Unplanned downtime: how it can cost your business

Posted by Tiffany Leung on 28 Nov

Businesses may encounter unplanned downtime for a variety of reasons. Being subject to a cyber-attack, a critical hardware failure, software crashes and corruption - the list is endless of reasons your business could grind to a shuddering halt at any moment. It likely won't surprise you to learn that this can cost you dearly.

The results of unplanned downtime

We live in a world where one of the things customers value most is convenience. If your business isn't available to provide your goods/services when customers seek them out, it won't take much for them to look elsewhere. Planned downtime is a healthy thing for any business - unplanned downtime, however, is almost certainly going to result in a negative brand image.

Whether the reason for the unplanned downtime has anything to do with you, or not, customers will form a judgement if you're not open during regular business hours. This can range to anything from a perception of your incompetence, or, arguably even worse, your lack of customer focus.

Needless to say, the ultimate result is a loss of custom - which you'll feel in your bottom line. Cash flow is going to be the first thing to suffer in any period of unplanned downtime, and it can be difficult for a business to recover. Even if the downtime only lasts a few hours, the results can take weeks, even months, to overcome.

Prevention then is better than cure

Curing the symptoms of unplanned downtime can take a while, and often expensive process. It's much more prudent for a business to make the necessary investment to ensure that the risk of unplanned downtime is low.

The first step is to regularly maintain and support the IT infrastructure, as it is integral because we have an increasing reliance on technology for daily operations. Failure to do so can lead to increase risks of data breaches or potential software failure - both of which are costly in their own ways. You should be regularly maintaining the IT infrastructure and ensuring it is fit for purpose.

Invest in appropriate software to help you maximise the efficiency of your processes. Keeping everything in your mind, or on paper, can result in things being forgotten or lost. The right software will help you to keep things organised and on track. In many cases, it can make suggestions as to where improvements can be made.

Updating and upgrading your IT infrastructure on time is also of maximum importance. Older IT systems are more prone to cyber-attacks, due to their generally poorer levels of security. If your business deals with sensitive information, such as customer personal and payment details, it could be classed as negligence if you do not take the proper steps to keep them safe.

Upgrading is not something you need to do in one go. An IT infrastructure doesn't need to be replaced completely every few years. It's much more efficient, and affordable, to make sensible upgrades to both hardware and software as you go. A good IT specialist can make suggestions as to where your next investment should be.

Downtime is not just about maintaining the infrastructure but, also investing in the right software for the business. By investing in Enterprise Resource Planning software, it can consolidate vital processes into a seamlessly integrated program - removing the need to maintain and upgrade multiple systems.

For this, you should invest in WinMan ERP software - specifically designed to be a comprehensive, all-in-one solution for resource management.

>> Learn more about WinMan ERP Software

Topics: Business Efficiency, Productivity, Management

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