtime costs for each unmanaged computer.
5. Loss of Reputation
Whether you’ve had a data breach that exposed your client records or were closed due to an outage when they needed you, it’s hard to get back that loss of trust with your clients.
Outages can mean long-term damage to your business from customers that left and never came back. Just imagine how many customers may have left Asana after their outage, choosing a more reliable competitor instead. Trust can take years to build, but just one outage or data breach to lose.
6. Loss of Forward Motion
When you and your team are dealing with downtime and cleaning up the aftermath, you’re not making forward motion to build your company. If you’ve suffered a major data breach, it can be months of fixing the problem and then trying to put in place the security protocols that you lacked.
This stalls momentum and keeps your growth at a standstill while you play catch up on data security instead of brainstorming new growth initiatives.
Prevent Downtime with 24/7 Proactive IT Services
Investing in managed IT services will save you money by reducing downtime and all the associated costs. As a bonus, you can count on your technology running smoothly to power a more productive team with no IT hassles.
Learn more about our affordable IT management for small and medium businesses in the Bay Area. Call 1-888-926-1985 or connect with us online today.