It doesn’t matter what line of business you’re in – ecommerce, B2B services, or blogging – downtime is expensive. And if you want to improve your productivity and profitability, you must find a way to prevent it at all costs.
The True Cost of Downtime
If you’ve never experienced significant downtime, then you might not realize just how expensive it is. According to Gartner, the average cost of network downtime across all industries is roughly $5,600 per minute. That comes out to $336,000 per hour. And that’s just the financial cost; you also have to consider the secondary effects like:
- Employee frustration. When there’s downtime, your employees suffer. It prevents them from doing their jobs and makes every task exponentially more difficult. Not only that, but they’re the ones who have to interact with frustrated customers. This puts them in precarious scenarios that should have never happened.
- Stymied productivity. Downtime doesn’t just squash revenue – it destroys productivity. And even after uptime is restored, the effects may continue to be felt for days, weeks, or even months.
- Customer relations. Depending on your industry, customers can be significantly impacted by downtime (particularly if it lasts for several hours or days). This hurts the relationship and puts you at risk of losing the customer to a competitor.
When you add up all of these direct and indirect costs, it becomes painfully obvious how important it is to keep your business up and running. And though it can require quite the investment of time and money upfront, the long-term ROI is decidedly positive.
Tips for Preventing Downtime
As dynamic as the business world is, there’s no foolproof method for 100 percent uptime. However, if you implement the following tips, you’ll enjoy far less downtime in the months and years to come.
1- Don’t Skimp on Network Infrastructure
Small and medium-sized businesses often try to cut costs by using low-grade hardware and software solutions. But in 9-of-10 cases, this does more harm than good. There’s a significant difference between low-end solutions and cutting-edge technology. While the latter options certainly cost more upfront, they can save thousands of dollars per month by preventing costly downtime.
Pay close attention to the security solutions you use. Instead of using a cheap “off the shelf” option, choose an industrial-grade option like Mission Secure (which was created from U.S. Department of Defense research to identify and prevent cyber threats). You either pay now or you pay later.
2 – Implement a Redundant Network Connection
Some smaller companies are able to manage a loss of internet connectivity for a couple of hours and experience minimal fallout. (It’s inconvenient, but not devastating.) But for other companies that depend on a connection to generate revenue, there’s very little room for error. This is where having a redundant network connection comes into play.
With a redundant connection, you use different providers and network carriers. This ensures that even if one of the networks has trouble, there’s another network able to kick in and keep you “up.”
3 – Protect Against DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks, which occur when a third party attempts to flood a server with thousands of requests in an effort to crash it, are fairly common these days. (They’re also extremely costly.) The good news is that they can be prevented with the right Web Application Firewall (WAF).
A WAF strengthens your website/server and gives you maximum protection against all kinds of external threats (including DDoS attacks). If you don’t already have one, now’s the time to integrate a WAF into your security stack.
4 – Conduct Regular Backups
Regularly backing up your files can protect your business from serious data loss that may occur when servers crash and/or other mitigating circumstances take place. Thankfully, backups can be automated and are able to run flawlessly in the background. Spend some time optimizing this aspect of your strategy so that you’re protected even when downtime occurs.
Kiss Downtime Goodbye
At a cost of roughly $5,600 per minute, there’s no scenario where you can afford to have extended downtime in your business. For a small investment today, you can protect your business from five-, six-, and even seven-figure mistakes tomorrow.
Leverage the tips outlined above and get serious about uptime!