Technical Downtime is Bad -- The impact planned & unplanned outages (and how to avoid them)

Planned or Unplanned, All Downtime is Bad

Vision Solutions, who recently merged with Syncsort, has been in the business of high availability and disaster recovery for more than two decades. The article below is an update to their popular 2014 blog post explaining the impact of technical downtime on business.

The Impact of Technical Downtime

Estimates for average costs of downtime at an organization came in at around $9,000 per minute [1] last year. That number leaves little doubt that the direct costs of technical downtime can cripple a business. However, that number doesn’t even take into account the indirect costs of downtime, such as bad press and negative social media chatter that can add devastating insult to injury. This is why it’s important to have a high availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR) solution in place.

Planned or Unplanned, All Technical Downtime is Bad

Technical downtime can cause serious headaches. The good news… it’s an avoidable problem.

Whether planned or unplanned, technical outages are expensive at best, and totally devastating at worst. The Small Business Administration and FEMA both recently reiterated that 40% of businesses that suffer a significant downtime event are never able to recover. Those odds are not good.

Even if the cause of downtime is a disaster, insurance reimbursements likely won’t even come close to covering what a day of downtime costs, which is why many organizations just can’t bounce back. This hard-hitting quote from FEMA drives it home: “Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition.”

Even Planned Downtime Can Be Costly

While unplanned downtime from a disaster, hardware failure or simple human error can add up to total chaos, the costs and consequences of planned downtime aren’t much better. It’s important to note that only 10% of downtime is caused by unexpected events like natural disasters. The fact is, 90% of all downtime is planned.

From migrations and upgrades to installs and physical moves, planned downtime is an expense and inconvenience that most IT departments have come to dread – and for good reason. At least once a week, our experts at Vision Solutions hear stories of how a minor event, like a simple migration, turned into a major catastrophe. Sadly, by the time these organizations start looking for a disaster recovery solution, they’ve already lost thousands or millions of revenue and restoration costs, taken a major hit to their reputation, have had a lot of explaining to do to their boards and shareholders, and are facing fines for failing to meet compliance regulations.

Download Vision Soutions' free report: The 2017 State of Resilience Report

How to Avoid Technical Outages

The good news is that downtime, even planned outages, is an avoidable problem.

High availability and disaster recovery solutions, such as those from Vision Solutions, offer automatic (or manual) failover to a real-time copy of everything on your server, storage solution and operating systems, etc. So when disaster strikes, or general maintenance work is required, you’re technical systems remain available.

And when it’s time to restore – whether that’s days or weeks down the road – just a few clicks brings everyone and everything back to the new or restored production servers. (Read: The Importance of a Quality Disaster Recovery System)

In conclusion, protecting your business from downtime is critical, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

Vision Solutions carefully studies the causes and effects of planned and unplanned downtime and releases an annual comprehensive survey report that reflects what’s really going on with the state of HA/DR in business. Download their free 2017 State of Resilience report to review the latest findings.

[1] 2016 Costs of Data Center Outages, Ponemon Institute, January 2016
Jamie Heckler

Authored by Jamie Heckler

Jamie Heckler is the Senior Web Content Manager at Syncsort.

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