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Unplanned Downtime- What It Can Cost You and How to Prevent It

Unplanned Downtime 

IT-related downtime is an unanticipated or unintentional halt to business processes or production for reasons such as network outage, hardware or software failure, cybersecurity threats, human error, power outage, and even a natural disaster. And without the proper contingency plans in place, these causes for unplanned downtime can not only be very costly, but they can also tarnish your reputation.   

What Can it Cost Your Organization?  

The cost of IT-related downtime can vary greatly, depending on the size and industry of the company, the duration of the outage, and the extent of damage to the business. To accurately estimate your organization’s hourly cost of downtime, you’ll need to:  

  1. Calculate revenue/hour: (average weekly revenue/40 hours) or (average monthly revenue/30 days)  
  1. Next, consider your organization’s reliance on IT solutions, like the internet or access to certain software. For example, an e-commerce business is 100% reliant, while a brick-and-mortar shop may only be 20% reliant.  
  1. Now that you’ve calculated your revenue per hour and figured out how reliant your organization is on IT solutions, you can accurately estimate your lost revenue per hour. If the above e-commerce business generates $100/hour, they lose $400 in four hours of downtime. And if the brick-and-mortar store generates $100 per hour it will cost $80 in four hours of downtime.  

According to the ITIC’s 12th annual 2021 Hourly Cost of Downtime Survey, the average hourly cost of downtime for larger firms was over 1 million dollars. And for medium-sized firms, the estimated hourly cost is over $300,000. Additionally, you’ll also need to consider the indirect cost of downtime, such as loss of data, customers, and productivity, as well as damage to the company’s reputation.

How to Prevent IT-Related Downtime. 

Understandably, you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid the cost of downtime. And the easiest way to prevent IT-related downtime is to ensure your equipment and software are up to date. It’s important to note that completing these system updates ensures that there are no security gaps in your network, which helps to defend against cyber-attacks.  

Also, if your business heavily relies on Wi-Fi or access to power, you should consider having a backup generator in case you lose power during a storm, or someone shoots up your power substation, like what happened in central North Caroline this past weekend. What happened in North Caroline was of course unplanned, but the negative impact it had on business owners brought forth the question of, “What can I do to protect my business?” 

Another way to decrease the chances of IT-related downtime is to invest in a good network management system that can help you monitor and control your network in real time and provide alerts and notifications when potential problems arise.  

And lastly, make sure you have a backup of your server so that if a natural disaster or human-related error occurs, you can restore your environment to a working condition.  

However, if your organization is concerned about the cost of IT-related downtime, contact us today! We can perform a comprehensive risk assessment for little to no cost for your IT needs and devise the proper contingency plans for your business needs. 

SAGIN, LLC is a professional services firm which provides services in consulting, technology and talent management. If you would like to learn more about these solutions, you can contact us at: +1.312.281.0290 or Also visit us at 

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