7 cloud computing myths debunked

New technology brings about great innovation, but also myths and misconceptions about how it works. Cloud computing is no exception. With cloud computing on the rise, it’s no wonder people have questions about how it works.

We debunk 7 common cloud myths so you’ll know exactly what to expect before making the leap to the cloud.

#1 You will lose control

Moving to the cloud means that as your business grows, you’ll no longer need to swap hard drives or use extra RAM. You will still control access to your data, as well as work processes, but will have to spend less time on things like system maintenance. You will also find it easier to grow or shrink your operations as needed, give you more control over the future of your business.

#2 The cloud is more expensive

The cost of cloud computing depends on the amount of data you store, your backup needs, and the number of users and applications. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud computing. You only pay for what you use, which can be instantly upgraded or downgraded as needed. This scalability helps you save money on your IT expenses.

#3 The cloud is not secure

Cloud services are more secure than most traditional infrastructures. Instead of you being responsible for the security of your data, with the cloud you gain a team of experts dedicated to protecting your data and preventing all kinds of disasters. You also have the added security of backup and recovery services should anything happen.

#4 The cloud is unreliable

Every system in existence will suffer from setbacks now and then and it’s important to know how downtime can affect your business. But unlike traditional infrastructure, with cloud computing, your data isn’t all stored in one place. This means that if an issue does arise, all of your files are safe and getting everything back up and running again will take a fraction of the time, compared with traditional systems.

#5 The cloud costs your IT staff their jobs

Any new software or technology requires people to effectively implement it into your business structure. The cloud is not a people replacer, it’s an innovative tool that allows your staff to focus on priorities and projects that drive your business forward and meet your objectives.

#6 Changes are difficult

Adopting a cloud infrastructure isn’t like traditional systems where you need to manually access and update all the machines at your site when deploying something new. Cloud computing offers a more innovate way of working, remotely and over the Internet. You can make large changes to a number of users without being chained to a desk, saving you a ton of time.

#7 Cloud migration is too time-consuming

This will only really be true if you’re working with extremely outdated servers and you need to do lots of technical cleansing to your systems. But for the most part, an experienced and reliable cloud provider will be able to assist in migrating all of your data efficiently and smoothing with the lowest amount of downtime possible.

What Can IT Consultants Do for Businesses?

IT consultants advise clients on the best ways to use information technology to meet their business objectives. Similarly, they help clients resolve IT-related issues to increase productivity and performance across multiple departments. This includes software applications and network data security, along with hardware implementation for enhancing IT structure and efficiency in various organizations.

Still, the role of IT consultants differs from managed services in many ways. Here are some of the key roles these well-versed and experienced professionals play in the world of digital computing.

How can an IT consultant help my business grow?

The job of an IT consultant is complex and intricate at best. In fact, they must stay abreast of all the latest industry developments and trends. This enables them to guide companies on the right path to growth, while ensuring maximum correlation between their technical teams and staff.

By understanding your business model and strategies, consultants are able to tweak and modify areas that need efficient IT-related improvement. Similarly, they are able to monitor your brands’ development and growth – while fostering safe and secure environments and platforms for everyday business and communications. IT consultants also offer the following for companies of all sizes and industries:

  • Advise clients on the best solutions for data security, networking, communications and daily business directive and goals.
  • Analyze and assess existing IT platforms, while recommending the right technologies to streamline and centralize cost-efficiency; apps, software, hardware, cloud servers and even BYOD plans.
  • Diagnose and refine your business challenges to increase productivity, performance, and lead – profit – revenue generation.
  • Serving as bridges between your technical teams and staff. Making sure everyone is on the same page towards achieving your short-term and long-term goals.

What if I already have an IT team in place?

