Downtime costs businesses over $21m a year - report

Johannesburg - Software company Veeam’s 2017 Availability Report has revealed that businesses globally suffer a $21.8m loss each year when downtime happens. 

Veeam is an information technology company that develops backup, disaster recovery and virtualisation management software for virtual environments. 

The 2017 Availability Report examines why enterprises still struggle to deliver availability across even the most modern environments. 

The report revealed that more than four out of five organisations recognise they have an Availability Gap, and nearly three out of four organisations recognise they have a Protection Gap.

The Availability Gap refers to the difference between the service levels expected by business units, and an IT organisation’s ability to deliver the application and information that users demand.

Protection Gap refers to an organisation’s tolerance for lost data being exceeded by IT's inability to protect that data frequently enough.

While the loss affecting businesses during downtime is quite high, Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam, said that it was more than just money being lost. 

“There is a loss of customer confidence of 48%, damage to brand integrity of 40%, loss of employee confidence of 33% and diversion of project resources of 28%,” he said. 

“Businesses today are required to do more with less and still be innovative. When downtime is experienced resources need to be diverted and as a result innovation is stalled,” Schuck said.  

Veeam’s report stated that the first and most crucial step in ensuring the viability of IT systems in service to business units and customers, was to accept that some businesses had an Availability Gap.

Enterprise Account Manager at Veeam Software for South Africa, Trent Odgers said that online businesses today required an ‘always-on’ approach. 

READ: Takealot, Foschini #BlackFriday websites crash

“Customers are looking for services that are able to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year with access to information while demanding a seamless digital experience,” Odgers said.

The most recent case of a service shutdown, was in 2016 during online Black Friday sales which saw surging visitor demand crash the websites of some of South Africa's biggest online retailers. 

One of South Africa’s largest e-commerce websites, Takealot.com, experienced erratic behaviour with the website being down while running its 'Black Friday – Blue Dot Sale'.

On the same day The Foschini Group sites reported downtime on most of the company’s websites including Markham, Fabiani  and Sportscene – all of which were offering online customers discounted deals on various items. 

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