These three things can protect you against downtime, which can seriously damage efficiency, morale, and your reputation.
Businesses are increasingly dependent on their IT to gain advantage in a competitive marketplace. IT can only deliver those benefits if it works properly, and that’s not easily achieved. According to research by Vanson Bourne, over 80% of small and midsized businesses have encountered some form of unplanned network downtime, with the total cost to businesses in the United States reaching upwards of $700 billion every year.
Understanding the True Scope and Urgency of the Downtime Problem
The cost of IT downtime will vary based on your industry and the size of your business, but even conservative estimates show unplanned downtime costing a midsized business thousands of dollars per hour, and the total cost could be much more than that.
There are the obvious costs, like direct losses of productivity and the cost of restoring your network back to full operations. But there are also hidden costs that many people fail to consider, like the damage that downtime will do to your reputation and morale. If you want to get a clear sense of the total cost involved in one hour of network downtime, you can refer to this formula:
1 – Start by Investing in Proactive Network Services
The best way to ensure the total uptime and availability of your network is to partner with a reputable managed IT service provider. For a flat monthly fee, your MSP will provide the proactive management and technology support you need to ensure that small technologies are addressed before they become big issues that affect your network.
INCTech’s managed IT services offer the following protections against network downtime:
- 24/7 Network monitoring to reassure uptime
- Unlimited remote support ensures all issues are dealt with quickly
- Access to the latest network management and maintenance tools
- Regular network updates to ensure devices and applications offer continuous productivity
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance of all your technology
- 16 years of experience managing and protecting business technology
Beware of Inexperienced MSPs
To receive the best protections, partner with an experienced MSP who understands your industry and has comprehensive, documented processes for network support. To ensure that your partner has the right skills, here are some questions you could ask them during your first meeting:
- How long on average does it take to handle support tickets?
INCTech address critical issues in under 30 minutes and non-critical issues within an hour.
- How often do they plan to meet with your decision makers?
We’ll plan quarterly (or bi-annual if you’d like) meetings with your decision makers to keep your technology and business properly aligned.
The Important Difference Between Proactive and Reactive Network Service
Managed IT service providers like INCTech keep your network in perfect order with network monitoring, regular updates and patching, vigilant cybersecurity protections, and more
Some IT service providers, like “break-fix” firms, offer only reactive support, which means unpredictable, hourly billing that addresses problems after you’ve started losing productivity.
2 – Ensure Vigilant Cybersecurity Intelligence and Protections
Small and midsized businesses are being targeted by hackers and cybercriminals at a higher rate than ever before, with 70% of small and midsized businesses experiencing some form of cyberattack in the last year.
There are several reasons why this is happening, the most important is increased cybersecurity spending at enterprises and government agencies. Hackers now see SMBs as the “low hanging fruit” they can infiltrate quickly for an easy score. This is especially true of small and midsized law firms, financial services firms, and doctor’s offices, where a single client record could be worth hundreds of dollars on the dark web.
INCTech helps small and midsized businesses focus their efforts on today’s most relevant threats, mitigating one of the leading causes of unplanned network downtime — cyberattack. Click here to learn more about our cyber security solutions.
- Security awareness training
By opening phishing emails, leaking protected information to the Internet, or simple mishap, employees are still the biggest cybersecurity vulnerability. Regular training can help ensure your staff using today’s best practices to keep your business safe.
- Multi-factor authentication
Passwords are another persistent cybersecurity weakness for businesses. Thankfully, multi-factor authentication, which uses temporary passcodes or biometric information to help authenticate users, can dramatically reduce the risks associated with weak passwords.
Cybersecurity talent is hard to find and expensive, which is why over 77% of smaller business have either partnered with an experienced cybersecurity like INCTech, or plan to in the future.
3 – Build a Reliable Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Solution
Even under the best of circumstances, there’s always a chance that a serious network problem or cyberattack could cripple your network. When serious network errors do occur, it’s important that you have the processes in place to help you restore data and operations quickly.
This is called a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) system. BDR systems not only help save your business from unplanned network downtime, they also help you restore operations after a catastrophe, whether that disaster happens in cyberspace or the real world.
While most businesses have some form of back-up in place, many aren’t doing enough to make sure those systems are ready to ensure continued business operations after a real-world disaster occurs.
- Identify Critical Systems and Assets
Because running a BDR system will involve mixing onsite resources, like servers and hardware appliances, with off-site storage resources like secondary data sites or cloud services, it’s important to know what assets should take priority and which should take a back seat. Doing so can save you time, money, and help ensure success.
- BDR Testing
Many companies who have BDR systems don’t test them enough. According to research by Ontech, 60% of data backups are incomplete and 50% of data restorations fail. Testing is important because it helps account for small changes in your network, ensures the right files are getting back-up, and familiarizes your team with the BDR process so they’re ready when an emergency occurs.
INTech combines the latest BDR tools with over 16 years of experience helping businesses navigate the complex road to strong disaster resilience. Our thorough process is finely tuned to the needs of each of client and deployed by our team of seasoned network engineers.
The INCTech BDR Deployment Process
- Analyze Systems
- Identify & Prioritize Assets
- Architect a Custom BDR Solution
- Test & Maintain
INTech — A Trusted Provider of Proactive Network and Cybersecurity Support
For over 20 years, the INCTech team has provided businesses in Southern California and Northern Michigan with technology solutions that help them maximize the stability of their network.
If you’re a business that wants to ensure you always have a strong foundation for productivity, avoid the steep costs of unplanned network downtime, and improve the reliability of your business — we’re here to help!
Call us any time at 800.333.2989, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our friendly staff loves answering questions and helping businesses realize the full potential of their technology.