Not a problem. IT consultants are not there to replace your in-house or remote IT teams. They are, however, there to work with your technical teams, while making sure your IT infrastructure is operating at peak performance levels. With that in mind, your consultant is also able to ensure the following:

  • Working with your IT teams to effectively communicate with the rest of the staff. This bridges the gap between those who know and those who don’t, but also increases high-quality performance across all levels and departments.
  • Analyze all possible threats and risks with timely, effective and lasting solutions. Increase your business growth by helping your brands tap into the latest innovative technologies. That includes app development, mobile device management, software- web application security, cloud, help desk support, and unified communications.
  • Guaranteeing business continuity with an IT infrastructure that is up and running 24/7. Helping your brands’ secure higher visibility with little to no downtime for upgrades and maintenance. Keeping your client and employee communications safe, secure and running – even during inclement weather.
  • Consultants also provide network support services for monitoring your business systems and platforms. This ensures optimal communications for daily communications for customer – client and staff fulfillment.

What skills does an IT consultant bring to the table?

IT consultants have years of extensive industry experience. They are also highly trained in making sure your company is making the most of its IT plan and network. From relevant advice and effective communications to technical and IT knowledge, consultants bring a plethora of vital skills to the table. They also have the tools and expertise to offer true business insight, while implementing techniques that improve IT management and performance at every turn.

If your business needs IT revamping and remodeling, consultants are able to breathe new life into your business platforms and protocols. Most consultants have a proven track record of success, and are able to meet and address your IT needs within time and budget.

5 things IT consulting does for your business

IT consulting is different than hiring an in-house IT team or using a third party IT firm to handle all the technical needs for your business. An IT consultant may only work with your business for a short time. They can also come in intermittently to make sure everything is running as it should and make adjustments or recommendations.

Here are 5 ways hiring an IT consultant could help you:

1. Make projects happen

You’ve been considering a technological project, but you are not a technical expert. It can be hard to launch other projects when you are focused on your small business’ day-to-day operations.

Whether it is implementing a new CRM, setting up services in the cloud or making sure your technology infrastructure is truly secure, an IT consultant can come in and make it all happen, finally.

IT consulting can leaves you with space to focus on your area of expertise while giving you the comfort knowing your project is not simply getting done but getting done in a timely manner with professional oversight and accountability.

2. Help you get the most bang for your buck

IT consultants can help your business save money by implementing new and innovative solutions. For example, virtualization can help your business run multiple operating systems on the same server, letting you harness the power of different programs while saving you money on server space.

Moving to cloud services and storage with the help of IT consulting can also save money on expensive physical data storage costs.

3. Keep you secure

Digital security is of the utmost importance in this day and age. One way IT consultants can help to keep your business and data safe is by helping you to manage mobile devices and policies around employees using their own devices for work.

An IT consultant can make sure that your team connects via a secure VPN to encrypt any data transferred between mobile devices and your company’s valuable digital assets.

They can also help you come up with policies that protect data during the onboarding and offboarding process when personal devices are involved. IT consultants can also further minimize risk by training your team on digital safety risks like phishing schemes and malware viruses.

4. Be prepared for disaster

Hire an IT consultant to get your business ready for the unthinkable. Of course you hope you will never need to use these solutions, but it’s best to be prepared. Let an IT expert help you come up with a disaster recovery plan for your technology infrastructure, create trustworthy backups and educate your team on how to avoid errors that could lead to data loss.

5. Communicate better

Communication is the foundation of any small business. You have to communicate with your employees, your vendors and your clients.

Having the latest in VoIP technology, seamless integration of applications like Office 365 and other modern solutions, and proper training on using these tools can make your office function as efficiently as possible.

Contact an expert IT consultant to get more information on how consulting can help with your small business IT needs.

5 Ways to Save Money on IT Expenses

Every company has to spend money on IT in some form or fashion. If you can save money without sacrificing productivity and security, though, you can direct some additional cash to other areas of your business.

Lower your IT expenses by following these 5 tips.

Adopt a BYOD Policy

In 2017, about 80% of employees brought their own mobile devices to work. That’s not surprising, considering 77% of Americans own smartphones.

Since most of your employees already bring mobile devices to work, you can adopt a BYOD (bring your own device) policy so you don’t have to spend money on smartphones for them. Research shows that you’ll get a boost in productivity while you save money.

Keep in mind that BYOD can make your business more susceptible to security problems. Make sure you set strict security standards to protect your organization.

