The true cost of IT downtime & how to combat it

December 2nd, 2013 - Category - IT Blog, Tips & Best Practices

money down the drainIn an increasingly technological age, the cost of IT downtime is monumental:

  • Customers are unable to complete purchases
  • Employees are paid when they can’t work
  • Your reputation is damaged and customers are driven away

While your IT systems are down, potential revenue is going down the drain!

What happens to the customer who is in the frame of mind to purchase a product or service, but is unable to carry out the transaction online because the company’s IT systems are down? Perhaps if the product is unique, such as specific holiday, the customer will be frustrated but will wait and pay later. However, if the product is readily available, (i.e. a game or dvd), the customer may navigate to one of the many competitors and spend their money elsewhere.

Downtime is estimated to cost UK businesses over £2 billion per year in lost revenue.

In 2008, UK supermarket Sainsbury’s experienced downtime resulting in 10% of their online customers navigating away to Tesco and Asda*. Not only did this lose them revenue in the short term, but it also provided their competitors with a golden opportunity to capture a larger share of the market.

It is not just ecommerce that is hit hard by downtime. Most businesses rely on their IT systems in order to run, even if they are not transactional in nature. How many of your employees’ daily tasks require the use of a computer? Would loss of email functionality seriously hamper the running of your business? Perhaps there is a customer management system that everyone needs to access. Could your business run without it?

Even if you work in the public sector, or a non-profit organisation, the cost of IT downtime can be astronomical.  Revenue may not be a factor, but work piles up, and employees still have to be paid.  This results in greater strain on employees when they must work harder to clear the backlog, and potential damage to your organisation’s reputation.

The average London business with 100 employees would spend £48,000 per year paying employees when they are unable to work due to downtime**

How can IT downtime be minimised to ensure optimal productivity?

Downtime can be greatly reduced through proactive IT monitoring and maintenance.

If your IT systems are proactively monitored and maintained, even when everything seems to be working correctly, issues can be found and fixed before they become disruptive.

Without proactive monitoring, backups of your business data could be failing and you wouldn’t even know about it – a potentially disastrous situation. Likewise, antivirus software could be going months without being updated, leaving your workstations and networks vulnerable to attack. Would you be aware if one of your hard drives had completely failed? How would you deal with the loss of this critical data?

A good IT support partner works proactively to ensure your systems have no problems which may develop. They should also provide you with regular reports of proactive actions carried out, and the rationale behind them. Fixing small problems before they develop will save you potential lost revenue, considerable stress, and a damaged reputation.

Does downtime impact your business’ productivity and lose you potential revenue? Contact Netstar today to benefit from proactive IT monitoring and maintenance.


**Based on the estimation that UK businesses experience 27 hours of downtime per year, and average London salary of £35,000.

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One Response to The true cost of IT downtime & how to combat it

  1. I blog often and I seriously thank you for your information. This article has really peaked my
    interest. I’m going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new
    information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

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