On June 1, 2018, consumers in the United Kingdom had a taste of doomsday when the Visa Europe network failed for 10 hours. The British government was alarmed by this incident that led to the failure of 5.2 million swipes across the UK and Europe. ATM machines ran out of money as people scrambled for cash.
Airport delays are common nowadays, but in May 2017, more than 75,000 British Airways passengers around the world were stranded because of an IT crash. The company reimbursed the affected customers to the tune of $68 million.
In 2011, the Republic of Armenia was disconnected from the world when the country’s internet connection died. More than three million inhabitants of the former Soviet republic were affected. The problem was later traced to a 75-year-old woman in nearby Georgia who damaged a number of cables while digging for scrap metal.
These three examples clearly illustrate the damaging effects of IT outages that can occur anytime, anywhere. No industry is immune to this problem, and companies of all sizes are humbled by its devastating effects.
The cost of IT outages
Unplanned downtime can be quite expensive. While the cost varies from one company to another, it can reach $17,244 for every minute a firm fails to operate. This is due to lost revenue, zero productivity, and recovery expenses, among others.
Knowing this, don’t you think it’s time to assess your disaster preparedness? Ask yourself: Is your small business ready for an IT outage? More importantly, can it survive the unexpected downtime?
Before you panic, allow us to give you a brief background. IT outage or downtime refers to the time when a system doesn’t work and fails to do its primary task. This may be caused by a system failure (crash), communications failure (network outage), problems with software, or unreliable equipment.
What causes downtime?
According to the Ponemon Institute, which conducts independent research on privacy, data protection, and information security, the three most common causes of downtime are power supply failure (25%), cybercrime (22%), and human error (22%).
Although any business can be affected, those that suffer most because of outages are industries that operate 24 hours a day. These include medical organizations, nuclear power plants, banks and other financial institutions, airlines, news agencies, and e-commerce sites.
The bad news is there’s no way to prevent sudden power outages due to accidents and human error. The good news is you can take proactive steps to avoid the costs of IT downtime. Here are three tips from ATS Tech Solutions, Inc., which has been serving the Gainesville–Atlanta–Sandy Springs area for more than 20 years:
1. Focus on prevention
You may have the best computer system in the world, but the truth is, nothing is perfect. Be prepared before things get ugly. Ensure that everything is running smoothly by regularly updating your software and conducting network health assessments. Beyond data backups, you should also have hardware backups such as power supplies, network switches, and other equipment that you need to operate.
2. Train your staff
Since downtime events are usually caused by human error, don’t leave your system in the hands of inexperienced employees. Teach your staff how to deal with outages and bounce back as quickly as possible. Education and training will lessen the damage caused by IT outages.
3. Have a recovery plan
Get your business up and running again with a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. This will ensure that your company recovers quickly and suffers minimal damage after an outage. Work with a reliable network services provider to test your plan and conduct regular drills to see how it fares in a worst-case scenario.
Outages and downtimes can happen when you least expect them. Don’t let your company suffer because of this. Be prepared for anything with the help of ATS Tech Solutions, Inc. Our friendly experts will check your system for faults and vulnerabilities, and give the right recommendations so you can rest easy. Contact us today to learn more.