Turn to the Cloud

Using the cloud for applications and data storage offers several cost-saving advantages. Some of the most important benefits include:

  • Reducing your labor costs.
  • Saving money on equipment.
  • Lowering the amount that you spend housing and powering equipment.
  • Using a pay-as-you-go model to spread costs out over time.

If you haven’t started using the cloud, then you’re almost certainly spending more money than necessary on your equipment and software.

Use More Open Source Applications

Buying enterprise software can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can avoid those IT expenses by switching to free, open source applications. Many of the free applications work just as well as the ones that cost a lot of money.

Some of the most popular open source applications that you can explore include:

Explore several open source applications to find options that match your business’s needs.

You can also save money by using an open source operating system. Windows 10 Enterprise costs about $84 per user per year. Depending on how many employees you have, that charge can add up to a significant amount of money. You can avoid that expense by using an OS like Ubuntu, Fedora, Solus, and other Linux-based systems. You will, however, have to spend more time training employees to use a Linux-based OS.

Important note: While the costs savings will be apparent from the get-go, keep in mind that these open source applications will be considerably harder to support. If something goes wrong, you might find yourself out of luck.

Keep that in mind when considering if they’re worth it to you.

Invest in Equipment That Will Last

Buying inexpensive equipment may seem like a good way to save on IT expenses. Unfortunately, cheap equipment won’t perform as well as equipment that costs a little more. By investing more money in your equipment today, you can avoid additional spending in the future. After all, it’s better to purchase a server that lasts 5 years instead of two that last 2 or 3 years.

Keep in mind that expensive equipment doesn’t always work better than cheaper alternatives. You should always read reviews and talk to IT professionals before you invest in any equipment.

Let Some Employees Telecommute

Telecommuting has a lot of benefits. It can increase employee productivity, reduce turnover, and improve morale. Letting employees work remotely also means that you don’t have to spend money on computers, energy, and office space.

Certain employees, of course, need to work in the office. There’s a good chance, though, that you can let some of your team members work from home. In return, you’ll spend considerably less money on IT.

Final Thoughts on IT Expenses

You’ll always have to spend money on IT expenses. If you follow these tips, though, you can shrink your IT budget. If you’re looking for a better way to cut costs, consider reaching out to a professional that can audit your technology. Working together with you, a consultant can show you exactly what you can cut from the budget (and what you shouldn’t).

5 Steps to Creating the Perfect IT Budget

Like other aspects of your business, your IT infrastructure needs a budget that describes how you will spend money to reach your goals. Ideally, you should make a new IT budget each year.

During some years, you may not make any changes to your budget. During other years, though, you may need to drastically increase or decrease the amount of money that you spend on IT.

Follow these 5 steps to create the perfect IT budget for your SMB’s short-term and long-term goals.

1. Review Last Year’s IT Budget

If you made an IT budget last year, review it to determine where you want to make changes. If you spent money on new equipment, such as desktop computers or a new server, last year, then you probably don’t need to buy those items again.

You can also use last year’s budget to find recurring expenses easily.

2. Know the Cost of Your Recurring Expenses

Certain IT costs won’t change much from year to year. Some common recurring IT expenses include:

  • Cloud storage space
  • Renewing software licenses
  • URL registration
  • Content management systems

Your recurring costs may differ from those of other companies. Take a close look at how your business spends money so you can identify recurring expenses that you haven’t included in past budgets.

3. Take Inventory of Your IT Equipment

Make a list of your IT equipment and how old the items are. Once you have a completed list, you can decide whether you need to update your equipment.

You have some discretion when it comes to how often you update your IT equipment. Most companies purchase new desktop and laptop computers every 3 to 5 years. A 5-year-old computer may seem to work well, but it probably can’t keep up with the speed of newer models. Hanging on to old equipment, therefore, could lower the productivity of your employees.

Other pieces of technology that you might need to update include:

  • Servers (about every 3 years)
  • WiFi routers (every 4 or 5 years)
  • Mobile devices (every 2 or 3 years)

If it’s time to upgrade your IT equipment, then you need to create a line for that expense. If you don’t need any upgrades, then you can reserve your money for when the time comes.

