5 impacts of IT downtime you can’t ignore

Generally, not much attention is given to IT until something actually goes wrong. However, if like most, you rely on IT to keep your business operations up and moving forward, then you must remember that IT downtime can hurt – and it can hurt a lot more than you may organically believe.

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According to Quorum, there are four leading causes of outages and network downtime. These are:

  • Hardware failure
  • Human error
  • Software failure
  • Natural disasters

Unfortunately with outages, they will happen without warning which is why having a reliable system in place is paramount and should be at the top of the list of priorities for IT teams. “IT availability has become one of the business world’s most valuable commodities, but also the most difficult to maintain. Organizations today are increasingly dependent on the availability of their IT infrastructure,” said Gadi Oren, Vice President of Technology Evangelism of LogicMonitor, “A single IT outage can have huge negative business impacts including lost revenue and compliance failure, as well as decreased customer satisfaction and a tarnished brand reputation.”

In the business environment, you should be thinking about IT downtime and the impacts of it. Therefore, in order to assist you in understanding how it can affect businesses like yours, we have gone through 5 far-reaching impacts it can have on every aspect businesses.


It’s no secret that downtime can present huge costs to organisations of any size experiencing it. In a 2019 IT outage impact study, it revealed 96% of enterprises face costly IT outages, even though global IT decision makers have said 51% of downtime is avoidable.

Additionally, Gartner also said depending on the severity, that the average cost of IT downtime is between $140,000 and $540,000 per hour.

Even though there are many studies highlighting the high costs of IT downtime, Disaster Recovery still takes a low priority for many organisations. By overlooking this vital area, you are putting your business at risk of collapsing should the unexpected happen and you experience unplanned downtime; only 10% of businesses with no disaster recovery plan survive a major failure.


In addition to core IT downtime costs, there is also the revenue impact as every minute an IT system is down, revenue is lost.

The costs are difficult to measure as they vary by industry. However, research done by IT industry analyst firms have shown that Financial Services, Telecommunications, Manufacturing and Energy have a high rate of revenue loss when they experience IT downtime. The simplest way of calculating the possible loss of revenue from downtime is by using the equation below:

Revenue loss = (GR/TH) x I x H

GR = gross annual revenue
TH = total annual business hours
I = percentage impact
H = hours of downtime

Many big organisations have experienced first hand the revenue loss due to IT downtime. For example, Amazon lost $150 million in March 2017 and Jet Airways lost $102 million in June 2017. At the time of writing in 2020, Jet Airways are insolvent which will not have been helped by 2017’s downtime loss.

Business Disruption

Business disruption is known as any amount of time the everyday activities of a business are interrupted in any way. Given that we are increasingly dependent on technology, this could mean many, if not all activities are disrupted depending on the core cause of the downtime.

In a LogicMonitor study, 80% of respondents indicated that performance and availability of their IT infrastructure were important issues. These issues were in fact, considered by respondents as more important than security and cost-effectiveness.


Businesses today are reliant on online communications and services to get the job done. Regardless of the severity of the incident, downtime can create interruptions that can bring a halt to employee activities. Did you know it takes around 23 minutes for an employee to refocus after an interruption?

Just how much productivity is impacted when IT downtime occurs was lighted in a report by ERS IT Solutions called ‘The Costs of IT Downtime and Other Computer Downtime Statistics. In the report, it was found that on average, a business will lose 545 hours of employee productivity because of IT downtime. It also revealed that employees who are attempting to fix their PC problems by themselves, are losing an average of 30 minutes of productivity every week and that the average amount of time spent solving an issue related to downtime is 200 minutes.


Consumers today have far higher expectations than we have ever seen before. They want services to be faster, easier, and more reliable at all times. If you are unable to deliver, your brand image can be damaged and they’ll go somewhere else.

Although downtime can cost a great deal in monetary terms and lost productivity, the scariest impact is the reputational damage it causes. Consumers may at the least stop using a brand but more concerningly they may share their negative experiences with others. The harmful, long-term damage this can do to brand image and reputation of a company can be irreparable – especially if you’re a small medium-sized business without the budget to spend on PR to help fix it.

The truth is, downtime is extremely expensive and impact a business both in the short and long-term. So, what can you do to avoid it?

Support contracts are an excellent way to limit the impacts of downtime and will give you peace of mind that you have help if something breaks or fails. The best IT support providers will ensure they have a proactive approach in solving issues, which will ensure your systems are up and running, as well as prevent the problems even occurring in the first place. Additionally, they should be able to give regular documentation of the work they have been carrying out.

For nearly 20 years, Serval IT Systems have provided IT Support Services to East Grinstead based businesses, which is a lifetime in terms of technology. Whether you’re looking for immediate support for your traditional environment or cloud environment management, we have the expertise and experience needed to give your business the service it needs to stay up and running.

If you’re interested in how Serval IT Systems can help eliminate the risks of IT downtime in your business, please get in touch.