The Real Cost of Downtime

Here are 5 steps you can take to plan and survive unplanned outages.

An unplanned downtime may be a pleasant surprise for some of your employees, especially when it happens on a Friday afternoon and they can get an early seat for happy hour. But for management, it’s a nightmare. It means much more than a lost connection. It can mean a loss of data, productivity, reputation and, of course, money. A network power study by Emerson reveals that unplanned data center outages cost businesses nearly $9,000 per minute.

The Real Cost of Downtime

These outages can happen in the blink of an eye. It could be a bad storm or flood. It could be a hacker. It could be that nervous intern Alex who knocked his soda all over your equipment. While you can’t plan for these natural or manmade disasters, you can take steps to prepare for them in order to keep downtime to a minimum and assess damage when the unexpected happens.

  1. Develop a BIA

    No, BIA doesn’t stand for Bounce Intern Alex. (Give him another shot. Who else is going to make the Starbucks runs?) BIA is a Business Impact Analysis and it helps you identify where your vulnerabilities are, calculate downtime cost and assess the maximum outage you can endure before feeling the effects of it. Conducting a BIA makes you think about what could actually happen during an unplanned downtime and to plan accordingly. Keep an eye out for our follow-up article specifically about BIAs later this month.

  2. Increase Security

    When your server is down, your infrastructure’s vulnerability goes up. Are you properly protected? For example: is failover automatic, or does it require intervention? If you have to move to a new location, how will you maintain proper security for devices on a temporary server? You need to put comprehensive security systems and strategies in place to protect your business when downtimes occur.

  3. Proactively Protect Your Hardware and Software

    Remember the old Boys Scouts’ motto, “Be Prepared”? Intern Alex does. (Eagle Scout...did you know that? Really, you should talk to him more.) That goes for your IT team as well. A preventative maintenance program should be in place and your staff should be trained to proactively protect your equipment. This may require you to refresh your asset inventory. There are several software programs designed to auto-discover everything on your network, and PCMag has gathered and rated them for you.

  4. Schedule Regular Backups

    You already know this, right? But you also know you’re supposed to go to the dentist twice a year...and clean the back of your fridge...and call grandma more (like Intern Al...okay, I’m over Alex). Just because you’re supposed to do something doesn’t mean you’re doing it. A recent study found that 99% of all businesses do not perform daily backups, that 60% of backups are incomplete, and that 50% of restores fail. So...implement backup procedures, okay? Create a schedule. Test the backup restoration feature. Be ready!

  5. Get Skilled Help from a Managed IT Services Provider

    By using a managed IT services provider, you’ll have an experienced team overseeing your systems. Their familiarity with your network will be crucial should your business be hit with an unplanned downtime event.

If you’re in need of managed IT support, RCN Business Managed Services offers a wide range of solutions to help prevent the damaging impact unplanned server downtimes can have on your business. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how our solutions help remove the complexities associated with managing mission-critical applications.