4. Talk to Your Employees and Managers

Your employees and managers may have a better idea than you do about what upgrades you need. After all, they’re the people who use your equipment and applications daily.

Take some time to talk to your managers and employees to learn more about what they would like to see in next year’s IT budget. If you hear the same requests from a lot of people, consider adding a line to your budget. Of course, you shouldn’t feel obligated to fulfill the whims of a few people. Only add the expenses if you’ll get a good return on your investment.

5. Plan for the Future

This year’s budget should include a line for research and development that will improve your companies ability to compete with other businesses in your industry. Depending on your industry, this may include things like:

  • Sending managers to IT conferences to learn about upcoming products
  • Hiring coders to update proprietary software
  • Improving your IT infrastructure security against the latest cyberthreats

Researching your future needs will make it easier for you to predict your IT expenses over the next few years.

IT Budgeting

The perfect IT budget ensures that you spend money wisely while you update your SMB’s technology. You can take a stab at making an IT budget without outside help, but you run the risk of missing an important line item.

If you haven’t made an IT budget before, then you may need to hire a consultant to help you find hidden costs and make accurate predictions. We’re more than happy to assist you with creating a solid budget that will accurately account for your expenses.

5 Productivity Hacks for Small Businesses

Small businesses have to stay as productive as possible so they can meet their goals and compete against larger companies. Even if you think your business has the tools that it needs to make employees more productive, you can probably find some room for improvement.

Start with these 5 productivity hacks for small businesses so you can make your company even more competitive.

Use Apps to Make Collaborating Easier

If your employees rely on email to collaborate with each other, then they’re wasting a lot of time that they could devote to finishing other tasks. You can make collaborating easier by using apps that are uniquely designed to help people work together.

Some of the top collaboration tools to consider include:

The tool that you choose will depend on the kind of work that your company does. Review your options so you can choose a cloud-based application that fits your needs. This is a simple productivity hack that will have you working better in no time at all.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Many of your employees repeat the same tasks every day. Make them more efficient by automating repetitive tasks. That way, they don’t have to waste time on work that computers can do for them.

In fact, there are a lot of automation tools to consider.

Try AutoHotKey to make shortcut hotkeys to automate desktop tasks like opening emails, editing documents, and completing forms. Workflow can automate tasks on iOS devices. Tasker can automatically open apps, send notifications, and perform other tasks on Android devices.

Related: Your Go-to Guide for Total Technology Control

Adopt the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique helps people concentrate by breaking the day into short sections. Each Pomodoro sessions lasts 25 minutes. After each session, you get a 5-minute break. After every fourth session, you get a longer break.

Even if you hate what you’re working on, you can focus on it when you know that you get a short break within 25 minutes.

If you’re new to the Pomodoro Technique, use an app like Marinara Timer, Focus Booster, or PomoDone. Some Pomodoro apps can connect to other applications, like Evernote or Trello, to boost productivity even more.

Let Employees Follow Flexible Schedules

Several studies show that employees become more flexible when they can follow flexible schedules. If possible, don’t force your people to work rigid hours. If you let them some control over their schedules, then they could become up to 25% more productive.

Letting employees work from home boosts productivity even more. One study shows that employees who work from home are 43% more productive than their colleagues working in the office. How’s that for an easy productivity hack?

Related: How Does the Cloud Work, and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Use Site Blockers to Stay Focused

Many of your employees probably need internet access to do their jobs. Unfortunately, the internet offers unlimited time-wasters that can distract people from their work. You think that you’re only going to spend 5 minutes checking your Facebook messages. The next thing you know, half an hour has gone by and you haven’t accomplished anything.

Some of the most effective site-blocking apps and browser extensions include:

These tools rely on you (or your employee) to choose which sites to block. If you have more than 25 employees, you may want to have an IT professional block popular sites that waste a lot of time.

Staying productive gets much easier when you have the right tools on your side. Explore these options so you can choose productivity hacks that will work well for your business.

