How Much Does A Server Outage Cost Your Business?

How Much Does A Server Outage Cost Your Business?

If you’re a NatWest or RBS banking group customer you may have received emails, SMS or seen the message posted in the eBanking portal interface apologising for the system issues experienced by the bank. Even if you’re not a customer of one of these banks, you may have been affected or at least heard the story in the media. For sure, there are many millions of people and business effected by the disruption and who knows how far the ripples will go?

Some of the stories that are emerging are of employees unable to access their salaries, weekly shopping not being delivered, debit cards being declined, house completions failing and even a scary story of a Mexican hospital threatening to turn-off the critical care machine for a patient, unless it was paid by NatWest. To combat the situation, the bank had to double staff at call centres, keep branches open longer and take the unprecedented step of opening branches on a Sunday. How many millions has this cost the bank?

Many businesses continue to rely on technology and in-house servers or applications to perform business tasks and probably underestimate the risks and consequences of a “routine” upgrade. Surely a bank with such huge resources could test and validate an upgrade and execute without any impact on customers? If a bank of this size can be affected by a simple upgrade that caused disastrous results then what about your every day business?

Personally, I had received SMS messages and emails from NatWest most of last week apologising for the issues with their systems. From a business point of view our cash collection team was being told by customers that outstanding invoices had been settled, while the balance was not appearing in our account. Was this a late paying customer or a banking glitch? Not only has this affected our relationship with our bank, it’s also created unnecessary friction between Zumzum and our customers. What cost do we put on that?

Analysts are suggesting that banks implemented these systems over a decade ago to be among the early-adopters of technology in order to allow for new ways of accessing bank accounts, e.g. via the internet. Given the huge demands on these systems, they are struggling to cope let alone be flexible enough to deliver new functionality, such as mobile access. And is that not true of every business that has found itself lumbered with servers and software that were designed for the past? Businesses are now unable to cope with the growth and demand of modern day employees and are inflexible with regards to how business and employees interact with corporate systems?

It’s no longer a question of if you should move your systems to the cloud, more a question of when. Just like the industrial revolution and the emergence of the national grid, the “Cloud Revolution” means that businesses will stop building their own IT infrastructure and tap into a service. The service providers can deliver a more reliable service, backed by SLA’s and scale in a way that no average business could dream of.

Free up your resources and move to the Cloud.

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