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Regardless of what causes it, IT systems downtime is bad for any company.

Downtime costs a company in terms of decreased productivity, lost revenue, recovery costs and costs of intangibles, such as damage to the company brand. Quantifying what downtime costs a company is crucial for executives looking for ways to cut costs and launch new projects.

Determining the costs

There are many factors that go into determining the total costs associated with downtime. Easily quantifiable costs include lost productivity, wages paid to unproductive employees and recovery costs. Lost productivity translates to revenue that could not be generated due to downtime. Recovery costs encompass the services required to recover any losses, physical tools needed for recovery operations and ongoing costs associated with losses.

Intangible costs are those associated with damage to a company’s brand or image, and these are much more difficult to quantify. Just a small amount of downtime can cast a massive shadow over your organization, and the way downtime is managed can be the difference between a successful recovery and going out of business. The best way to gauge intangible costs is to have a comprehensive knowledge of the long-term influence IT systems have on sales and customer retention.

Typically, the intangible costs tied to downtime are directly associated with IT’s role in the organization. For instance, an online merchant will suffer greater intangible costs associated with downtime than a farmer.

Organize the analysis

An analysis is pointless if people can’t understand it. Stakeholders typically understand a problem more clearly when offered a report that outlines the problem. Clear language and visual aids are critical when describing issues associated with a complex technical system. Getting others to fully grasp the costs associated with downtime is vital to making them to want to fix it.

Whether it’s improvements to network infrastructure, migration to a cloud-based system or patches to mission-critical software, use images and charts to describe how the new project reduces downtime. Also, the report should focus on displaying how their investment decreases costs by increasing productivity.

Take preventative action

In addition to knowledge of how downtime impacts your business, a proactive approach is crucial to combating it. It’s essential to look at your IT assets and systems as strategic. Contracting out your systems is one approach to carry out a proactive plan and minimize downtime, rather than functioning inside a reactive break-then-fix approach.

Outsourcing solutions often include 24/7 support. Thus, outages on holidays, weekends or when support staff isn’t available are less of an issue. With outsourcing, downtime scenarios are handled right away, helping your workers quickly regain access to your network and services, keeping customers and clients from feeling a significant impact.

At SSI, we help businesses address a wide range of challenges, from minimizing downtime to handling a surge in production through managed services and talent acquisition solutions. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company to achieve its goals.


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