If you’re operating a business in the 21st century, you need to prioritize your tech infrastructure. And that means preventing costly problems like downtime from wrecking your revenue and ruining your reputation.
The Steep Cost of Downtime
Downtime is frustrating. But more than that, it’s costly.
“The industry average cost of IT downtime is dependent on a lot of areas. The monetary losses vary when you consider your revenue, industry, the actual duration of the outage, the number of people impacted, the time of day, etc.,” The20 explains. “For example, losses are significantly higher per hour for businesses who are based on high-level data transactions, like banks and online retail sales. If you experience an unplanned outage during peak traffic time, obviously the damage will be more significant.”
Just how big can the losses be? Well, according to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime clocks in right around $5,600 per minute. That same study reveals that 98 percent of organizations experience more than $100,000 in costs for a single hour of downtime. Approximately four out of five businesses say the cost is $300,000 or more.
Regardless of where you land on this spectrum, downtime is costly. And if you aren’t careful, it could jeopardize the future of your business. So the question becomes, how do you avoid downtime, increase uptime, and give your business every chance of being successful?
4 Tips to Increase Your Uptime
Increasing uptime is part science and part art. It requires both a solid technical foundation, as well as a little finesse. In light of this, here are some proactive steps you can take to put your small business in a better place moving forward:
- Hire an IT Support Team
Quite frankly, you might need to hire an IT support team like PalmTech to help you manage your IT services and provide on-demand troubleshooting for any problems that emerge. This is the best option for businesses that lack the internal resources and expertise to address the other tips outlined in this article. (And even if you have the internal resources, you should consider whether hiring IT support will allow you to reallocate them for better use elsewhere.)
- Increase Awareness of Problem Areas
It’s imperative that you get your bearings and understand where you’re most likely to experience issues.
As Nordic APIS puts it, “One of the easiest ways to ensure high uptime is to be aware of the physical assets in a system. By knowing what the points of potential failure are, liabilities can be monitored, and developers can react quickly when an issue does arrive.”
Your level of awareness will obviously depend on your insights and visibility into the system. So if you lack visibility, this is the first issue you’ll need to deal with. (Again, this is where having an experienced IT support team can help.)
- Overestimate Server Capacity
It’s always a smart idea to overestimate your server capacity limits. Sure, it might cost you a bit more on a regular basis, but it’s better than the alternative of costly downtime. And if nothing else, it’ll give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re prepared to handle any spike in traffic.
- Attack Your Own System
Want to find out just how strong your system is? Consider hiring white hat hackers to infiltrate your system. (Or if you have the internal resources to do so, consider asking your team to become the enemy.)
A white hat team of hackers can check your API for flaws, look through overflow statuses, test out different traffic volumes, run tests that bombard your system with massive traffic spikes, send malformed requests with complex and simple errors, etc. And using the insights they uncover, you can strengthen your system before the “real” hackers chase you down.
Give Your Biz a Competitive Advantage
It might seem like an expensive investment with very little immediate ROI, but any money you put into strengthening your organization’s uptime will serve you well for years to come. And in most cases, it actually has the ability to give you a competitive advantage.
If nothing else, review the tips outlined in this article and consider implementing a cost-effective plan for increasing uptime over the next six to nine months. Then you can regroup and evaluate the results. If your uptime improved, you may decide to make an even greater investment at that point.