Business continuity is of the utmost importance for long-term success. The more streamlined business operations are, the more efficient employees will be at their jobs, and the more revenue can be spread around.
A well-oiled machine can make efficiency a competitive advantage, but maintaining a consistent pace is easier said than done – especially given the challenges of managing a secure IT infrastructure.
Indeed, the impact of application downtime is one of the most immediate risks facing businesses today. Downtime from forklift storage upgrades or data loss from ransomware attacks disrupt strategic growth and can, in the more severe cases, compromise the integrity of the entire operation.
Why Is Business Continuity So Challenging?
Businesses produce a lot of data. No matter the industry, even the most agile start-up is collecting thousands of critical data points a day.
On the one hand, new data offers fresh insight into the operational efficiency of the company and its competitors. Companies can adapt faster and scale better because they have more information to go off.
On the other hand, as more data comes into the equation, data storage techniques must be adapted and expanded. In this process, the risk of software update malfunctions or data breaches is increased, bringing with it the potential for prolonged downtime.
Application downtime is the worst-case scenario for any business because it puts an end to continuity. Companies spend millions on disaster recovery plans every year without dealing with the underlying issues at play – namely, an ineffective data storage and management infrastructure that exposes the business to downtime and potential data loss.
3 Impacts of Application Downtime
There are a number of short and long-term consequences to application downtime. They include:
A Damaged Reputation
News travels fast, and customers are not going to risk their confidentiality by working with a company that has a questionable reputation for managing data.
Monthly sales will surely be down if a company suffers from network issues or a ransomware event, thus contributing to a breakdown in business continuity.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on repairing the reputation of a brand after it experiences a data loss – but a reputation risks being tarnished for good if the situation is not reconciled by upgrading data storage and management tools.
Loss of Confidential Information
According to data from Barkly, in 2017 the average ransom demand to individuals was $1077 USD, however the ransoms and costs to business are much higher. The Cybersecurity Business Report states that overall damages from ransomware will hit $11.5 Billion by 2019.
Considering the frequency of attacks, the financial cost of ransomware quickly balloons into the tens and hundreds of thousands for each individual business. Overall, millions are spent by thousands of small and medium-sized business on cyber threats every year to ensure their confidential information does not get published or destroyed.
Whether downtime is due to a ransomware attack or something more benign like a hardware failure, there is always a disruption to the workflow of the business.
Luckily, a solution now exists. Deploying a data fabric is an excellent way to manage IT security risks because it acts like a security blanket, sewing together elements of how data is stored, managed, and optimized.
Of course, if the disruption is due to a ransomware attack through an outdated security software, the consequences of a work stoppage may be compounded by payments to the cybercriminals.
The most substantive consequence of application downtime is a productivity lag. Normal business operations simply cannot be accomplished when portions of the network are down.
No matter if the lag is due to a surprise network outage, software failure, or cyber-attack – the impact on productivity is the same. Quarterly sales goals are missed, key performance data is not tracked, and expenses balloon out of proportion to bring the network back as soon as possible.
Taken together, these three impacts of application downtime pose major risks to any business.
Storing data effectively means deploying a multi-site, multi-cloud data fabric to ensure all storage is managed under one console, and deployed in an efficient manner to the applications that need it most. It is the only way to ensure business continuity at all times, in all circumstances.
The sophistication and scope of cyber-attacks today means any network weaknesses will be exploited before too long.
Older storage resources that are not automatically updated become the focus of cybercriminals intent on clawing back and exposing confidential data.
Businesses looking for a competitive advantage would do well to consider evergreen storage solutions that eliminate the storage refresh cycle and ensure business continuity.