Downtime

In this blog, we will be discussing the effects of downtime. How can a business reduce downtime to increase productivity?

What is downtime?

Planned downtime

Planned downtime occurs at the most convenient moment for a business such as after hours or during staff holidays. Ensuring that business productivity and operations are not affected. Software updates, maintenance and repairs for hardware and backups are made during this period.

When planned properly a business will experience as little disruption as possible.

Unplanned downtime

Human error, power cuts, malicious attacks and hardware/software failure are the main causes of unplanned downtime. For a business, reducing unplanned downtime can be a very costly process, requiring constant monitoring and maintenance. However, the likelihood of downtime occurring will be reduced when a company with experience and skillsets, combined with the correct software is engaged. Because of this, Productivity will increase and your business will waste less time.

 

How will downtime affect your business?

Productivity loss

When part or all of your IT systems are down your staff cannot do their jobs effectively. A business and its staff will be more affected when the systems are down for long periods of time. When employees are idle the cost mounts up paying them for unproductive time. All of this results in frustration for both the business owner and for staff.

Missed opportunities

Missed opportunities are a result of poor communication or the inability to create a piece of work for a client. Therefore, if you provide a product or service, downtime can result in bad experiences. This in turn will affect your prospects and your business’s reputation.

Damage to reputation

Clients expect perfect systems and products, downtime is not acceptable for a client. In most cases, an outage will put your business’s reliability and brand reputation at risk. This will quickly translate into bad customer reviews, further affecting future business opportunities.

Data loss

Downtime affects your business and clients alike. Cyber-attacks and server or network outages result in corrupt, damaged or stolen data. Server outages can expose your valuable information or create security gaps, which cybercriminals exploit to gain unauthorized access.

 

How can you avoid unplanned downtime?

There are a few steps you can take to minimise issues. Implemented correctly these preventative measures will help to drastically reduce the effect on your business.

Ensure your devices are up to date

Regularly updating operating systems, hardware and software ensures the security of your devices and will maintain their health and enhance their performance.

Backing up data

Restoring backups is usually the last resort but can be the difference between a short period of downtime or, in the case of data being completely lost, many days or weeks. Therefore, data should be stored on external hard drives that can be taken off-site or utilizing a cloud backup solution. Both of these methods ensure maximum protection.

Developing a disaster recovery plan

For a business, a recovery strategy is essential. Having a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan in place will help you prepare for unforeseen downtime. It will also enable you to take appropriate action when downtime occurs. As a result, your systems and products will be up and running in the shortest possible time.

Training

Employee training is essential to reducing human error. Therefore, your employees should be aware of emerging cyber threats such as malware, ransomware and phishing attacks, and strictly follow the standard IT policies and procedures set by your organization.

To find out more information head to our Blog page to read more blogs or our Services to find out how we can help you.

Send us an email at office@silverchart.co.uk if you would like help managing your IT systems.

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Next month we will be talking about the benefits of outsourcing your business IT.

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