Downtime can be extremely costly for a business, as well as frustrating for everyone trying to get on with their work, meet deadlines and provide excellent customer service. You may think of downtime as those annoying interruptions when the power goes down briefly or your internet connection isn’t working, but when it’s caused by hardware or software problems it can be much more serious and prolonged.
Downtime Caused by Technology
Making sure that your technology is functioning properly is fundamental to avoiding downtime. If your network and applications aren’t working properly you will almost inevitably see some kind of decline in productivity. If it’s short-lived, it might be manageable, but if it goes on for longer it will surely affect your bottom line and perhaps your business reputation too.
The impact of downtime on large companies has been researched, and the results make alarming reading. The technology research company, Gartner, has estimated that the cost of downtime for large enterprises is about $5600 per minute – and yes, you read that right. 98% of enterprise-level companies put the cost of an hour of downtime at more than $1M – and not even large organizations can afford this.
You might think that the damage is going to be a whole lot less for a small business like yours. You’d only be partly right. Think of it in percentage terms. If your business technology goes down for a week, you could lose 25% of your monthly sales, and there’ll be other knock-on effects too. Small business can be even more vulnerable than larger ones and such losses could be fatal for your operations.
The scale of the problem is also something to consider. If one workstation goes down, that’s a nuisance. That’s one employee unable to do their work while you call the in-house IT technician or bring in help from an external contractor to fix the issue. You’re not getting anything from the employee and you’re having to pay the technician. Just one workstation failing can cost you hundreds of dollars – and it could be a whole lot more.
If it’s just a desktop computer that’s the problem, you may get off quite lightly. Then think about this: what if your server crashed? What if nobody can do their work or access essential data? The prospect is almost too awful to contemplate, but here’s the thing – it’s something all business owners need to consider if they want to minimize the possibility of damaging downtime.
Steps to Take
All businesses need to take action to protect against downtime. Here are some essentials:
– Proactive maintenance of your business technology is vital. The most efficient way to do this is to engage a managed services provider (MSP). An MSP will monitor and maintain all the hardware attached to your network. With ongoing remote monitoring, your MSP will be able to assess how well your technology is working and pick up any problems before they become serious enough to cause downtime.
– Update your software. Software updates don’t just optimize functionality. They’re also a crucial to maintaining cybersecurity. Malware can cause havoc with your business technology and is another significant cause of downtime. Patches and updates need to be applied speedily after they’re issued.
– Attend to problems as soon as possible. A good managed services provider will offer immediate access to a helpdesk, where skilled professionals can provide tech support asap. A helpdesk technician can usually solve problems in a few minutes. If the problem is bigger, they can get the process in motion so that the issue can dealt with minimum delay.
– Backing up your data and infrastructure is another essential. A comprehensive data backup and disaster recovery platform (BDR) will ensure that your data is backed up properly, with a copy stored in the cloud. That means that no matter what happens, your data is safe and accessible.
You can’t afford to ignore the possibility of an incident that causes potentially crippling downtime. Quikteks can advise you on effective maintenance of your infrastructure and protect your business. Call us today at (973) 882-4644.