Understanding the Cost of IT Downtime

Costs of IT downtime

Business downtime can be costly and there is plenty of research that show just how much it can set a business back. Some small businesses can not even bounce back  due to the costs involved with an extended downtime. My latest blog article outlines the many expenses a business can encounter as a result of downtime.

There are many reasons and causes of downtime including:

  • Power outage. Could be caused be onsite equipment failure or factors out of your control such as weather or car accidents.
  • Equipment breakdown. This can range from one single computer not working and affecting one employee, right through to a server or piece of networking equipment malfunctioning causing the entire office to not be able to work.
  • Internet down. Ranging from a router not working through to an issue with your ISP that is out of your control.
  • Cyber attack (eg virus, ransomware, denial of service attack). This can affect one user or the entire company.
  • Fire and / or theft. Your premises may have experienced a fire or someone has broken in.
  • Disgruntled employee. A current or soon to be ex employee may delete files and emails or cause other issues.
  • Online service provider issue. Just because you are using an online service doesn’t mean you will be without downtime. All major providers have experienced issues.

All of these factors could be a simple fix or affect the entire organisation and cause a long lasting outage.

Every minute you are without access to your business technology can add up.

Let’s consider the various costs you could encounter.

Employee costs

A simple problem may take as little as one hour to fix. If you have say 10 employees and pay them $30/hr then that little problem will cost you $300 as your employees stand around and do nothing. Imagine though the costs if that outage is 2 or more days!

Loss of business revenue

If your staff can not access your business systems or network applications, productivity drops and factors such as the following may occur:

    • You can’t make sales and clients go elsewhere.
    • Your product development team can’t access required documents and schematics.
    • Machines may stop and cause your production to cease.
    • Staff can’t access online calendars and may miss meetings.
    • Customers can’t contact you via email and / or the phone.
    • That presentation your CEO has spent months on is now inaccessible.

Remediation costs

Fixing your business technology after downtime takes extra work. You may have to pay overtime to the IT team working to fix your issues or even pay premium prices to replace faulty items. This disrupts your businesses efficiency and costs money.

Customer dissatisfaction

How often do you hear someone having to apologise for their computer running slowly? When you call a customer service line it’s a familiar frustration and affects both the client and staff members opinion of the organisation. Imagine having to tell someone “our systems are down, and we are unable to help you right now”. The customer may look to your competitors and your staff’s morale declines.

Not to mention the huge increase in clients dissatisfaction if there is a data breach.

Legal and compliance fees

Depending on your industry and location, your business could run afoul of compliance and / or face legal action.

Brand reputation

What would happen if your online payment processor has issues and you are not able to make any sales? Some customers will get impatient and order from a competing business and may even switch to that company in the long term.

There is also a misconception that any press is good press. I would not like any business making the news for having fallen victim to a cyberattack and had all their customers details and credit cards leaked!

Employee engagement

Every business owner recognises the importance of keeping skilled and motivated staff. Technology dissatisfaction is a leading cause of employee frustration.

Morale and your business culture could decline and staff may start looking at other opportunities. If they leave you will then have to go through all the costs and times needed to recruit and train new employees.

Key takeaway

Don’t think business downtime can’t happen to you. When it comes to technology, potential problems are a constant problem for both big and small organisations. Upgrade any aging hardware you may use and keep current with updates and software upgrades, and be vigilant about fresh security threats.

Partner with a proactive IT provider to develop contingency plans in case the worst happens.  They can also perform preventative maintenance to help alleviate hardware issues and help reduce your cybersecurity risks.

No one can guarantee you a perfect 100% uptime, but we can make sure you are resilient and able to bounce back quickly should any problems arise. Contact us today to book in a free no obligation meeting to see if we can help your business.