Let’s Talk about Downtime, and How to Handle It

Business downtime
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Business downtimeDowntime is to be expected in business though it creates a terrifying thought because it has a direct impact on the profitability of the business. Reputation is on the line along with a loss in productivity.

These problems often come in two ways:

  • Application services
  • Data

It’s possible to quantify downtime based on business and productivity loss. Each minute could cost a business thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Failing to develop a contingency plan has severe consequences which lead to extended downtimes and loss.

This article will share how problems arise and their solutions.

Common Causes for Computing Problems

The most common cause for computing problems stems from user error. An individual accidentally (or maliciously) deletes an important file, damages physical hardware, or becomes victim to a phishing attempt thus giving access to hackers.

Another is through hardware failure. Faulty drives, improper cabling, dust, electrical discharges, are all typical factors in creating downtime. Legacy systems are difficult to maintain because of their aging components.

Third is when software/network performs poorly. These instances can happen in many ways. A SaaS (Software as a Service) could become unusable due to Internet outages. Driver and updates have been corrupted. Malware has been injected into the workstation and business server.

We’ve come a long way in computing. With it are a wonderful assortment of services and resources to combat these common problems to prevent outages and downtime.

Solutions and Contingency

The best solution is to prevent problems from arising. Unfortunately, these things happen on a long enough timeline. A contingency plan needs to be in place. Here are the items to add to this plan:

·  Monitoring & Repair (Retainers) – Hardware and network monitoring services are done by a third party trained to quickly identify faults. Computer repair Lethbridge experts, Nuvex Solutions, recommends a combination of cloud monitoring and local specialists on retainer so repair can begin before a catastrophic problem arises. Monitoring tips the experts on the problems; specialists come in to repair. Quick and easy.

·  User Training – The user error aspect is reduced by introducing a policy for regular technology education. Common methods to hard drive failure and data loss typically happens due to malware, viruses, lack of updates, and keeping regular backups. Consider pointing employees to a tech blog or purchase a cyber security course through an online learning platform. Hold regular meetings to discuss tech topics and best practices.

·  Network Fault Tolerance – There is little one can do during Internet outages from the provider if it’s their single source. This doesn’t have to be the case. A BYOD (Bring your own Devices) policy can provide fault tolerance to the business. Smartphones and Internet-ready devices using the same business software will allow employees to pick up where they left off on most aspects of their work. A fallback DSL modem or mobile hotspot may do the trick.

·  PR Campaign – It’s not just productivity and money. Customers may become irate due to downtime in services provided, support, or ordering. Part of the contingency plan should be a campaign to alert, apologize, and update the community of the downtime and expectations when operations will be back to normal. This could include an email blast, social update, or calling the important clients. Transparency is crucial; it keeps customers calm.

Will these four handle every issue one may face in downtimes? Hard to say because there are hundreds of points of failure. Yet, these will manage the majority.

Time is Money

Imagine the inability to send work emails, answer customer live chat, take orders, or miss important, remote business meetings. How long would it take to scramble and replace a workstation? Every second counts. Reputation and profits are on the line.

Has your business experienced long downtimes? What were the results and solutions? Share your experience with a comment below.