Counting the cost of IT downtime

Counting the cost of IT downtimeIf your IT system or parts of it went down, what would be your main concern?

Probably the financial cost. That’s understandable, all businesses live and die by their bottom line, so if something’s costing or losing you money, it’s a problem.

But there are a host of other ways IT downtime can damage your business, from the effect on your reputation to the impact on your staff.

What is downtime?

Put simply, it’s the period of time when any IT-related system isn’t operational. This could be your company website, e-commerce system, customer database, internal network or emails.

In many cases, your staff will be unable to work until the problem’s sorted. Or more seriously, your customers won’t be able to access or use your website and other aspects of your system.

What can cause your IT to go down?

Believe it or not human error is one of the main reasons for IT downtime. A member of staff may inadvertently delete an important file or database. Or it could be that an employee clicks on an email link and downloads a virus. This could lead to infected files, stolen data, corrupted programmes and non-functioning websites and email systems. In other words, downtime while the issue’s resolved.

Threats may also come from outside your organisation. There have been numerous examples of indiscriminate attacks where servers are maliciously flooded with traffic. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, as they’re known, cause your website to become unusable for other visitors.

Among other causes of IT downtime are software and hardware failure, power outages and unstable servers.

What does IT downtime cost you?

Let’s look at the financial costs first, because that’s simplest way to put a figure on it.

Say you trade for nine hours a day, that’s around 180 working hours in the month. If you turn over £50,000 in a typical month, you’d lose around £280 for every hour your IT system was down. It’s an over-simplistic equation, in reality there will be many other factors to take into account but it gives you a broad idea of the potential damage.

And that’s only the ‘balance sheet’ cost. Think about the damage to your reputation if customers couldn’t buy from you, use a service or even look up information from your website. If you’re seen as unprofessional and unreliable, the chances are they won’t use you again. And then there’s the cost of rebuilding that reputation – in terms of marketing and PR, for instance.

IT downtime is also likely to damage the morale of staff and lead to increased stress particularly if employees have deadlines and targets to hit. If it happens regularly, they’ll be less motivated and lose confidence in you as a business.

What’s the answer?

Many business owners aren’t aware of IT issues until it’s too late. That’s because their IT support services only respond to repair damage that’s been done. To put it another way, they shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

This is where Indigo can help.

Our Sitecare service will provide you with peace of mind that your entire IT system is secure.

We’ll pro-actively monitor your servers 24/7 and in many cases fix any errors as soon as they occur. And if the issue is particularly serious (what’s known as ‘mission critical’ in IT-speak), you’re guaranteed a response within 15 minutes.

We can either work with your IT support staff or you can hire us to take care of your systems completely. And it’s all included in a fixed monthly fee, which makes it easy for you to budget.

So if the worry of downtime is keeping you awake at night, get in contact for more information on how Indigo can tailor a package to help you. Find out more on our website or contact us directly on 0800 955 5345. 

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