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The costs of downtime, the obvious and the hidden

Businesses are coming to terms with the impact that downtime can have. In 2020 we had to adapt to remote working within a matter of days. For many teams this led to their entire operations going offline for an extended period of time while they adjusted. Most teams are back in the office now, but we still need to be acutely aware of the threats that could potentially cause more downtime moving forward.

At Biscuit IT we help businesses prevent their services from being disrupted thanks to our IT support solutions. During our years providing this service, businesses know that it’s important to prevent downtime, but often aren’t aware of it’s real cost. That’s why we’ve created today’s blog. We’ll highlight some of the obvious as well as the hidden costs of downtime and how they can affect specific industries.

Data loss

The first and most crucial aspect of any downtime, whether caused by cyber-attack, power outage or any other situation is data loss. The potential for customer, staff or financial data to fall into the wrong hands is extreme and could be incredibly damaging to your business.

It’s worth taking stock of how much data you have stored on your critical business systems. It’s important to ask how much of it needs to be stored on site, or whether some of it could be stored elsewhere such as on a cloud database. These databases are geographically redundant, meaning if there’s an outage at your site, your data won’t be affected.

Some of the most common cyber-attacks involve ransomware. This software steals your data, demanding a ransom for it. If you have a backup of this data available, then this form of attack can become a lot less disastrous. You need to take a closer look at how often your data is backed up. If you need support with creating new backups on a regular basis, get in touch with Biscuit.

Financial cost

We’ve partnered with backup specialist Datto to help you work out your business’ recovery time and the financial implication that downtime can have for your business. Losing access to your technology for even a few hours can be disastrous for a number of industries.

For some, like those in the manufacturing and construction sectors, work can quite literally grind to a halt. While in the professional services, losing access to your communications and IT systems can completely take out your customer service processes. If your businesses loses an hour of productive output, what sort of financial impact will this have? How about a day? Or even a week? This isn’t necessarily a one-time issue either. Businesses who have been targeted by a cyber-attack are 50% more likely to be targeted again.

It’s crucial that you understand the metrics that could be in play during a downtime situation. Check out our downtime cost calculator to see an estimate of how your business could be affected.

Reputation and brand

Depending on the cause of the outage and the length of the downtime that your business faces, you could start to see some less immediate consequences. The first of these is the damage to your business’ reputation among customers. This is especially true in certain industries.

Businesses in the professional services or technology sectors are often trusted with a huge range of customer data. Even if this data isn’t lost in an outage, the damage to customer trust could be immense.

There’s a risk that downtime on your servers or essential systems could give false information to customers as well. Any false representations given by your systems could massively affect vendors, supply chains all the way down to your end users.

New business

We know that sometimes it’s essential for your website or other systems to go down for planned maintenance or updates. It’s all about timing these updates and addressing site maintenance to ensure that nothing drops out without you knowing about it.

Failure to upgrade your systems means you’re more likely to be using outdated code that cyber-attackers can exploit. If your website goes offline, then it could have long-lasting consequences for how your business attracts new customers.

Downtime causes your SEO score to drop dramatically, this means that Google ranks your business lower as you are seen as more unreliable than your competitors. If your site goes down while visitors are actively using it, then they will be automatically kicked out. If your business has any kind of online store, then any purchases will be cancelled too. This can potentially have a huge impact both monetarily and in reputation.

We can help

At Biscuit, making sure your data is safe and your business is protected against any eventuality is one of our key focuses. Our backup service is designed to keep every aspect of your IT secure. We’ll support your servers, cloud services and devices to ensure everything is protected and up to date. Our remote monitoring service alerts us to any issues before they become an issue.

To find out more about our service, visit our website or get in touch at 01924 241 281.