Network Downtime: The Difference Between Outsourced IT & In-House IT

As a business, network downtime can lead to a chain reaction of negative events, including lost customers, decreased employee productivity, data failure and lower revenue.

When it comes to network downtime, it matters how you respond and solve the issue before it costs your company serious money. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between outsourced IT services and in-house fixes, which can lead to substantially different outcomes.

Here is more information about the costs of downtime and how in-house and outsourced solutions compare:

The Costs of IT Downtime:

First, it’s important to understand the impact downtime can have on a business. One study from the Ponemon Institute found that the average downtime scenario lasts 86 minutes per incident and costs an average of $7,900 per minute. While that high dollar figure is skewed higher by larger corporations that suffer downtime incidents, the threat for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is also clear. I

n fact, a study from IDC found that 80 percent of SMBs experienced a minimum cost of $20,000 per hour of downtime. For 20 percent of SMBs, those costs rose to a staggering $100,000.

As a result of downtime, customers may simply move on to another business or buy elsewhere. Other customers may reassess their opinion of your company when they can’t access your services.

Internally, the morale of employees may suffer if they have to race to complete workloads once a system comes back up. Projects can often get backlogged and major departments can get sidelined as employees spend less time focusing on generating business value and more time on overcoming the technical challenges of a downtime incident.

Furthermore, there are those rarer but incredibly damaging downtime incidents that can stretch into days, which has been known to happen even to larger companies like Sony. With far fewer security resources at hand, you need small business IT support that can shield you from the serious threats that exist out there.

IT Downtime Scenarios:

There are nearly countless downtime scenarios, and many companies aren’t prepared for them. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Data loss due to viruses or malware
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that can bring down a network
  • Errors in network devices
  • Data corruption
  • Server failure
  • Human error and mismanagement of devices
  • Vendor failures
  • Failed software upgrades or patches
  • Natural disasters or power outages

Preventative strategies for these scenarios are not only important, but how you respond to these events is also key.

In-House IT and Downtime:

If you are a small or medium-sized business with in-house IT support, in all likelihood you might have only one IT support person. At best, you will only have a small team. In the event of downtime, your IT specialist will likely get to work on the problem as quickly as possible. However, even the best CIOs have their limits and specializations.

If the downtime’s cause falls outside your CIO’s knowledge base, they’re likely to be left scrambling to come up with a fix for a long period of time. They might even end up seeking outside help.

Furthermore, even if your in-house IT specialist has a handle on the downtime issue, there are limits to what one or a few staff members can do to quickly resolve an IT problem, especially if the downtime is due to a complex problem. Different departments might be experiencing different issues in the event of downtime, along with the standard IT problems, and your in-house specialist might quickly be in over his or her head.

As it stands, many small businesses are already falling short of industry standards. For example, one survey of IT specialists within small businesses indicated that 32 percent of respondents didn’t perform daily backups. Almost half said they backed up file systems in the past week, while a sizable 15 percent of respondents had backups that were a month old. When downtime occurs, which often happens due to data loss, this kind of poor backup strategy is bound to fail.

In addition, in-house support is often subject to work only within set hours. If it’s the weekend or off-hours, your in-house support might not even be present to handle a major downtime incident.

Outsourced IT and Downtime:

With outsourced IT, downtime issues are handled a bit differently. For one, a reputable outsourced IT provider has a large pool of staff to draw on with experience from a variety of technical backgrounds. Furthermore, outsourced IT providers often have seen a far greater variety of downtime scenarios in the past due to the amount of clients they’re working with. As a result, outsourced IT teams have the expertise to quickly resolve a wide variety of issues, either remotely or on-site.

With outsourced IT, you benefit from automatic cloud backups that keep downtime from turning into a full-blown disaster. These cloud backups are performed off-site, and allow you to quickly recover from a variety of downtime scenarios.

Outsourced IT from professional IT outsourcing companies also ensures 24/7 support for every day of the year. There are no holidays or weekends where your support staff isn’t available. That means downtime situations are handled immediately, helping your customers and employees rapidly regain access to your network and services.

Dobson Technologies is an outsourced IT provider that offers the expertise and around-the-clock support in order to make sure downtime is resolved quickly every time. If you’re looking for managed IT support in Oklahoma City that keeps your business running, then schedule a meeting with Dobson to discuss your technology needs, review our cost-effective security and web services, and learn more how Dobson protects against downtime.