The Real Cost of Business Downtime


By Paul Burns

Business downtime can happen to any company, whether you are an SME or a global enterprise worth billions. It could affect your internet access, a crucial operating system or simply the phones going down, causing a blip in productivity and a dent in your profit margin.

The cause can range from old equipment and human error, to issues such as security threats and data storage reaching full capacity. There can also be problems with your connectivity and a need to update the software you use to reduce the risk of unscheduled downtime.

Just last year, Google itself experienced five minutes of downtime just before midnight on a weekday, causing a 40% drop in global traffic. This perfectly highlights that even the business leviathans can feel the punch that unexpected downtime can have even in such a short period of time.

Having everything in place to ensure a smooth-running business environment is essential to avoid disappointing customers and losing potential new business. The average European company loses 14 hours each year due to IT downtime, meaning that nearly two days of work—including sales and potential leads—are lost, leaving your employees to try and catch up on their workload.

Working out how much you have lost can be done with the simple calculator shown in the infographic. By looking at things such as wages, productivity lost and the number of people affected you can see in monetary terms how unscheduled downtime can cost your business.

There is also the issue of a lack of faith in reliability from customers, and this is hard to win back if severe delays to your service occur. The ability to vent our frustrations has been made exponentially easier with social media, with inconvenienced customers making their feelings known to hundreds or thousands of other users. In this case, brand damage can be harder to recover from than financial loss.

Downtime is a real threat that can affect any business and failure to put procedures in place to prevent this happening could end up losing you incredible amounts of time and money that are hard to recover from.


About the author

Paul Burns is National Technical Director at TSG.

Paul has held a number of technical roles at TSG over his 10 years with the company. Currently working as National Technical Director, he offers assistance within the UK wide sales team and has a keen interest in security, business enablement and availability planning.

TSG is one of the UK’s leading IT support companies, trusted to apply best practice for thousands of organisations, businesses, charities, schools and colleges, large and small. They have experienced specialists across all areas of technology from infrastructure to telecoms, CRM to ERP and business intelligence to SharePoint.

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