Loss of power, loss of internet, or loss of data can be a major blow to your businesses. Here’s what you can do to prevent downtime from crippling you.
Most of us take modern utilities for granted. We expect the water to run when we turn on a tap, the lights to come on when we turn on the light switch, and the internet to work when we want to get online. Because we take these things for granted, we aren’t always prepared when they fail.
At home, a power loss is a nuisance but usually not a disaster, even if the power is out for a couple of days. However, for a business, a temporary outage can cost an enormous amount of money. Despite this, downtime happens to everyone.
In 2013, Amazon went down for about thirty minutes. Those thirty minutes cost Amazon an estimated $2000,000 in lost sales. Your business might not be on the scale of Amazon, but you also probably don’t have the brand power or the economic mobility to recover that Amazon does after a significant failure.
All this means that, while a small business is often at risk for a certain amount of downtime, they’re also less able to cope with negative consequences should a problem come up. If a power outage interrupts a business call that is crucial, the client might decide that your company isn’t reliable and will go somewhere else. A problem with connectivity that causes you to lose a crucial file could be a disaster.
Luckily, the most common threats are also the most preventable. Here are some simple ways to prevent network downtime for your business.
Examine Your System For Both External And Internal Weaknesses
If your business does experience downtime, the first thing you need to do is to look at where the problem started. If the whole office is out of power, you need to know if the problem is a blown fuse or something else. Without knowing where a problem started, you don’t know whether it can be handled internally or you need to call in someone like Calec Commercial Electrician. You won’t know how to correct the problem.
When strengthening your system against downtime, think about external and internal threats. There’s no point in protecting yourself against network hacking if your network could go down because a power cord was unplugged.
Opt For Enterprise-Level Network Infrastructure
Some businesses will try to save costs by choosing lower-grade hardware. This is usually a bad idea, as the cost of an enterprise-level upgrade is minimal compared to what your business could lose if the network fails. Higher-grade equipment will also help to ensure reliability, meaning that your employees will be less productive thanks to slow connections. While enterprise-grade internet connections used to be a lot more expensive, but now the lower price of fibre optic cable makes it a lot more affordable for even small businesses.
Have A Redundant Network Connection
Some businesses can cope with a loss in internet connectivity for a few hours, even though it will be inconvenient. But if your business is one that absolutely depends on constant internet access, then a redundant connection is the best option. A redundant connection doesn’t just mean wireless and wired connections through the same provider. It means that even if one network experiences difficulties, the other network is able to pick up the slack.
Employ A Backup Power Connection
Every building loses power at some time. A power failure that happens in the middle of the workday could cause your employees to lose hours of unsaved work. Even if it only takes a few seconds to come online, even that brief interruption could mean a lot of lost work.
This scenario can easily be prevented if you use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A UPS offers backup battery power to your IT systems, which will kick in the second your usual power goes offline. If you use a UPS, any loss of power will immediately transfer to the battery supply, with no interruption to the user.
Remember that a UPS only has a limited supply, usually of only a few hours. It will get you through a temporary power failure, but for anything that lasts longer, you should have backup generators as well. Backup power is a wise investment, even if you think you won’t use it often.
Switch To Cloud Or Colocation Services
Were your officer servers hooked to a power source without a surge protector during a massive lightning storm? What would happen if a tornado, flood, fire, or other natural disaster destroys your premises? Events like this can cause massive data loss. They might be rare, but recovering your business after such a loss is very difficult.
One way you can prevent scenarios like this from destroying your business is to not use your business premises as the main place where you keep your documents. Cloud servers, which are housed in colocation centres are more convenient and more reliable, as well as being much safer.
Colocation centres create backup copies in a range of regions so that a major event doesn’t result in a loss of data. Their buildings are made to be able to withstand all but the most devastating natural disasters. They also use location security to prevent data theft and have teams on hand to manage any issues.
Know Who To Turn To When Your Network Does Go Down
It can be difficult to completely prevent all network downtime. No matter what precautions you have in place, it’s not possible to predict every possible problem that might cause a disruption in your services. If you have a good plan in place, you shorten the amount of time that you spend out of service, but it can’t help you if you can’t find the cause of network failure. A managed IT company can be useful to help with both monitoring your network and with responding quickly in times of emergency.