The True Cost of Downtime for Businesses (And How You Can Prevent It!)
Businesses today rely on software, even for communications. Case in point, Hosted VoIP, which has replaced traditional phone systems, and has been adopted by a wealth of businesses today following a SaaS (Software as a Service) model. Because this solution runs on the cloud, downtime will have a direct impact on business. When services go down, for whatever reason, it will affect your bottom line.
If you had to consider the numbers behind this, take a look at this Gartner study that pegs the average cost of IT downtime at $5,600 per minute. A separate report notes that the total cost of unplanned application downtime annually is approximately $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion. Of course, these amounts will vary depending on your industry or how you run your operations. The simple truth is that downtime affects your bottom line. How?
Your reputation suffers among customers: Customers expect to be able to contact you when they want and need to. That’s a given. For whatever reason that they’re unable to, you’re running the risk of being seen as unreliable, which could drive them to your competition or affect brand loyalty.
Your business loses out on actual sales: Communication is the lifeblood of any business – especially if you rely on a lot of customer interaction for sales, or customer service. When you’re unable to pitch a sale or address a customer concern, you’re automatically losing revenue.
Your operations get affected due to lost time and productivity: Dealing with downtime and recovering from it requires a lot of resources. Once services go down, your IT team needs to figure out the root cause of the problem and address it. While this is happening, your IT team on more important work and the rest of the business can’t get their jobs done either. Once your services are back up and running, you have to spend time catching up on lost time, and it’s not as easy to pick up where you left off.
So, what can you do to prevent this from happening? Take a more proactive approach to managing downtime.
1. Get a trusted and reliable Hosted VoIP vendor
Switching to a cloud-based Hosted VoIP provider means you gain the advantages of streamlined solutions and significant cost savings. Beyond that, it will minimize the impact of natural disasters, system failures, or even human error affecting your communication system. This is because your communication system is housed in your service provider’s data center, not in your physical office. This makes it easy for them to recover important data and keep services running smoothly.
However, it’s important to note that vendors have their differences. Be sure to look for a provider with a trusted reputation for reliability. A good vendor has the capacity to provide 99.99% uptime and the experience to manage system challenges effectively.
2. Anticipate the possibility of downtime and make a plan
Even with a near perfect uptime, it would be idealistic to assume that downtimes won’t happen. Even if you have a reliable and solid vendor who can confidently maintain communications during unfortunate circumstances, it’s best to have an effective backup and disaster recovery plan in place.
Talk to your vendor to see what you can do to ensure there are redundancies in your operations. For example, if downtime is caused by losing internet connectivity, maybe your vendor can guarantee that basic phone functions are still operational to maintain a link to your customers and employees.
3. Streamline your solutions
There are instances where businesses don’t have a centralized communication and collaboration solution. This makes it significantly harder to recover data during downtimes, operationalize your backup plans, and get everything back up and running efficiently.
This kind of disruption can be prevented by making sure that you’re choosing a Hosted VoIP platform capable of seamlessly integrating multiple tools. It also ensures that your vendor has a big picture view of your system, making it so much easier to manage any issues and reactivate your system as soon as possible.
Hosted VoIP is a great solution that can help your business minimize the risk of costly communication downtime. Choosing the right vendor is key to ensure this. Talk to us at Jive and find out what we can do for you today!