Your IT system crashes, and while it’s being repaired you put on the kettle to make a cup of tea. But you now realize you’re making lots of cups of tea every week and begin to wonder how much is all this downtime costing?
Is it because you’re using sticking plaster solutions to resolve much deeper IT problems? A bit like the proverbial watched kettle that never boils, you never get to the bottom of your technical hitches.
In some businesses, IT downtime becomes so commonplace that people begin to accept it as the norm. Staff also start devising their own workarounds just to get the job done. They feel they’re being more productive than waiting for the IT issue to be resolved when, in fact, taking short-cuts or creating new unapproved methods can be time-consuming, create new problems, and in some cases be incredibly dangerous.
The true cost of downtime to any business depends on its turnover, staff costs and the nature of the business. But the bottom line is that, if IT issues slow you down or even stop you from completing transactions with customers, the damage can be even higher both in terms of lost revenues and tarnished reputation.
Recent reports suggest that lost productivity caused by IT downtime could be costing British businesses, on average, £3.6 million a year including 545 hours of wasted staff productivity. With an estimated average hourly wage of £13.75, IT problems cost companies £7,235 per employee each year.
Constant IT problems can instigate low morale, creating a negative culture, that results in lower productivity, higher staff turnover and missed opportunities as people begin just doing the basics to get through the day rather than thinking proactively about new ideas and opportunities for the business.
As it takes people longer to get through their workload, stress can build. Staff can feel severely undervalued when issues are not resolved, as it sends a message that the company doesn’t care enough to help them do their job properly. Stress and low morale can cause employees to resign or take time off, creating increased recruitment and training costs.
Often companies find themselves paying someone to fix daily niggles addressing problems only as these occur. But the cost of such quick fixes can certainly mount up. So how can you reduce downtime, and reduce the costs that come with that? It’s often far more cost-effective to take a proactive approach and update systems or hardware before issues arise.
The first step to reducing IT downtime is through proactive monitoring and maintenance. Don’t wait for problems to arise before putting this in place. The best way forward is to carry out a full IT health check. The daily downtime being suffered could be fixed simply by upgrading software, getting licences up to date, aligning systems, or replacing outdated hardware, aligning your IT systems with the business direction.
A good IT support partner will take a proactive approach to ensure your systems are running efficiently and prevent problems from developing in the first place. It will also provide regular reports to show the ongoing work it’s carrying out behind the scenes to protect your business. It will mean fewer cups of tea for you and your team, but your business will run smoother, and ultimately cost you less in downtime.