Many SMB owners have a tendency to downplay the impact of IT downtime. They think it can only cost them the loss of a few hours of productivity, when in fact having systems go down can cause a lot more damage. Here are several risk factors they should take into account.
- Loss of customers – Buyers today are impatient. They want everything exactly when they want it. If your ecommerce site doesn’t load or is unavailable to them when they’re ready to purchase, chances are they’ll go elsewhere. Even worse, you may lose them permanently.
- Damage to company reputation – Thanks to social media, customers today are vocal in describing their brand experiences. If a customer has a negative interaction with a company—such as not knowing whether their credit card was charged for a transaction—they’ll share that experience with their followers. Bad news travels fast on Twitter and Facebook, so it won’t take long for the word to spread.
- Loss of productivity – When IT systems don’t work—and employees don’t have access to the resources they need to do their jobs—critical deadlines are missed, and everything from customer deliveries to critical accounting functions is impacted.
- Overtime, repair and recovery, and compensatory costs – Not only is lost productivity a problem, but stop and consider the overtime wages a business might have to pay employees to make up the work caused by the downtime. There are also costs to repair the systems that are down and get the servers up and running again. Businesses may even have to incur additional costs to preserve customer goodwill—giving away products for free or at a discount, for example, or using free or priority shipping to make up for order delivery delays. These are expenses many business owners fail to take into account.
- Potential litigation – Downtime that impacts production, delivery or the finances or reputation of a customer may even lead to lawsuits.
- Failed marketing initiatives – Let’s say your customer sends out a pay-per-click ad or a big email campaign, and prospects click on a link and get an error message. That’s an investment down the drain, a waste of precious marketing dollars.
So what does this all mean in dollars and cents?
A study conducted by the Aberdeen Group estimates the average total cost of downtime at $163,674 an hour. The losses could prove even more devastating for small businesses. According to the Gartner Group, the majority of small businesses that experience a major data loss are forced to close within two years of the incident.
These findings underscore the importance of companies having business continuity and disaster recovery programs in place—and investing in technology that delivers the kind of reliability today’s data-driven business applications demand.
If your customers are looking for highly reliable servers to run critical workloads and processes 24/7, investing in x86 server technology is a smart idea. These servers have RAS (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability) capabilities and resilient memory and system technologies built into the Intel processor to increase uptime and keep mission-critical workloads delivering data and services. Intel Run Sure Technology enables the system to self-diagnose and recover from previously fatal errors. This helps ensure data integrity within the memory subsystem and keeps the server running longer.
The leading x86 server brands deliver uptime of 99.99 percent or better, which 82 percent of corporations now consider the minimum acceptable levels of business continuity and customer service. According to the ITIC 2015-2016 Global Server Hardware and Server OC Reliability study, which polled more executives in more than 600 global businesses, Lenovo System X servers deliver uptime rates that are even higher—99.999—which translates to only 5.26 minutes of downtime per server, per year.
Your customers’ success is critical to yours.
Given all the potential risks to your customers, it’s important that you help them safeguard their network resources. It’s also critical that they have a business continuity plan in place.
Recommend that they assess their current IT infrastructure from the standpoint of disaster recovery. Are they particularly vulnerable to outages that could cause a major disruption to their business operations? If so, help them develop a plan to migrate to a more reliable infrastructure. Minimizing downtime is not only important for their productivity. It’s essential for their long-term viability.