Here’s How Much Downtime is Really Costing Your Business


You can’t afford to be offline. Literally.

Downtime is the scourge of the modern working world. Few – if any – technical issues are more infuriating. Whether it’s planned maintenance or a surprise outage, not being able to access your systems during working hours leaves projects unfinished, contracts unsigned, and business owners understandably frustrated.  

Frustrated – that is – and broke.  

In addition to costing businesses an arm and a leg in peace of mind, excessive downtime can also cost companies millions of dollars in cold hard cash. From lost revenue to hefty recovery price tags, anytime your business is down, you are in effect hemorrhaging money.  

How much money? Let’s find out:  

What is Downtime?  

Just to make sure we cover our bases, let’s begin with a quick definition.  

When referring to IT programs specifically, downtime describes any time you are unable to access your systems, networks, or machines. Downtime can be caused by anything from hardware failure to software issues, from network connectivity problems to prolonged maintenance requirements, all of which can have severe consequences for your bottom line.  

Some of the costs associated with downtime include: 

  • Lost Sales 
  • Lost Productivity  
  • Lost Data 
  • Lost Revenue 
  • Hardware Repair Costs 
  • Software Costs 
  • Recovery Costs 
  • And More 

Downtime, By the Numbers 

According to a 2020 study from ITIC, the average cost of one hour of downtime has risen 30% since 2016 alone.  

survey from Statista shows that the cost of one hour of critical outages averages between $301,000 and $400,000 as recently as 2020. 

In March of 2015, a 12-hour iTunes downtime cost Apple $25M in revenue.  

A 14-hour Facebook outage in 2019 reportedly cost the social media giant a whopping $90M in revenue.  

According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is around $5,600 per minute.  

Calculating Downtime 

So, the risks are clear, but how do we determine how much downtime is going to cost your business in particular? The equation is pretty simple: 

Cost of Downtime (per hour) = Lost Revenue + Lost Productivity + Cost to Recover  

In this equation: 

Lost Productivity = Number of Employees Affected x Hourly Rate 

Lost Revenue = Annual Revenue/Hours Worked in a Year 

While these equations might not provide you with the exact number, they’ll give you a fairly good idea of your price point. And we’re willing to bet it’s not a pretty one.  

Intangible Costs  

Of course, not every cost associated with downtime can be calculated in nickels and dimes. As with any major technological issue, there are some ancillary costs to losing system access that, while they may not have an exact price point, can certainly hit your bottom line – and hard. 

Some intangibles associated with IT downtime include: 

  • Damaged Reputation 
  • Lack of Confidence  
  • Stress (Both Human and Technological) 
  • Security Concerns  
  • Lost Momentum  
  • Lack of Customer Service 

What Goes Up, Needn’t Come Down 

Are the numbers making you nervous? They should. But in the face of such staggering statistics, it’s important to remember that downtime isn’t inevitable. With the right IT program in place, the threat of downtime can be almost non-existent. 

EMPIST can help you build that program. With two decades of multifaceted technology experience, our team is ready to help develop a tailored plan that changes with your business while still minimizing risk.  

Interested in getting started? Say no to downtime, contact us online today to learn more about EMPIST IT services.  

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