How GB Tech Helps You Stay Productive

As your go-to technology advisor, we’re here to help you choose the best tools and tech for your business. If you’re looking for new ways to optimize and improve your small business, reach out to us. Of course, we’ve got more productivity hacks up our sleeve, too.

We’ve got experts that can help you save time through IT services and a lasting partnership.

Hungry for more? Be sure to check out How to Create the Perfect BDR Plan.

The Technology That’s Necessary for Business

Today’s businesses rely on technology to meet consumer needs and stay competitive. Unfortunately, some small businesses don’t know which technologies they should invest in. By choosing the following options, you can make your company more efficient and competitive.

Mobile Payment Options

If your business ever accepts payments outside of your office or storefront, then you need a mobile credit card reader that lets customers pay even when they don’t have cash.

Most mobile payments apps are free to download. Many will even give you free hardware for accepting credit card payments.

You will, however, have to pay your service provider a percentage of the payments you take from customers. The fees vary from company to company, so you should look into your options before you decide which one fits your business’s needs best.

Some of the most popular mobile payment apps include:

Cloud-Based Apps

Cloud-based tools have become increasingly popular over the last few years because they’re often more convenient, secure, and flexible than using applications stored on personal servers. Cloud apps can do just about anything that you need.

Slack makes it easy for your team members to collaborate with each other and track project goals. Salesforce helps you manage customer relationships and improve your online sales. Concur gives you tools for generating invoices and reimbursing employees for travel expenses.

If your business experiences a pain point frequently, there’s probably a cloud app that can solve the problem for you.

Websites Optimized for Mobile Users

About 52% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. People aren’t as attached to their desktop computers as they once were, so they rely on their smartphones to visit sites.

Unfortunately, the site that you have for desktop visitors won’t work very well on mobile devices. You can solve that problem by optimizing your site for mobile users.

Optimizing for mobile devices will also boost your site’s Google ranking.

The Perfect Hardware

Of course, you’ll need some combination of devices to run and manage your business. That includes desktop workstations, laptops, tablets, and more. Choosing the right devices depends heavily on your needs, and how you want your organization to run.

Mostly mobile employees? You need a robust mobile-capable device force, such as laptops.

Have graphic or video-intensive jobs? You need a powerful device capable of performing right.

Performing cloud-based access jobs for the large part? You need a good all-rounder.

Keep in mind that you’ll need specific tools and different skill sets to manage and maintain these varied devices. Partnering with a managed service provider can help you get valuable consultation on the right technology for your business, as well as the management of it.

Chatbot Customer Services

You can make live chat even more efficient by adding a chatbot. A chatbot can answer frequently asked questions that don’t require human interaction. If the conversation gets too complicated, then the chatbot can always pass the customer on to a live service representative.

With a chatbot, you can always offer immediate services to customers. You may find that using a chatbot also helps means that you don’t have to hire as many customer service reps.

Technology changes rapidly, so you always need to pay attention to the latest trends and developments. Currently, you can make your business more effective by using these five technologies. Pay attention to emerging trends, though, so you can keep up with your competitors.

Want more helpful content? Be sure to check out What to Look for in a Work Computer.

Slow Wi-Fi? Check out these 5 common Wi-Fi issues

Companies of all shapes and sizes rely on Wi-Fi every day to get work done. It’s a critical component of any modern infrastructure.

However, Wi-Fi isn’t always the most reliable thing out there.

It can slow down to an unbearable speed and leave your employees stressed out and unproductive. This being said, many common Wi-Fi issues can be pinpointed and solved rather easily.

Are employees misusing your Wi-Fi?

Some activities take up more bandwidth than others. If you find that your Wi-Fi is slower than expected, then your employees may be using the network for unauthorized activities like downloading media or running shadow applications.

Think about it: a 1080p HD movie takes up about 8 GB of space. That can put a lot of pressure on your network. Just imagine if they’re downloading an entire series or other types of media.

