What will downtime cost your business?

Do you ever stop to think of how much your business depends on computers? How about the costs that you would incur if your business computer network failed? Many businesses do not fully understand how dependent they are on their computer network, until they experience some type of network downtime. Depending on the type of industry your business is in, the cost of the network downtime will vary.

Imagine this scenario; your business cannot send or receive emails, has no access to the network shared drives or internet, and half of the business has lost all computer interaction. The first thing you might notice is the loss in productivity. Employee productivity varies depending on their level of reliance on the technology. Some employees might be able to carry out some level of work while others simply have to wait until the problem is resolved.

This loss of employee productivity is where the costs start. The loss of employee productivity can be measured in terms of the salaries, wages and benefits of workers that are made idle by system downtime. After a network or computer downtime occurrence, research actions are often required to correct the damage. For example, IT operations might work overtime – at overtime rates – or temporary staff may be contracted to recover lost data and enter added paper transactions. If customer satisfaction was damaged, gaining back that credibility may require special marketing programs or other specials that can be costly.

I am sure you are asking yourself, how do I prevent network or computer downtime from happening? That is not a simple nor quick answer. Creating and maintaining a system backup of important files and documenting how your system currently functions is just the start. Think of it as being like a cushion you can fall back onto. Next, create a disaster recovery plan. A successful disaster recovery plan allows you to put procedures and programs in place so that everyone knows what to do and your data is protected in case of any computer system loss. At this stage you need to decide how long you want to wait until your system is back up and running. How much time can pass before your business can make a sale or purchase product? This tends to be more of a financial question; because the faster you want to be up and running, the more expensive your backup and recovery plan will cost.

Lastly, the best protection is prevention! Make sure your system is correctly configured and fortified. Use best practices on firewalls, servers, and all other network equipment connections, employee computer interactions, etc. Keep in mind that although it may be a costly venture in the beginning, you will be saving untold amounts by creating a stable network environment.

Follow these steps and you will develop a shield of protection that will help defend your business from any computer network downtime.

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