Not many organisations ever calculate or consider what the full cost of downtime is. When you consider all things like staff wages, lost billable hours, decreased productivity, lost sales opportunities, potential damage to reputation as well as the cost to actually recover your systems, you may find the cost of downtime suddenly becomes unpalatable.
What would it mean to your firm if your key systems were down because either your Internet connection failed or your server died?
Let’s take a server failure. Firstly, you have the immediate panic of, “How are we going to work?” You call your IT provider, and they say to you the last backup is from the day before. It is 4pm and you start wonder what you might have lost. Have you got a spare server sitting there just in case? I doubt it. Has your IT provider? Probably not. So the reality starts to hit home that you won’t be up and running tomorrow and you have lost the last day of work.
An example of a law practice could be 10 fee earners bill who charge on average £150 per hour. Usually a server failure will bring an average of 2 days downtime, (14 hours per fee earner) whilst a new server is purchased, prepared and their systems restored to it. The downtime could easily be in excess of £21,000. And that is before you buy the new server.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)
If we take the same scenario but with a firm that knew their numbers. They know they can’t afford to be offline for a day or two and have invested in a BCDR solution.
Their server has just died, and they phone their IT provider. They are a bit concerned as this is the first time this has happened since they made the investment. But their IT provider calmly reassures them, “We have got this covered, give us 10 minutes.”
A few minutes later the IT provider phones and says we have kicked in the backup systems. The last backup copy was about 3 minutes before the server went down. We will investigate what is wrong with the server whilst you continue to work.” Downtime is less than 10 minutes and cost only a few pounds.
Depending on your location your internet provision will vary from very poor, to average, to very reliable. It doesn’t necessarily depend on how much you pay either. Yes, if you pay for a fibre optic leased line to be installed into your building then you are paying a much higher cost for a fast and reliable service.
But there are firms around the country that have really poor unreliable broadband. What happens if your broadband goes down. Well in this day and age, business stops. You can‘t send and receive emails, access your cloud based CRM, accounts, suppliers, etc. If you are using a Voice over IP phone system, then your phones stop working too. You may not be able to serve your customers. Basically, you just can’t work.
Most of the time these outages are relatively short but annoying. But what happens when you get a real outage on your internet. The Service Levels on standard broadband in the UK are not good if you even have any at all. When you get a real outage requiring an Openreach engineer to come out, you could be waiting days.
The downtime cost here could exceed those of a server failure. It may not be as traumatic as you haven’t lost any data, but it could well cost you more.
To overcome this some businesses may put in two broadband lines, even with different service providers. That is great but you are still at risk of an exchange level fault, an issue in the green box on the roadside, the guy in the digger at the roadworks that digs through the cables. You will still have internet outages in these scenarios.
What if you had a proactive IT partner that had your back and solutions for your problems.
What is network continuity? As the name suggests it is the provision of networking services that are always available.
If your primary internet connection goes down your network will automatically switch over to a mobile 4G internet service in seconds. No downtime, no loss of access to systems, no poor customer service. Just business as usual.
You should take the same approach to the whole of your network. Your network Switches for connecting your desktop PC’s, desk phones and Wi-Fi Access Points to the internet. Your Wi-Fi Access Points to connect your laptops, tablets, mobiles, printers and maybe even providing secure Wi-Fi for your customers.
Network as a Service means your IT partner takes care of all of this and makes sure you have maximum uptime, all the time. Your partner can monitor and manage all your networking equipment remotely. This helps to reduce the long-term costs of supporting old legacy equipment.
Now, doesn’t that sound better than a few days of downtime with all the expense that downtime incurs.
And what about those clientss that go down the road to your competitor, they just might not come back again! Now that gets really expensive!
What would downtime cost YOUR business?
Book an appointment now we can calculate what downtime would cost your business and how BCDR and Network Continuity can ensure your business doesn’t suffer those huge costs.
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