The hidden costs of downtime

The hidden costs of downtime

One scenario that we see occasionally is the sudden urgency a business feels when it is experiencing an outage, a failure or a crypto-attack.  When such scenarios happen, companies are faced with a number of costly, previously-not-considered issues aggravating an already tense situation.

Unable to generate revenue

If the backbone of your system is down, your team can’t get their work done which means you cannot generate revenue, or maybe you can, but in a laborious and inefficient manner.

Losing out on potential deals

If your team is unable to communicate effectively both internally and externally, you run the risk of missing out on critical or lucrative contracts.

Unable to take care of clients

Because you are more than just about making money, it can be distressing knowing that you are not able to fulfill promises or obligations to your clients.  It can cost you goodwill and it can create a great deal of stress.

Paying employees who are unable to produce

When your systems are down, your employees are only able to function at a limited capacity. You may be able to send them home, but that just transfers the burden to them, which has implications itself.

Getting behind in work

Sure, it may be nice for some employees to get the afternoon off because the network is down, but all that might mean is work gets pushed into extra hours the next morning, or maybe on the weekend. This can be both costly and inconvenient, possibly requiring overtime or extended work hours to catch up.

The effects of a full outage can be compounded by the fact that a “down” organization is also faced with costly emergency response fees on top of the usual costs to repair the outage.  IT companies typically charge an elevated fee when immediate work is required, as they may be forced to put off previously scheduled work in order to respond.

Such full-scale, nobody-can-work scenarios are (thankfully) fairly rare. And every business is different – those who don’t have “production” employees are at least partially spared from the potentially devastating effects of a full outage. However even organizations that only rely on their IT system for data entry still rely on the information they store to be accessible and protected from damage.  Whether it is your accounting files or inventory spreadsheets, even small files can represent many years’ worth of data that is costly or impossible to rebuild.

In future articles we will cover the most effective steps you can take to protect your business.  For now, though, it is important to understand your level of dependence on your systems. By taking the time to confront the tough questions now about how you will deal with an emergency, you could be saving yourself a significant amount of time, stress and money should the unthinkable happen.