Mar 27, 2013

The business impact of downtime


business impact of downtimeWhen hearing the phrases “disaster recovery” or “disaster preparedness,” many people immediately think of how they can prevent or mitigate the downtime caused by an extreme weather event – such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood or tornado.

But the reality is that these phenomena are rare, and the much more common causes of downtime are events like power outages, IT failures, and human error. Gartner projects that “through 2015, 80% of outages impacting mission-critical services will be caused by people and process issues.”

Even major global brands are not immune to man-made disruptions, as seen recently in these well-publicized outages: Facebook went down for 2 hours last May and saw its stock price drop nearly 6% the next day; the entire GoDaddy hosting network failed last September, causing millions of sites and emails to stop working; and, of course, the infamous Netflix outage last Christmas Eve which set off a firestorm of angry tweets from subscribers.

While a disruption to your business may not receive quite the same media coverage as the above, the impact can still be significant and, in some cases, disastrous.

For example, ask yourself the following:

  • If your website or payment processing system went down, how much revenue would you lose?
  • How much revenue would be lost if your employees couldn’t work at their full capacity because a critical system was unavailable?
  • What would be the impact if your company was unable to comply with a regulatory audit because of system unavailability or data loss?
  • What if a system outage meant you couldn’t meet service-level agreements (SLAs) to your customers or partners?
  • How would your company’s reputation be affected if your critical IT systems were unavailable for more than a few hours?

Once you start quantifying the potential financial impact of downtime, it should be pretty clear why having a disaster recovery plan is so important.

For a deeper dive on the impact of downtime and guidance on disaster recovery delivery models, attend our April 25th Disaster Recovery webcast featuring guest presenter Rachel Dines, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc.

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