We live in an age where an increasing number of businesses are moving their resources online, into the cloud. For many businesses, this is an excellent option, not only because it decreases the need for physical, on-site storage and materials, but because it ultimately increases up-time. Extended downtime can be extremely costly for your business – often in ways you don’t anticipate.
The Monetary Cost of Downtime
Some estimates put the monetary cost of downtime around $300,000 per hour (£227,814 per hour). Alone, this number looks staggering. For many businesses, however, there is a great deal of variance in that amount. The real cost to your business depends on the number of customers you would normally have serviced during that hour, what challenges are presented by that downtime, and how you need to make things up to your customers. A recent British Airways technological failure, for example, cost more than £80 million – a substantial cost just in the immediate aftermath of that outage.
A critical application failure can cost your business even more. The average cost of a critical application failure is between £380,000 and £760,000 – a substantial cost that your business may be unable to afford to lose.
All too many CEOs and CFOs look at the cost of downtime as simply part of the cost of doing business. Unfortunately, this may make them less likely to take proactive action against downtime or lead to poorly-protected businesses and applications that simply don’t have the quality customers are looking for – and as a result, you may find yourself struggling to keep your business up and running smoothly.
The Ongoing Cost of Downtime
The immediate monetary cost of downtime isn’t the only cost your business will face. In some cases, downtime can have far-reaching implications that may leave you struggling to restore your business, especially if it was down for a long period of time.
Many customers will choose to take their business elsewhere. Some customers need to make immediate decisions with regards to their purchase. If they aren’t able to make an immediate purchase from your company, they’ll make it from another one. Unfortunately, customers are often also creatures of habit: if they are satisfied with their purchase from a new company, they may choose to turn to that company, rather than yours, for their future needs.
Regular downtime may cause even loyal customers to leave. Customer prioritise customer service and convenience over quality products and even cost savings. If you’re struggling with downtime on a regular basis due to poorly maintained systems and other challenges, you may find your customers leaving to go to your competitors.
Downtime may cost you a customer’s lifetime value, not just a single purchase. Customers who are unable to shop at your business for their current purchase may choose not to turn to your business for their future needs. If they’re satisfied with the company they do use, they’ll be unlikely to come back – and that means they’ll recommend other businesses to their friends and family members, too.
The true cost of downtime may be impossible to define. Fortunately, downtime doesn’t have to be inevitable for your business!
In order to more effectively manage potential challenges and improve up-time, make sure you have a solid disaster recovery plan in place that will help you bring vital business functions up in the event of an emergency. This might include, for example, diverting calls to another number to allow business functionality to continue even when your primary system goes down.
Putting in a disaster announcement for your customers can also help decrease customer frustration and communicate vital information to your customers if your system goes down unexpectedly.
Need more help fighting the challenge of downtime? Contact us today to learn how we can help.