Businesses rely heavily on the Internet to operate efficiently, which means unusable uptime and downtime can have severe financial implications on businesses. Many businesses don’t realize that it’s not just productivity that is affected; downtime can also cause revenue loss and customer dissatisfaction, tarnishing a brand's reputation.
Gartner reports that network downtime costs around $5,600 per minute. With the average business experiencing approximately 14 hours of downtime each year, this unnecessary expense is a hindrance to operations and revenue.
Actionable strategies to help reduce downtime
Identify potential downtime risks and threats
The first step in Internet contingency planning is to identify potential risks and threats. These could be anything from a power outage to a cyber attack. Once these risks have been identified, businesses should assess their potential impact and likelihood of occurring. This will help them to prioritize their contingency planning efforts.
Develop a downtime response plan
Once the risks have been identified, the next step is to develop a response plan. This should include a set of procedures and protocols that outline how the business will respond in the event of an incident. For example, if there is a power outage, the response plan might include procedures for switching to backup generators or shutting down non-essential systems.
Invest in network redundancy
Network redundancy is a key component of Internet contingency planning. This involves investing in backup systems and redundant infrastructure to ensure that online operations can continue in the event of an outage. For example, businesses might invest in backup power generators, redundant internet connections, or cloud-based backup services.
Regularly test the contingency plan
A contingency plan is only effective if it has been tested and validated. Businesses should conduct regular tests of their contingency plan to ensure that it works as intended. This could involve simulating an outage or other incident and testing the response plan to identify any gaps or areas for improvement.
Employees are a critical component of any contingency plan. Businesses should ensure that their employees are trained in the response procedures and protocols outlined in the plan. This will help to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an incident and can act quickly to minimize downtime.
Monitor systems and infrastructure
Monitoring systems and infrastructure is essential to identifying potential issues before they become major problems. Businesses should implement a monitoring system that provides real-time visibility into the performance of their online operations. This will allow them to identify potential issues and take proactive steps to address them before they result in downtime.
Engage with third-party providers
Many businesses rely on third-party providers for internet-related services, such as web hosting or cloud services. It's important to engage with these providers and ensure that they have their own contingency plans in place. This will help to minimize the impact of any incidents that might occur on their end.
A final word on reducing downtime and its impact
Internet contingency planning is a critical component of any business's operations. By identifying potential risks, developing a response plan, investing in redundancy, regularly testing the plan, training employees, monitoring systems and infrastructure, and engaging with third-party providers, businesses can minimize downtime and ensure uninterrupted access to online services. By taking a proactive approach to contingency planning, businesses can protect their reputation, reduce the risk of lost revenue, and ensure that they are prepared to handle any unexpected incidents that might occur.
Greg Davis is the CEO at Bigleaf.