The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday Guest Blog: Have You Got A Minute?

By Tracy Barlow, Director at 24/7 Uptime Ltd

Have you ever considered what a minute of your company’s time is worth?  And what system downtime can cost?  How many times have you heard “the system is on go-slow today”?

Many organisations simply react to system failures.  When an IT failure occurs systems go down, operations stop and IT staff need to react with speed.  This downtime can have a huge impact on sales, critical operations, employee productivity and customer satisfaction levels.  Business critical systems must be available 24/7 – especially in today’s ‘always on’ world.

We worked with one of our clients to determine the financial loss to their business if their most critical IT systems suffered downtime.  At peak periods, they could lose £2,000 per minute if customers couldn’t access their services.  Clearly, this was something they wanted to address with some urgency.

Imagine you are the IT or operations manager of a food manufacturing company – keeping your production lines up and running is absolutely critical, particularly if you receive same day ordering from your customers.  If there is a problem with your IT systems then you’re not only losing money and time but there are limited shelf-life raw materials to contend with as well as frustrated customers without deliveries.  And that’s something Mr Supermarket Chain will not tolerate.

But the impact of system downtime isn’t just financial of course.  If you run a hospital department, for example, then round the clock system availability and fast patient information flow are vital to minimising queues and waiting times.  If you’re involved in education then you need fast access to the school’s administration system which provides pupil attendance records, lesson structures and parent contact information.

In these and other examples, the cost of downtime can be counted.  Increasingly organisations don’t just undertake downtime risk assessments but they make decisions to avoid it. 

Do you know what your business critical systems are?  From email to electronic records, factory floors to trading floors, 999 call centres to emergency rooms, more and more organisations are looking to prevent system downtime, eliminate data loss and reduce operational costs. 

There’s no need to compromise and accept ‘good enough’ system availability these days.  Even businesses with limited IT resources can benefit.  Proactive, prevention-based software systems are very affordable and ensure continuous business operation.  And that’s got to be more cost effective than reacting to system failures.

So put yourself in your customer’s shoes when they can’t access your service, receive deliveries or talk to your business.  You might be experiencing real system problems but, as customers, they don’t really care.  And if this continues to happen, how long do you think they’ll remain your customers?   

Tracy Barlow, 24/7 Uptime Ltd
24/7 Uptime are the UK’s leading experts in Stratus / Marathon everRun high availability software.  Tel: 0161 366 8499

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