Network downtime can happen to any company, and there is no sure way to prevent it. Other than causing annoyance and inconvenience, it can also expose your company to financial and reputational risks.
As such, it is essential that you take effective measures to minimize the risk of network downtime and develop disaster recovery strategies that enable you to fix downtime issues as quickly as possible.
Below are a number of tips for preventing and fixing network downtime….
Possible Consequences of Network Downtime
A survey conducted by CA Technologies revealed that IT failures caused small businesses and large companies to lose an average of about $55,000 and $91,000 in revenue, respectively every year.
These figures may seem shocking, but they actually make sense if you understand the many different types of costs that can be incurred by network downtime. You may have to pay your employees overtime wages to make up for lost productivity, lose revenue due to business interruption and customer dissatisfaction, pay late delivery penalties or launch campaigns to apologize for the downtime.
If you lose your customers’ personal information or are found guilty of failing to comply with IT security regulations, you may have to face legal consequences. In some cases, a network downtime can cost companies millions of dollars.
According to an article entitled “What to Do When Your Corporate Network Goes Down“, Amazon lost three to four million dollars when its website went down for about 35 minutes in August, 2013.
How to Prevent Network Downtime
Some of the things that you can do to reduce the risk of network downtime include:
- Perform code reviews in software development to improve code quality and reduce errors.
- Make sure that your systems are properly monitored before you configure alerts or make changes.
- Break down big changes into smaller tasks that can be easily managed and reverted.
- Before you make changes to your systems, you should notify every employee who manages and uses the applications and systems that will be impacted by the changes.
- Ensure your firewalls are properly configured and update your systems with the latest patches.
- Monitor your systems and firewalls constantly to detect abnormal events.
- Designate someone in your IT department to assess and analyze network security, stay up-to-date with the latest security threats and provide IT advice to other employees.
Creating an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan
Your disaster recovery plan will not be effective if you do not have the right people to execute it. As such, it is important that you clearly define the chain of command and workflow for recovering from a network outage, and communicate the plan to every department.
Also, make a list of all the people, such as vendors, partners and customers, who may have to be contacted in case of emergency.
After you have created your disaster recovery plan, you have to test different scenarios to find out the amount of financial loss that will be incurred if your network goes down for an hour, a day or a week. This will help you determine whether or not the cost of your disaster recovery plan is justifiable.
Having an effective plan for preventing and fixing downtime may not be constantly beneficial to your company, but it can help you save a lot of money one day.
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.