How To Avoid Expensive And Frustrating Downtime
written by Matt Bullock posted on August 10, 2021
A critical part of successfully managing an organization is implementing efficient business processes. Without question, IT plays a huge role in the efficiency of your business.
Case in point: IT downtime costs organizations huge sums of money yearly and can also be a leading indicator of even more inefficiencies to come.
Do you know how to deal with downtime?
Why Is Downtime Bad?
Downtime isn’t just expensive because you have to get your technology fixed — there’s also the fact that it brings your business’ operations to a halt. If an IT-related or natural disaster occurs and takes critical systems offline, employees will be unable to complete their tasks, yet your normal business expenses will carry on.
During that time, you still have to cover all the expenses of running a business without the revenue you would usually generate. Even if downtime does not grind everything to a halt, some of your staff will have to divert themselves from their normal work to mitigate the problem — again reducing productivity.
How Does Downtime Affect Business?
The economy of downtime is unforgiving — it grinds your business to a halt, racks up expenses, and keeps you from getting anything done:
- Expense Vs. Revenue: During downtime, you incur all the expenses of running a business without the revenue you would usually generate.
- Loss of Focus: Even if downtime does not grind everything to a halt, some of your staff will have to divert themselves from their normal work to mitigate the problem, further reducing productivity.
- Affected Service Delivery: While your systems are down, you can’t deliver services or sell products to current and potential new clients.
- Cost Of Repair: However you approach fixing the problem, it’ll cost time and money.
- Reputational Damage: The trust of your clients and the reputation of your company are invaluable assets that can erode with prolonged or frequent downtime issues. A diminished reputation can negatively affect your future business opportunities.
- Organizational Culture: The more downtime you experience, the worse your employees’ moods will be. The longer they’re stuck waiting around to do their work, the more frustrated they’ll get, and the less highly they’ll think about the way your business operates.
- Stunted Growth: If you’re always “putting out fires”, how can you ever expect to move forward? IT projects and expansions will continually be put on the back burner because of more pressing (yet, smaller scale) problems.
What Causes Server Downtime?
Your servers are the backbone of your IT environment, and as such, are often at the core of downtime and other system issues. There are a number of factors that can affect a server’s speed and functionality:
- Limited Space: Servers only have so much storage space to offer, and by using the same ones too long, you’ll quickly run out.
- Age: The older hardware gets, the more likely it’ll start to slow down. With an entire business relying on access to apps and data stored on old servers, it’s only a matter of time until their staff-wide productivity will drop. At a certain point, hardware gets so old it’s prone to fail. For a range of reasons, it’ll just stop working. When a business’ server fails, it means they’ll experience downtime while they wait for it to restart, not to mention that they could lose data that isn’t backed up.
- Poor Configuration: Sometimes, it’s just a matter of improper use. If you didn’t have a professional set up your server in the first place, a poor configuration can affect its speed and performance.
How Do You Prevent System Downtime?
The best way to approach downtime prevention is proactively – you need to keep an eye out for system issues that can spiral into total stoppages. You need to implement backup technologies and best practices to prevent outages. You need to enhance your cybersecurity to protect against cybercrime.
Part of the process of avoiding as much downtime as possible comes from recognizing its inevitability. With that understanding, you can then work to mitigate its common causes.
- Backups: Can you stand to lose a week’s worth of data? If the answer is no then you’ll need to run backups more often. Take into account how long you can go without certain data. Restoring backups can take time and file-level backups can take longer to recover than image-level backups. Make sure your backups are also stored at an offsite location.
- Business Continuity Planning: This involves risk mitigation planning and business recovery planning. Risk mitigation should reduce the possibility of adverse events while business recovery planning helps ensure continued operation in the event of a server failure or natural disaster. Take into account the mission-critical data and systems your business needs to do its basic functions and prioritize them. A business continuity plan should be a ‘Plan B’ for how virtually every aspect of your business operates.
- Test Your Processes: The worst time to find out there is a problem recovering backups is when you really need them. Verify your backups periodically.
Accelera IT Solutions Will Minimize Your Downtime
Accelera IT Solutions can equip you with the best technology solutions available in order to keep your business’ infrastructure fast, reliable, and agile. When it comes to virtualization, cloud storage, and business continuity, there is no better solution than those offered by Prodatix and Veeam.
We equip our clients with SiloVault Series NAS devices, complete with robust Veeam software that will help to limit downtime. Get in touch with our team to discover more about the robust business continuity features we can deliver to you.