How costly is business downtime?

How costly is business downtime?

October 25, 2017

Unfortunately, many businesses face business downtime unexpectedly and it can be damaging to productivity and revenue levels.

Given our growing technological dependence, one minor misconfiguration or full-scale system failure can lead to significantly reduced productivity — or worse still, complete business shutdown.

Business downtime should be a consideration for all company owners when thinking about how they can avoid revenue losses. But do business owners fully understand the implications of downtime and are they taking it seriously enough?

Datawright, providers of manufacturing software, has gathered some data to fully assess the damage that downtime can cause and how you can avoid it.

Statistical insight

One of the main causes of business downtime is IT issues and software problems — in Europe, 552 man-hours are lost every year due to these complications. Reportedly, this downtime results in a 37% drop in revenue generation, as the critical tools for business success are made unavailable.

The effects of business downtime can be determined by the sector that you operate in and your reliance on IT. A number of other factors are influencers too, including the number of staff affected, the impact on productivity, how long the downtime lasts, and the cost per employee, per hour.

When the business is not operating as it should during a period of downtime, revenue can be affected. If IT systems fail, for example, you could lose out on future sales as a result of unhappy customers. Regardless of sector, this is something all business will need to avoid if they are to continue their success.

Preventative measures

The main way to prevent damaging business downtime is to recognise the root of the problem and address it appropriately. Studies have been carried out to establish the most common causes, although results can vary wildly. The overall causes of business downtime include hardware and software failure, human error, the weather and natural disasters, and power cuts.

So, what preventative measures can you take?

Updating software

Something that you can do to prevent software failure is ensuring that it is up to date. Clicking ‘remind me later’ will no longer cut it. Make sure you install all available updates for your software to ensure it can continue performing optimally, minimising the risk of failure.

Having an out-of-date system in your company is much more likely to fail. As cyber threats continue to evolve and materialise, older systems that may not have the required security capacity become obvious targets. Review your software at timely intervals to ensure it remains fit for purpose and relevant.

Keeping hardware refreshed

Hardware needs refreshing when it is not performing as it should — perhaps it is becoming less efficient. Some industries will experience this more than others — for example, in manufacturing, machines and presses will require regular maintenance to ensure they remain functional and efficient.

Introducing preventative and predictive maintenance programmes can help resolve the issue before it arises.

Staff training

Ensuring that your staff are fully trained can help lower the risk of problems occurring. Training can enable employees to be fully aware of how to use the technology and software they require for their role to prevent issues like this from arising.

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