Why Downtime Happens and How to Minimize It

APRIL 29TH, 2021

Downtime is the bane of every organization. Costly, too. Forty percent of enterprises say a single hour of downtime can cost their firm from $1 million to over $5 million, according to an ITIC 2020 study. Even small and medium-sized businesses can take a big hit. The same study showed that companies with under 50 employees face much smaller impacts than enterprises. But move up a notch to companies with 200 to 500 employees, and 47 percent of respondents say downtime can easily cost their firm $100,000 an hour. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the causes of downtime and the steps you can take to minimize it.

Downtime Drivers

There is a long list of causes behind downtime. Let’s take a look at a few of these. Some simply can’t be avoided. Others require preparation. To get you thinking and give you some guidance, check out this disaster recovery checklist. That’s a good place to start.

Power and Internet Outages

If your power goes out, everything in your organization pretty much comes to a dead stop. Internet outages happen, too, whether that’s due to your ISP going down, internal server issues, or other external or internal causes. While large enterprises may have seen the economic sense of a huge generator and have backup power in place, for small companies the costs may not make sense. Or they simply don’t have the space for a generator. If you do have the space for a generator, it’s worth calculating your downtime costs to help guide your decision on whether or not to buy one. We found this simple downtime cost calculator that can give you a starting point. Regardless of whether it’s a power or internet outage, backing up your data and having a solid recovery plan in place is a must. More on that later.

Humans Make Mistakes

ITIC says that 59 percent of respondents to another survey pinned downtime on human error. It doesn’t end there. Oops. One of your employees just clicked on a malicious link, welcoming ransomware onto your network. Suddenly your data is out of your control and, once again, everything comes to a screeching halt. Just as often, human error entails employees not following standards or protocols—including security protocols—inviting disaster. One place to start is with training. You’ll find our top tips for teaching your employees to help you avoid downtime here. And, of course, backup and disaster recovery planning and preparation is always critical.

Hardware Fails

Even the best hardware can have a bad day. Servers go down, networking equipment stops working, and, with a multitude of potential failure points, downtime can always be just around the corner. Building out redundant systems—servers, switches, routers, and so on—is one way to overcome this problem. But even redundant systems can fail or become inaccessible. And redundancy can be costly. That’s why it’s worth considering the cloud for your backup and disaster recovery solution. Even if your hardware fails, your data is safely stored and always available. And the fastest, easiest way to get back online as quickly as possible after a hardware failure is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).

Cybercriminals Sometimes Succeed

You already know you’re under attack. In fact, cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion globally in 2021. Preparation is your best defense, once again. Keep all of your software patched and up to date. Get the best technology defenses you can find and afford. And make sure your backup and disaster recovery plan is up to date—and test it to make sure it’s there when you really need it.

DRaaS Means Fast Recovery

No matter what the cause of downtime, if it strikes your business every second counts. That’s why DRaaS is one of your best choices for mitigating downtime. StorageCraft Cloud Services protects your on-premises business systems and data to give you total business continuity. So, even if a sitewide or regional disaster were to strike—compromising or destroying your onsite and offsite backups—backup images replicated to the StorageCraft purpose-built recovery cloud can keep your business running no matter what happens. And you can recover from anywhere and test or execute a failover with a single click of a button.

Get Answers

Whatever your downtime concerns may be, it’s worth talking to a StorageCraft engineer to learn more about your options for mitigating downtime in your business.

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