Unexpected outages and IT downtime can have a significant impact on your business. Downtime means a loss of productivity and will impact your bottom line.
How much downtime can your business afford to sustain before it becomes damaging? The answer is different for each business so we created a business downtime calculator so you can see how much downtime would cost your business.
How frustrating is it when you’re at work and can’t send or receive emails? Or when the printer isn’t working, right at the moment you need it most? Perhaps there are times when you can’t log into your finance or CRM systems. If these examples sound familiar, your frustrations are all caused by different types of IT downtime.
In some businesses, IT downtime becomes so commonplace that people begin to accept it as a normal part of everyday life. Employees learn to live with it or send multiple requests to the IT support team, rather than solving problems once and for all.
But the truth is long periods of IT downtime can be avoided. Persistent IT problems and downtime should never be something you put up with. Because the cost IT downtime has on your business can be huge.
If you’ve been putting up with niggling IT issues, you might want to assess the impact it’s having on your business. The calculations could be shocking.
Loss of productivity
Perhaps the most obvious effect of IT downtime is people lost productivity. Employees might be sat idly while waiting for issues to be fixed. Or they might find simple tasks take several times longer than they should.
Often a team member might be pulled away from their own work to help a colleague who’s facing IT problems. Even senior members of staff can find IT issues take up a valuable chunk of their day which should be dedicated to strategy and driving business growth.
The knock-on effect
There might be one member of the team who constantly suffers from IT issues. You might think it doesn’t have a big impact because their role isn’t business-critical, or they’re not customer-facing. But of course, every member of the team is connected to their colleagues and the repercussions of one person being out of action can be felt throughout the business. For example, if a graphic designer can’t access a particular system, then you cannot manufacture this to design and so impacting customer service.
It’s likely that your day-to-day processes rely heavily on IT systems. But when things don’t work properly – especially if problems go on day-after-day, your staff might seek their own solutions.
Rather than using the correct systems and protocols, they begin to devise their own work-around just to get the job done. Often, they feel they’re being more productive than waiting for the IT issue to be resolved – or taking time to log the issue. But businesses rely on following processes. Taking short-cuts or creating new un-approved methods can be incredibly dangerous. Sensitive data might not be protected or stages in a particular process might be missed.
Impact on customers
When IT issues arise with customer-facing systems, it’s sure to lead to customer complaints, lost orders and decreased customer satisfaction. But even if customers are not aware of the issues, they may still feel the impact. If a customer can’t complete an order or get information when they need it, they’re likely to go elsewhere.
Competitors get ahead
Of course, the ultimate danger of IT downtime is that while you’re battling productivity issues, low morale and recruitment problems; your competitors have the opportunity to take business away from you.
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