Astec IT is a specialist IT support provider, and our clients’ IT needs are all different and reflects the diverse range of sectors and products that they provide. There is one factor that unites them all. This is the question of IT downtime, and the true cost to their business.
Downtime can be represented in lots of day to day situations, such as emails not sending and receiving correctly; inability to log into CRM or finance systems, or even the inability to scan or print documents. Our work lives are constantly punctuated with the need for IT hardware and software.
Maintenance of IT systems are a necessity and should not be pushed into a corner to come back to at a future date. Research by The Financial Times stated that lost productivity due to IT downtime, could be costing UK businesses up to £3.5billion a year on average. This equates to nearly 550 hours of staff productivity lost per year. This could be costing your business anything up to £8000 per employee / per year!
The most obvious effect of IT downtime is lost productivity. Staff members could lose time working while they wait for IT issues to be resolved. Lack of access to IT systems may also have a big impact on your business – the ability to access emails out of the office and respond to accordingly, or even the inability to access CRM systems or databases – meaning that staff can only gain access whilst in the office.
The effects to a company can be cumulative, and the knock-on effect can become substantial. Staff members may tweak their daily activity in order to negate the effects of IT downtime, and thereby create issues for colleagues elsewhere. A good example would be if a sales rep cannot access their CRM system, resulting in accurate forecasts not provided to senior directors on time for a strategic discussion.
Staff may feel that they are being more productive, by contriving a way to work around an issue created by downtime, but this is a false economy. Failure to follow work processes not only reduce productivity in the long term, they also endanger a company’s data security, and sensitive data may not be protected.
IT downtime can also lead to increased stress in the workplace, as well as lower the morale of staff. Everyone feels that they work to tight schedules, and an hour of downtime can lead to late finishes, missed appointments, inability to deliver project work for clients – issues that employees will not feel good about as they feel it represents their ability to get the job done.
The best way to minimise IT downtime is to have monitoring and maintenance support processes agreed in advance. It’s more cost effective to manage IT issues in advance, than have a break-fix-break-fix approach, which will cost a company by the hour, and create concertina effects in staff not able to complete work.
A great deal of downtime can be solved through conducting health-checks of IT hardware and software, and creating a strategy that allows for timely upgrades, reconfigurations, or updates to be installed with minimal intrusion. A good IT support provider will work for you in the background invisibly, making sure that nothing untoward is happening. If you are constantly using IT support, and experiencing downtime, then it would be a good time to review your IT processes and support.
Service Level Agreements are a good way to understand what your company pays for IT support, and what is the full scope of that service (time for resolution, and extent).
It is beneficial to agree on response times; access to IT Infrastructure in and out of office hours; budgets and timelines for upgrades. A managed approach will always be more effective and the least expensive option.
Astec IT can conduct an audit of your IT infrastructure and create a bespoke plan that will reduce downtime, increase capacity to enable company growth, reduce costs, and increase security of your company data.
We have helped companies throughout Europe in the finance, legal, media/publishing, and e-commerce sectors. Please get in contact if there are any issues that you are currently facing, or just want to better understand what other services are available.