To make matters worse, downloading movies from torrent sites can introduce malware to your network. And depending on the type of malware, it could force your network to perform tasks for hackers — meaning the harm to your network will go above and beyond Wi-Fi and will continue until you identify and remove the malicious software.

Is your access point in a bad location?

If your Wi-Fi seems pretty fast on some devices but slow on others, then you may need to change your access point’s location.

Access points can only broadcast a wireless signal to devices within a limited range. If you keep your access point in the corner, then devices on the other side of the office might have a harder time maintaining a steady connection to the network.

Luckily, most companies can solve this problem by moving their access point to a more centralized location. Try to put your Wi-Fi access point as close to the center of the office as possible. If you have offices on two floors, then you should install an access point on each floor.

Most access points cover about 150 feet indoors. Access points designed for larger areas offer considerably more coverage, but the specific distance can vary from device to device.

Are too many people using your Wi-Fi?

Have you recently added new employees to your team? Or maybe you’ve implemented a BYOD (bring your own device) policy that has brought more devices into the office?

It’s important to remember that your network has limited bandwidth. The more requests it gets from devices, the slower it will handle those requests.

You can solve this problem by lowering the number of devices allowed to connect to your network, by upgrading to a access point that can handle more requests, or through adding additional access points strategically placed across the office ceilings.

Are strangers using your Wi-Fi?

It’s possible that unauthorized individuals or businesses have tapped into your unsecured access point. They may say they’re piggybacking on your network. But in reality, they’re stealing your internet bandwidth and slowing down your Wi-Fi access.

If you suspect this might be the case, then you can use a tool like WiFiHistoryView to see what devices have connected to your network. Look for IP addresses that don’t belong to any of the authorized devices used by your business and employees.

You can also make it more difficult for people to gain access to your internet by configuring your wireless network into a guest network and a production network and improving your wireless network’s passwords. Many times, companies use passwords that are easy for other people to guess. This behavior puts your entire network at risk. Use a random password generator to create a password that even experienced hackers will find difficult to crack.

Does your equipment need an upgrade?

Wireless solutions have improved a lot over the last decade or so. If you’re using old equipment, then you may need to upgrade to newer technology that supports more devices and faster speeds.

 

Want to keep reading? Check out 5 ways to make your applications more secure.

What to Look for in a Work Computer

Short answer: the features that you need in a computer largely depend on the type of work that you do.

An architect who wants to generate 3D renderings of buildings, for instance, will need more processing power than a writer who simply wants to browse the internet and store Word files.

Although different professionals need unique features from their computers, there are some key items that you can look for when choosing a work computer.

The following guide will help you decide which features you need for your profession.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

A computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is one of its most essential parts. The CPU handles all of the instructions that software gives the computer. Without a good CPU, you’ll find that your work computer operates at a frustratingly slow pace.

At minimum, you want to find a computer with a dual-core CPU with a 2.5GHz speed. A dual-core CPU lets your computer focus on two operations simultaneously, so it comes in handy even if you just want to perform research online while taking notes on word processing software.

Related: Title Fight: Break/Fix vs. Managed IT Services

Today, many CPUs have four or eight cores, which makes them useful for analyzing large amounts of data and running multiple applications at the same time. AMD even makes a 16-core processor with an incredible speed of 4.0GHz.

Very few people need that much power, though.

You should only consider it if you make video games, edit HD video or perform other intensive tasks. The 16-core processor’s $950 price tag will keep most people away from this option.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

A computer’s random access memory (RAM) is nearly as important as its CPU. When your computer has an application or file open, it relies on RAM to store information. For instance, when you make changes to a Word document and save the file, the request happens with RAM before it gets sent to the computer’s hard drive.

Most people need 8GB of RAM for their work computers. If you need exceptional processing speed for video production, editing music or rendering graphics, then you should look for a computer with 16GB of RAM.

Hard Drive Storage Space

Computers store all of their long-term information in their hard drives. The amount of hard drive storage space that you have will define how many applications and files you can keep on your computer.

Related: 3 Types of Clouds: Which is Right for You?

