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The Real Costs of IT Downtime

Your system goes down—Microsoft Exchange has collapsed, employees don’t have access to email, your website won’t load, or your order system has crashed. It’s not just an hour of inconvenience; it’s damaging your company.

Your system goes down—Microsoft Exchange has collapsed, employees don’t have access to email, your website won’t load, or your order system has crashed. It’s not just an hour of inconvenience; it’s damaging your company. Your reputation, your customer retention, and the satisfaction of your employees can be shaken by even the shortest outage.

Want an example? On August 14, the New York Times website went down , and consumer confidence imploded. Just two hours of blackout, but their stock dropped immediately, the Wall Street Journal swept in to try to steal their customers away , and the reputation-slamming Twitter feed went wild. Just two hours of downtime cost the New York Times a tremendous amount—not in only loss of revenue, but loss of confidence, and a major weakening of their competitive advantage.
According a Forrester Research study , the hourly cost of downtime for a typical company can range anywhere from $10,000 to $1 million!

Downtime:
• Negatively impacts employee productivity, causing you to lose thousands of dollars in man-hours for just an hour of outage.
• Loses you sales, when you can’t serve your customers, directly impacting your cash flow right out of the gate.
• Means not only lost business, but a major loss of competitive advantage, especially when your customers turn to others in your market—and then don’t turn back to you.
• Affects your relationships with partners—and their confidence in you and the reliability of your company and your infrastructure.
• Reduces the morale of your employees, their confidence in management and especially their confidence in your IT department and your infrastructure.
• Damages your company’s reputation immediately, as well as lessens the public’s goodwill.

Whenever you experience disruption and downtime, whether it’s directly the effect of a security breach or whether your IT system and setup failed somewhere, you’re going to start feeling the damage almost immediately. While the severity of the damage naturally relies on the size of the outage, there will still be a major impact. And it’s the kind of impact that you can scramble to make amends for, but is difficult to ever fully recover from.

Downtime is serious business. You can’t afford to leave continuous uptime and availability of your systems, your technology, and your company to chance. In an increasingly competitive business environment your customers, both internal and external, expect you to be available and ready for them wherever they are, whenever they need them. You can’t afford to lose customer trust, as it’s the direct path to losing profit.

How do you mitigate the damage? It means a thorough audit of your systems, a careful accounting of possible weaknesses in your infrastructure. It means investing in enterprise-grade security, keeping your technology always up to date, and maintaining constant vigilance. IT is a cost most companies consider less important and with less value than most other budget line items. And that can be a costly mistake.

 

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