How Much Does Downtime Cost Your Organization?

By EJ Schmidt, Vice President, Global and Corporate Marketing, Stratus Technologies

Across the spectrum of industries, one thing all companies agree on is that the cost of unplanned downtime is quite substantial. The vexing question is how much?

Surprisingly, a survey of operations people found that 71% of respondents admitted their company is not tracking downtime cost with any quantifiable metrics. That means most companies won’t know what an outage costs until it occurs and by then it’s too late to prevent such an incident.

In stark contrast, Stratus customers are keenly aware of how unplanned downtime could impact their businesses.  In fact, a recent TechValidate survey of 533 Stratus users identified the five biggest cost factors from unplanned downtime:

Loss of Productivity – Think about a critical production line sitting idle for hours or days. Or dozens of employees forced to revert to manual processes during an outage of operations systems. One of our manufacturing customers calculated their cost of unplanned production downtime at $33,000 per hour.

Loss of Revenue – If you can’t process and fulfill customer orders due to failed systems, revenue is inevitably reduced. For one Stratus customer-a national stock exchange handling more than one billion trade messages daily-even a few microseconds of downtime can mean revenue losses of tens of thousands of dollars.

Damage to Brand and Reputation – It’s a simple fact: When customers lose confidence in your business, they may go to a competitor. This also makes it difficult to attract new customers. In some cases, it could take years to rebuild your brand image and restore lost revenue.

Loss of Data – When critical systems fail, you could lose valuable transactional and historic data, such as intellectual property, customer records, and financial accounts. Without proper data protection, the cost to your business could be in the millions of dollars.

Non-Compliance – For highly regulated industries, such as public utilities, unplanned downtime can mean stiff fines. Regulators often require demonstrable proof of continuous data availability. The cost of non-compliance can quickly add up, and in some instances, result in suspension of your operating license.

With these considerations in mind, and the fact that every day we help customers size these variables based on their inputs, we developed an online Stratus Cost-of-Downtime Calculator. This tool helps professionals like you figure out the full financial impact of downtime on your organization. Check it out, it will help you easily determine how quickly downtime can affordably be prevented.

And assuming your business could benefit from a solution that prevents downtime, we recommend a three-step approach that is extremely reliable and cost efficient:

  1. First, virtualize your critical systems to drastically reduce the number of physical systems in your environment—and the number of potential points of failure.
  2. Next, run your virtualized systems on Stratus always-on servers. With integrated redundancy, Stratus servers ensure continuous availability of your virtualized applications, without a single point of failure or risk of data loss.
  3. Finally, for maximum protection, mirror the always-on Stratus solution to a geographically remote site. That way, even if you lose your production site, your business keeps running.

The Stratus philosophy is simple—the best way to avoid the major costs of unplanned downtime is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Click here to connect with InSource and learn more about the total cost of downtime in industrial automation.