The most important aspect of choosing a hard drive is knowing how much space you need for your operating system (OS) and software. If you primarily rely on cloud applications, then you may not need more than 16GB of storage. If you plan to use software stored on your computer, though, then you should look for a hard drive with at least 232GB of storage space.

Most people don’t need to worry too much about storing files on their work computers. If you ever run out of room on your computer, you can always use an external hard drive. You can buy an external hard drive with 4TB of space for about $200. Remember, though, that you still need enough room on your computer’s hard drive for your OS and software. You can run software from an external hard drive, but doing so often leads to poor performance that will make you inefficient.

Graphics Cards

If you work on video production, image rendering and other highly visual projects, then you should get a computer with a dedicated graphics card. The graphics card will handle much of the processing power needed to create and display your images.

Very few people, however, need additional graphics adapters. Most of today’s computers come with integrated graphics adapters that exceed work needs.

Trouble Choosing Workstations for Business?

Choosing a new work computer can feel like a challenging task. Once you know how you plan to use your computer, though, it becomes much easier to decide what features to look for while you browse your options.

It’s even more difficult when you consider that you’ll have to choose a machine that works for your entire office. Or, having to mix-and-match ones that work for people with different skillsets.

We’re here to help you keep your business running with the right technology. For any questions on the right computers, reach out to us. We’re happy to help.

How Expensive Is Downtime, Anyway?

If time is money, then how much money does downtime cost your business?

That’s a difficult question to answer. All companies have unique business plans and technologies. One thing is certain, though: downtime costs small businesses a lot of time and harms their reputations.

The damage that your company experiences depends on several factors, but you can expect downtime to harm you in the following ways.

Lost Revenue During Peak Hours

Most websites go down because their servers receive too many requests from internet users. As more people come to your e-commerce store, the server inches closer to capacity. Once it crosses the line, the server will crash and your store will go offline.

Suddenly, your business doesn’t have a way to sell its products and services to online shoppers.

That’s really bad news.

To make matters even worse, website downtime usually happens during peak hours when the most visitors come to your site. You have more people than usual trying to buy your products, but you can’t sell them anything because your website doesn’t work.

Since people do most of their shopping around 8 p.m., that’s probably when your website will fail. An hour of downtime, therefore, doesn’t mean that you’ve lost an hour of selling. It means that you’ve lost one of your most lucrative hours of selling.

The Cost of Reviving Your System

If your business struggles with downtime, then you probably don’t have an IT team that knows how to address the root of the problem. Since you don’t have the right personnel on staff, you’ll need to hire someone to revive your system and get everything back online.

Related: How to Create the Perfect BDR Plan

The good news is that most managed IT services are very affordable. The bad news is that you don’t have time to compare quotes. You need someone to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

In your rush to revive your system, you may choose a high-priced IT consultant that wants to take advantage of your situation. That person will probably solve your problem, but you’ll spend big bucks on the project.

Calculating the Cost of Downtime for Your Business

It’s relatively easy to talk generally about how expensive downtime is. In reality, downtime affects different companies in unique ways. The cost of downtime depends on factors like how many employees you have, how much of your sales take place online and how much you will have to pay someone to fix the problem.

A basic equation might look something like:

Cost of Downtime = Lost Revenue + Hourly Employee Pay + Recovery Fees

Unfortunately, not all factors related to downtime are easy to quantify. How do you determine the cost of:

  • Losing customers to your competitors.
  • Low employee morale.
  • Customer dissatisfaction.
  • Lost productivity while replying to angry customers.
  • Ripple effects in your supply chain.

No matter how much you think downtime costs your business, you’re probably wrong. The true cost is much higher.

Related: How the Cloud Fits Your Business

Defeating Downtime for Good

Instead of worrying about how much downtime will cost your business, hire an IT company that offers network, business continuity, security and help desk services. Having a team of professionals on your side will help you avoid downtime. If downtime is unavoidable, the team at GB Tech can minimize its impact on your business.

Contact GB Tech to learn more about avoiding downtime and scheduling maintenance outside of busy hours. With the right approach, you can protect your business while your competitors suffer the consequences of unplanned downtime.