You Failed to Properly Prepare for the Unexpected!

There are several common issues that we see as a Managed IT Services Provider. 

At times we identify issues within our processes and use it as an opportunity to improve. Often we will find a new and better tool solution via a webinar, conference, or vendor product demo. But the most common issues we see relate to pain points we hear by talking to prospective customers—and we hear many of the same things repeatedly. Through this series of blog posts, we will examine some of these common items and talk about how you can deal with them. 

Disaster: a calamitous event, especially one occurring suddenly and causing great loss of life, damage, or hardship, as a flood, airplane crash, or business failure.

It’s a subject that’s difficult in general and comes in many different formsfrom major instances to more minor and both man-made and natural. With regards to business, though, it is almost always a costly word.

(A quick note: Although I don’t want to diminish the devastating costs associated loss of life or structure that can be associated with disastrous events, this article will primarily focus on the consequences of IT-related failures.) 

Responsible IT management necessarily involves precautions that remove much of the risk from items we can predict (and planning for those we can’t): bad outside actors, malicious or incompetent employees, power loss, sudden data loss, device failure (and many others).


Costs of Downtime

One major aspect of all of this is the cost, measurable by dollars or time, of downtime. This varies per business due to size and the nature of the work. However, large or small, downtime causes: 

Loss of Productivity 
Very simply, many businesses cannot continue to work at full capacity (or at all, in some cases) during an IT failure. This often puts all projects on hold or moving forward only incrementally. 

Legal Issues 
Depending on the substance, data (especially highly valuable data) loss could lead to litigation. As well, loss of productivity could lead to cascading problems, resulting in legal issues as well. Legal issues are costly, often even for the party not at fault. 

Loss of Reputation 
No one wants to be known as a company that is unable to meet obligations for any reason, but especially due to a preventable IT-related faux pas. As countless companies can attest to—at least, those that still exist—a loss of reputation can lead to vast future losses of revenue from lack of referrals, or worse, becoming “that company”. 

Loss of Profit
At the end of it all, for a business, this can be the most important factor. Simply put, profits and revenue are the lifeline of the company. It’s called the bottom line for a reason! Each of the aforementioned costs will affect margins in a negative manner and are unwelcome visitors. 


Advantages of Planning 

Proper planning has, without doubt, associated costs. These could be opportunity costs or traditional financial costs. However, many (including us!) consider these rather as valued investments to avoid moments of unpleasant surprise.

Merely having a plan in place gives a business a procedure to follow should things go awry. This is invaluable, as it is all-too-easy to otherwise fall into a blind panic when ability to work suddenly stops. This plan should outline not only what to do, but how long it will take to do it. By having a known amount of downtime to be expected, a business can reach out to those affected (both internal and external parties) and, if nothing else, set proper expectations. 

Similarly, recovery can be very expensive with no solution in place. Being a principle unwelcome visitor, surprises in cost can be devastating. By employing a quality backup solution, this cost can be budgeted and much more easily controlled. Different budgets and situations may indeed allow quicker or slower recovery times, but it is not difficult to see why one would wish to make this call as a business decision as opposed to an emergency decision.

How well are you prepared? If you want some help with this for your business, we are here to do JUST THAT! Click on the Contact Us link and let us know what is giving YOU a headache! 

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