High levels of IT integration and optimization are now the backbone of business success for organizations operating in every industry. New initiatives are designed to increase alignment of IT with business strategy, drive down costs and provide new business capabilities that support growth and competitive market position. Many organizations are undertaking projects that:

  • Use cloud computing to optimize resources through virtualization and provisioning technologies
  • Use data—the new natural resource—and analytics to streamline processes, better understand current customers and discover new customers, and support the creation of new, innovative services
  • Exploit social media tools to enable cross-enterprise collaboration and better customer service

Incorporate mobile devices that enable “anytime, anywhere” access to data and applications, supporting higher productivity and user efficiency

Although new technologies are enabling innovative applications of IT to create new business capabilities, they also increase the dependence of business processes on ubiquitous, always-available IT resources. This amplifies the negative impact from device failures, creating the “ripple” effect of downtime.

Examples of the ripple effect of downtime are numerous.

Downtime that affects:

  • Customer-facing websites can prevent customer orders from being entered.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) can cause orders not to be processed, shipments to be delayed and replacement materials not to get ordered, which disrupts the entire business flow.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can cause sellers to be unable to take advantage of opportunities and close sales, which impacts revenue.
  • Analytics solutions can delay information required for strategic and tactical decisions, causing missed opportunities and under-served customers.
  • Social and collaboration capabilities can inhibit teamwork, slow down projects, shut down communication with customers and cause your company to disappear from the social landscape.
  • Mobile solutions can prevent mobile workers from being productive, such as an inability to scope or price proposals, or result in cancelled customer orders.
  • Cloud computing can cause degraded performance and response time across the enterprise if an unexpected outage exceeds the architected headroom.

With business goals so highly dependent on IT, optimal performance is dependent on every device—network, server and storage. Even a single device failure can have an enterprise-wide impact, because every minute of downtime (or even degraded response time) is multiplied by the number of business users whose productivity is decreased. And a multivendor environment complicates and extends the time it takes to determine which vendor is responsible for a given device, delaying problem diagnosis and resolution.

A Pomenon Institute and Emerson Network 2013 study on downtime showed that the business impact of outages has increased significantly. While the frequency and duration of outages has declined slightly, the cost per minute of downtime has increased 41 percent since 2010, taking it from US$337,020 per hour to US$474,480 per hour.  Today’s highly integrated and optimized IT environment makes a reactive, break/fix approach to IT support increasingly costly. The results of the study underscore the criticality of having a robust technical support strategy in place. But what, exactly, does that mean—and what does it require?

Transferring the burden of IT support and management to a third-party solution provider can deliver value-added services and save you far more dollars than it costs. The right service partner can provide a single point of contact that can support multivendor products and peripherals for faster problem resolution, a single contract with simplified invoicing and more consistent service levels, and a solution that’s tailored to your business objectives and availability requirements. This can help you:

  • Reduce downtime and improve availability through proactive reporting and analysis
  • Reduce the cost of maintenance, service and support
  • Keep IT staff focused on business-critical initiatives

Schedule a consultation today to learn about how Flagship can help support your business to avoid the costly ripple effects of downtime.

If you liked this blog, you might also like:  Top 7 Benefits of Using Managed Services

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