How much does Downtime cost a business?

22nd December 2020


Today’s modern companies are understandably very dependent on technology. The benefits of new and ever-improving systems offer almost unbounded possibilities that are often hard to ignore. However, this deep-seated reliance on tech means that if systems do fail there can often be hefty consequences. Here we discuss the question- how much does downtime cost a business?

What is Downtime?

Downtime can be classified into several different categories. It can be the loss of internet access and your ability to stay connected. Problems with the software that you use to do your daily tasks. Or, it can be issues with your physical hardware and tools, like your computer. It could also be an issue with your server that keeps the whole show on the road.

How does downtime happen?

The causes behind downtime can be equally disparate. Physical incidents like storms or floods could cause power cuts that take you offline and uncontactable. Fires and water leaks may damage the hardware. Equally, you may be unfortunate enough to join the growing list of businesses that fall prey to hackers, malware, and viruses.

Even the biggest of companies such as Google have recently had to deal with these types of system failure and a disruption in service to their customers across the globe – with YouTube, Docs, and Gmail all knocked offline. Other big names such as Facebook, Twitter, and Lloyds banks have also been affected by so-called ‘unplanned outages’.

How does downtime affect businesses?

So-called IT issues are in essence money issues. Every minute that your business is offline, or unable to complete tasks is – let’s face it – money down the drain. In fact a report from ITIC stated that 47% of SMBs say just one hour of downtime means £77,000 in lost revenue.

It’s easy to understand why. A sudden loss of faculties may mean you are unable to field calls, respond to important emails, and service your customers. In the meantime, you and your employees may be temporarily idle and their productivity stalled, while wages and salaries continue to accumulate.

Downtime also has a deep impact on brand reputation. In a world of instant gratification where the speed of service is essential, a slow or non-functioning website will send out exactly the wrong message to your customers, and they may look elsewhere. What’s more, delays to your service may result in negative feedback both private and public which can lead to further harm down the line.

Indeed, if you operate in a business where responsiveness is key such as delivery services or eCommerce, you may be even more exposed to damages, and time and resources may need to be expended to compensate for late delivery and unsettled customer bases.

How long does downtime usually last?

The battle to recover from an unplanned service interruption is often long and difficult. The average time it takes for IT teams to bring a service back online is estimated to be 200 minutes (IT Process Institute), but in reality, can be much longer. Take a moment to consider how 200 minutes of interruption or more might affect your business, and how might your customers react.

How to prevent IT downtime?

While it pays to be prepared for the worst, businesses should never accept downtime as the price of working with modern technology. A robust and well-set-up IT infrastructure can help bypass these problems and allow you to continue working even if your systems do fail.

To avoid the challenges posed by unplanned outages, you should act today to develop a business continuity plan with your IT provider. Here at ECL, we offer a wide range of solutions including such as virtual server infrastructure for our clients that allow them to quickly bounce back should the worst happen. These services not only offer key protection, but they can save you real money that would otherwise be expended before and after an issue arises.

What can ECL do to help?

With tools like VMware and HyperV, we can provide a comprehensive service that mitigates the risks of downtime for businesses up and down the UK. Replicas of important files and infrastructure are modelled and held on a securely located, purpose-built hosting platform in our own Wickford-based offices. All in all, providing our clients with peace of mind, and real long-term savings. To find out more please call us today on 01268 575300 or email us on for more information about our disaster recovery services.


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