IT downtime: Just how much can your business afford?


April 21, 2017

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We’ve all had instances when our internet goes down. It’s frustrating, to say the least. But while not being able to access email or social media is a personal hindrance, downtime becomes a much larger issue when businesses are unable to operate. For a lot of small businesses, it can even lead to bankruptcy and permanent closure.

The severity of small-business downtime

It’s important for business owners to understand just how serious downtime can be.  For example, most small businesses not on a managed services plan (utilizing the break/fix model) experience 96%-98% uptime. That’s pretty high, right? In the technology world, it’s actually a huge failure, as just 4% downtime translates to 83.2 hours! In fact, the average small business loses almost $55,000 in revenue due to IT failures in a single year. But what’s incurring these costs? Downtime can translate into losses across multiple areas, including:

  • Sales revenue
  • Employee productivity
  • IT (such as incident discovery and systems restoration costs)
  • Data recovery
  • Equipment (if new hardware needs to be purchased or repaired)
  • Compliance violations (for certain industries)

How much will downtime cost you?

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to calculate just how downtime will affect you, as there are a lot of variables. That said, we’ve put together a widely accepted basic formula to help you understand what is at stake.

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How to avoid downtime

There’s no 100%-foolproof protection against downtime because outages can be caused by a myriad of things. Some of the most prevalent causes are:

  • Equipment failure
  • Human error
  • Weather/natural disaster
  • Cyber attack

Your best defense is to be prepared, and the best way to be prepared is to develop a thorough business continuity/disaster recovery plan that goes far beyond data backup. This starts at the assessment level, where you conduct a business impact analysis that allows you to choose what IT supports critical business functions. Then you can establish Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) before moving on to strategy planning, looking at factors such as people, physical locations, technology, budgets and procedures. 

As a managed services provider, we understand that this amount of planning can seem overwhelming! This is why MyITpros has put together a downloadable disaster recovery template to help business owners think about their recovery plans thoroughly and in an organized manner. It’s always better to be proactively prepared instead of reactively penalized.

The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! For more information about disaster recovery planning, or anything relatedto managed services, feel free to contact us today! 

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

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