Every so often, businesses are hit with unexpected downtime — causing a loss in productivity and potential revenue. Given our growing technological dependence, one minor misconfiguration or full-scale system failure can lead to significantly reduced productivity — or worse still, complete business shutdown.
When considering business priorities, business downtime should be high on the agenda but do business owners fully understand the implications of downtime and are they taking it seriously enough?
Here to explain more and provide us with some suggestions of how to reduce downtime is Datawright — providers of manufacturing software.
A look at the statistics
IT problems are a major cause of business downtime and in Europe, 552 man-hours are lost every year as a result of these issues. Reportedly, this downtime results in a 37% drop in revenue generation, as the critical tools for business success are made unavailable.
The impact of downtime does vary across business sectors, as some are more reliant on their technology than others. A number of factors can influence this including the number of staff affected, the impact on productivity, how long the downtime lasts, and the cost per employee, per hour.
During business downtime, they also face a potential loss in revenue. If IT systems fail, for example, you could lose out on future sales as a result of unhappy customers. Regardless of sector, this is something all business will need to avoid if they are to continue their success.
By recognising what is causing the downtime issues and addressing them, this can be very effective in your business. Studies have been carried out to establish the most common causes, although results can vary wildly. The overall causes of business downtime include hardware and software failure, human error, the weather and natural disasters, and power cuts.
So, how can you prevent downtime?
Keeping up to date
One important thing to do to prevent software failure is to ensure that it is up to date. Clicking ‘remind me later’ will no longer cut it. Make sure you install all available updates for your software to ensure it can continue performing optimally, minimising the risk of failure.
Out-of-date systems are much more likely to fail. As cyber threats continue to evolve and materialise, older systems that may not have the required security capacity become obvious targets. Review your software at timely intervals to ensure it remains fit for purpose and relevant.
Refreshing hardware when needed
You may have noticed that your hardware is not performing as it should. Some industries will experience this more than others — for example, in manufacturing, machines and presses will require regular maintenance to ensure they remain functional and efficient.
Implementing predictive and preventative maintenance can help to resolve the issue before it arises.
Training staff appropriately can prevent issues, although naturally human errors can still occur. Ensure that all employees are fully aware of how to use the technology and software they require for their role to prevent issues like this from arising.
Implement the appropriate precautions and training in place and you can minimise the impact that business downtime can have.