Internet outages cost my business how much?!
Your Internet service provider has promised you the world. Have they delivered? Have you ever lost phone or data services? How much did that cost your business? Do you even know?
It’s time to escape revenue-killing downtime. We’ll take a look at the causes and scope of outages. We’ll then examine the various business impacts of potential outages. Last, we’ll educate you on the steps your business can take to prepare for downtime. In our modern, connected business world, outages can have profound and lasting implications that affect bottom line, productivity, and reputation—it’s time you knew the truth.
The Scope of Internet Outages
Network outages can be precipitated by a wide variety of events, but by-and-large they can be grouped into two categories: routine or severe.
Routine Outages: Most maintenance-related connectivity outages occur at night. Routine service disruptions happen when no one is watching and are resolved with minimal issues. These usually have minimal short term impact to business with quick time to resolution.
Severe Outages: Sudden daytime interruptions of your business communications have immediately greater and measurably more widespread impact. Severe outages are site-wide Internet disruptions. They have the tendency to come at the most critical moment for your company, when you least expect them. Severe outages are characterized by prolonged downtime that takes your employees and business assets offline.
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Severe outages can take multiple hours, if not days or weeks, to resolve. Often, they involve repairing or replacing one or more points-of-failure in order to resolve damage to connectivity infrastructure. Severe Internet service disruptions also have the most devastating long-term impact to your bottom line. They represent one of your company’s biggest risk exposures in the modern era.
Severe business Internet outages typically come in the form of:
- Heavy web traffic
- Cyber attacks
- Data center failures
- Upstream Internet provider issues
- Local loop equipment failure
- Abnormal weather events
- Construction mishaps (i.e. accidental fiber cuts)
- Physical disasters
What is affected by your business internet being down?
This is a difficult question to answer simply. The human impact of Internet service interruptions largely depends on your line of business, your organization’s workflow, your technology stack, and your geographical footprint.
Are you a customer-facing retail outlet? Are you a cloud-connected software development startup, real estate brokerage, financial or legal firm? Are you a non-profit, NGO, or government entity? The list goes on.
However, there is a single universal truth:
Businesses need the ability to communicate within the organization and with the outside world. Being cut off in either case can be a major calamity that your business can’t afford to endure for very long.
Business units most commonly affected by network outages:
- Sales teams
- Billing and finance
- Technical support
- Customer service
- Information Technology (IT)
- Executive leadership
Systems most vulnerable to network disruption
- Social media
- Messaging and collaboration tools
- Cloud VOIP handsets
- SIP-trunked PBX systems
- Access to cloud-data providers (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Cloud)
What are the overall costs of an internet service outage?
Internet outage costs are also largely dependent on the organization and it’s line of business. Gartner estimates network outages cost businesses an average of $5,600 per minute! That’s a little bit on the high end for most small-to-medium businesses. However, if your organization requires hefty bandwidth usage to conduct transactions, it’s not out of the realm of possible.
Per Ponemon Institute’s “Cost of Data Center Outages – January 2016”, the variety of costs to consider include:
|Direct Costs||Indirect Costs||Opportunity Costs|
|The direct expense outlay to accomplish a given activity||The amount of time, effort and other organizational resources spent, but not as a direct cash outlay||The cost resulting from lost business opportunities as a consequence of reputation diminishment after the outage|
Adding Up the Costs
Estimating your potential downtime costs will help you form a baseline understanding of the impact of an outage.
We’ve created a calculator below, per AskBiz.com, for calculating the estimated cost of your business and the effect of downtime.
What proactive measures can you take to prevent Internet service outages?
As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Always On Internet
Converged network solutions are wonderful and efficient, but can come at a cost — a single point of failure that can result in your entire business can be offline for an extended period of time. To address and mitigate potential outages, Allied has developed Always on Internet (AOI). AOI is a custom redundancy solution for your business internet connectivity, designed specifically for your business needs and your budget.
Business Connectivity Assessment
We acknowledge that small-to-medium businesses have difficulty obtaining cost-effective, appropriately-scaled solutions to keep their organizations online and doing business.
Via Allied’s FREE Business Connectivity Assessment, it’s entirely within the realm of possibility to determine your level of vulnerability and learn how to efficiently mitigate connectivity and communications outages.