Server Downtime could Cost You thousands

Have you ever tried to visit a website but found that it wasn’t loading? That’s likely due to something called “downtime.”

Downtime is when a server, the computer that hosts a website, is not working properly and can’t provide access to the site. This can happen for a variety of reasons, from hardware malfunctions to software issues.

But why does downtime matter? Well, every minute that a website is down means potential lost revenue for the website owner.

In this article, we’ll explore the cost of downtime and how to prevent server downtime to ensure your site is always up and running smoothly. 

Downtime Debacle: How Much is Your Business Losing?

1. Cost of Downtime

Before discussing the causes of downtime and its average cost to a business, it would be helpful to define what downtime actually entails and who it impacts.

The cost of downtime refers to the profit a company loses when its infrastructure or network is not functioning. In addition to direct financial loss, the cost of delay can affect your business in several other ways.

2. Opportunities

Lost opportunities lead to lost clients. When a website is unavailable, a business is unable to provide its services. Studies have shown that 47% of online customers will abandon a website if it doesn’t load within two seconds.

In the event of a service interruption, customers are unlikely to wait for your company to resolve the problem and will instead seek a better deal from a competitor.

3. Reputation

Damage to your company’s reputation is one of the most severe and long-lasting effects of downtime. If clients experience frequent server disruptions while using your company’s products or services, they will leave negative reviews and stop using your services.

Negative word-of-mouth and social media posts can spread rapidly, driving existing and potential customers to your competitors.

4. Productivity

Nearly every business offers online services to its consumers today. Individuals can exchange messages via chatbots, place orders, and receive email notifications about their deliveries.

Although these online processes still require human intervention, server downtime can disrupt employees’ workflow. Alternatively, an unplanned interruption can bring all production to a halt, requiring additional time to get everything back up and running.

5. Data

Data loss is a disaster for any business. Server downtime poses a risk of data fraud, although data backups can save most of the information. Customers who cannot access their accounts will become frustrated and lose faith in your product.

How much does one hour of downtime cost the average company

In 2020, the ITIC study revealed that the hourly cost of downtime has increased by 30% since 2016. The study surveyed one thousand businesses, and the results were as follows:

More than 30% of businesses reported spending between $1 and $5 million per hour of downtime. Meanwhile, nearly 80% of organizations reported that one hour of downtime costs them over $300,000. 98% of respondents stated that one hour of delay costs them nearly $100,000.

Total estimated cost per minute of an unplanned downtime:

If you have never experienced downtime but are curious about the average cost for your business, you can use the estimated cost calculated by businesses that have utilized the downtime calculator.

Cost of downtime = Hours of unavailability x Hourly rate

IT Downtime Factors

Downtime can be attributed to several factors that can be avoided with proper planning, efficient IT procedures, and an IT incident response plan. The leading causes of downtime include:

  • Disasters
  • Software problems
  • Hardware and network failures
  • Failed third-party services
  • Human error

Preparing to Prevent Server Downtime

Server data centre

How do we prevent downtime? As we have previously demonstrated with some of the world’s largest corporations, downtime is inevitable and should be anticipated. However, there are methods to prepare for it and mitigate data loss, lost productivity, and revenue losses.

The following outlines how to manage change and avoid human error.

1. Have a strategy

Your team should be proactive in implementing a contingency plan with clear, easy-to-follow instructions in the event of an unscheduled downtime.

2. Be proactive 

Adopting certified ITIL best practices with an ITSM tool like InvGate Service Desk is a fantastic way to prevent catastrophes. With the power of an all-in-one problem management solution, you can conduct predictive maintenance or investigate the root cause of past downtime.

3. Communicate

When disruption occurs, business operations cease, and your reputation is at risk, maintain open lines of communication with stakeholders and customers to provide the best possible customer service.

4. Load testing

Conduct load testing on your core IT systems to determine if the infrastructure can handle requests and operate optimally during typical use cases. Load testing will also help you prepare for various crisis scenarios, such as resource failures. 

During load testing, you can identify constraints and determine the system’s performance limits. Employ various techniques, such as algorithm optimization, caching, architecture adjustments, and configuration tweaks, to optimize bottlenecks.

The earlier you identify potential problem areas, the less likely you are to encounter failure. It is advisable to conduct these evaluations frequently and address any issues immediately.

5. Ensuring Proper Scalability

The fact that your IT infrastructure functions well during the first few months of your business’s operation does not guarantee its future performance. It is crucial to ensure that your system is designed to be scalable, allowing you to expand its capabilities without encountering significant issues and enabling it to serve your business as it grows.

Future-proof and forward-thinking technologies play a vital role in preventing unnecessary system outages. Nowadays, cloud configuration is often utilized to ensure scalability. 

When designing algorithms and functions, it is important to ensure that the system can handle varying amounts of data processing. You may be tempted to use algorithms with a poor complexity factor that perform well with a small number of users.

However, when thousands of users access your application simultaneously, it will become inefficient and sluggish. This will inevitably lead to system breakdowns and failures.

6. Adopt Cybersecurity 

Many businesses overlook the importance of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is crucial and should never be disregarded. While addressing various issues mentioned in this article can help resolve the problem, there is an additional step you can take: conducting a security audit by a specialized third-party company.

This is an excellent method to enhance your team’s cybersecurity awareness and identify potential issues that may have gone unnoticed.

A security breach can result in data leak, which is disastrous due to legal regulations and the loss of client trust. It can also lead to data corruption or system overflow. To prevent this, it is essential to address all system vulnerabilities identified through an audit.

For more information about cybersecurity solution, click here.

In Conclusion

Server downtime can have a significant impact on a website’s revenue and reputation. The longer a website is down, the more potential customers will be turned away. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize server uptime and take steps to minimize downtime.

One way to do this is by regularly checking the website status to catch any issues before they become bigger problems. With the right tools and strategies in place, website owners can ensure that their sites stay up and running smoothly, maximizing their potential for success in the competitive online marketplace.

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