As more businesses move online, the cost and impact of IT downtime continue to rise. Some organizations may have been able to revert to manual methods or "wait out" system outages and pause their operations until service was restored. Unfortunately, pressing "pause" isn't a feasible option in today's fast-moving economy.
IT downtime is an inevitable frustration that impacts your entire internal team. However, system outages and unplanned downtime lead to more than just frustrated employees. Your customers, brand reputation, and bottom line can suffer exponentially without reliable IT support.
1. System Security
Security is one of your IT team's primary functions, as their processes and solutions keep you and your customers' data safe from bad actors. Network failure and server outages can put sensitive data at risk and give cybercriminals a foot in the door.
Your files may be damaged or corrupted during IT downtime, or your customers' data may be compromised during a cyberattack. Either way, your business will be at risk of significant financial loss, legal repercussions, and customer attrition due to inadequate security measures.
After a data breach, companies underperform in the market by more than 15% for the next three years.
Handling security concerns and data breaches is about preparedness. You need a reliable plan to ensure IT security in the event of an outage and backup and recovery services to safeguard your business data in unpredictable circumstances.
2. Team Productivity
Modern business operations are heavily rooted in online technology. Even if all of your employees work in the office, they likely use email, chat, and remote IT support to complete their daily tasks.
Technology is even more essential for distributed team members who use these communication tools to stay in touch with their colleagues and customers. If your teams work in cloud-based applications, they may temporarily lose access to critical business files until service is restored or network errors are remediated.
Each time a system goes down, team productivity takes a massive hit. Your staff loses valuable time they could have used to complete critical projects, connect with their colleagues, or serve your customers.
On average, a company will lose 545 hours of employee productivity to IT downtime.
All of these productivity losses leave your team behind schedule and scrambling to play catchup when your systems come back online. IT downtime can also have a ripple effect on other parts of your system performance, especially if your data analysts can't execute testing, data cleansing, and other critical tasks due to an outage in your core operating systems. Plus, missed connections with prospects and customers can have a lasting impact on your bottom line over time.
3. Customer Satisfaction
Most business concerns around information technology are related to securing and backing up data. Yet, many companies fail to see the customer service angle in their need for quality IT support.
According to Forbes, between 49 and 67% of people will switch to another business based on poor customer service.
A big part of running a business is keeping people happy. When it comes to selling a product, it is imperative that your technology is functioning properly and that you have quality IT support. For example, let’s say you're selling a product online, and every time a customer tries to place an order, they get an error message or a malfunction occurs. Most likely, they will get frustrated and give up after a few tries, taking their business elsewhere.
Now, your customer must make an effort to contact your customer service department. They are already aggravated and difficult to appease. Your team is left scrambling, trying to make this person happy due to an IT snafu. If you had quality IT support in place, you could have gotten ahead of potential IT issues before they caused severe business setbacks.
4. Business Reputation
If your business suffers a security breach or extended IT downtime, your reputation can take a huge hit. When IT downtime does occur, your IT help desk team is on the front lines dealing with upset and concerned customers.
A well-prepared, well-trained customer service department can usually handle these events with tact. Still, the long-term reputational damage can cripple a business if clients do not feel that a company did enough to maintain their data and overall user experience.
Sixty percent of consumers say that negative reviews made them not want to use a business.
IT downtime can lead once-loyal customers away from your business, and their public-facing feedback could prevent you from acquiring new ones for quite some time. Customers may worry that their sensitive data has been compromised, or that they may not be able to use your services for an indefinite amount of time. In either case, they're likely to end up frustrated and may share those frustrations on a review site or social media.
Combat IT Downtime With UBEO
At UBEO, we leverage the power of technology integrations and next-level support services to break down process inefficiencies and meet your unique IT and security needs. Ready to see how UBEO can improve your IT operations? Contact our team today to get started.
Ronnie Hay is the Marketing Director for UBEO.