With businesses greatly becoming dependent on IT infrastructure and software applications, it is hard to imagine running without them. Still, outages and failures may happen despite the best infrastructure and support in place. When such incidents happen, businesses are left struggling with costly consequences that may topple them off balance.
To make things worse, downtime can cost far more than a loss of dollars and inconvenience. It can actually put an organization out of business. What’s more, the consequences are not confined to small businesses; the bigger you are, the greater the damage could be. So it becomes critical to have a recovery strategy in place and the foremost step is to understand how downtime can actually hurt your business in the first place. Let us see the ways it can impact your organization.
1. Loss of productivity
Businesses rely on online communications and software applications for a range of operations. From email to virtual chats, CRM software, task management systems and more, every function within an organization leverages IT in one way or the other. Losing network access, therefore, can bring the entire workplace to a screeching halt.
The workforce will be left idle, at least till the outage is resolved and the business will have to pay them despite rendering zero productivity. The cost of downtime is even bigger if you have a manufacturing concern because it can halt the entire production line. Loss of productivity accounts for a huge expense, which no business would want to bear.
2. Damage to employee morale
While your business loses on the productivity front due to unexpected outages, there is a ripple effect that extends to the employees as well. When the workforce is unable to give their best, they tend to lose on their performance and confidence. The result may ultimately be visible as extensive damage to their morale.
Further, they could even feel stressed out because of the pressure to compensate for the lost time with extra work. Businesses that come across repeated downtime may even have high employee turnover.
3. The threat of data loss
Another major nightmare related to downtime is the threat of data loss. Obviously, there are chances that you may lose the entire data in your systems with an unexpected loss of network access. Though a majority of service providers back up data, you can never be sure. Files can get corrupted, while there is also a risk of failure of network security. This is something you cannot afford to happen because it exposes your business to the risk of cyberattacks.
What you really need is reliable IT support that reduces emergency-related downtime so that you can handle such concerns at a moment’s notice. Though this is critical for all kinds of businesses, it can be life-saving for the ones that rely on Big Data analytics for decision making.
4. Loss of opportunities
Can you imagine the gravity of lost opportunities you face if your systems suddenly shut down? The loss can be significant if you run an online business, such as an e-commerce store. When potential customers try to access your website during an outage, they will not be able to reach you. While they will leave immediately, chances are that they will never be back again.
Further, you may even lose existing and loyal customers because of the sheer lack of availability. The worst part is that even a few seconds of the outage can doom an online business, considering the hyper-competitive market where you have to beat hundreds of rivals to survive and thrive.
5. Damage to brand reputation
Perhaps, the most serious consequence of downtime is the damage it can cause to your brand’s reputation. Though the impact of outages on your brand reputation may not be visible in the short-term, they can harm you seriously in the long run if they occur repeatedly. Customers who experience unavailability time and again will have negative things to say about your business.
All the hard work you may have invested over the years with your branding strategies may go waste with only a few incidents of downtime. Companies that lose their footing once often have to scramble hard to consolidate public trust and reputation. In worst-case scenarios, they may actually be unable to recover from the repeated blows.
Being prepared can save your business!
Considering the serious consequences that downtime may have for your business, it is better to be prepared. The best news is that having managed IT support can save the day for you. Look for someone you can trust to put your business back on track as soon as an incident happens. Even if you have to spend on these services, it can save thousands of dollars for the business. Moreover, it can save your reputation in the long run.