Downtime is Money: How Downtime Depresses Small Business Revenue

Downtime is Money: How Downtime Depresses Small Business Revenue

When small businesses run into unplanned downtime, they can experience irrevocable damage. In order to assess this damage, Aberdeen did a back-of-the-envelope calculation, using our survey data. Self-reported survey data from small businesses (defined as less than $50 million in revenue per year, and less than 500 employees) shows that unplanned downtime can cost up to $8,600 an hour. The same companies report that the unplanned downtime they experience every year tends to last roughly seven hours each. This reveals that the average small business can expect to lose $100,000 worth of revenue in unplanned downtime every year. In this article, we’d like to discuss some of the ways that businesses lose money when they go offline. Breaking Down the Sources of Cost: Application Downtime If your business is eCommerce, banking, insurance, or any other industry required to be available to the general public in order to make money, then application downtime is your worst nightmare. The causes of application downtime are varied—including natural disasters, server outages, and even DDoS attacks. The effects are simple: customers can’t reach your site or application, and can’t buy your product. While most eCommerce solutions are hosted off-site nowadays, that does not guarantee zero downtime. A survey from 2013 shows that 76% of data centers experienced outages that year. In short, if your customer-facing application is hosted in a data center, then there is a large chance that a data center outage will lead to unplanned downtime. Measuring Downtime from Lost Productivity Other times, the costs might be more difficult to assess. Say for example that it’s not your main customer-facing application that goes down. Instead, it might...
Overcoming the Cloud Trust Fail

Overcoming the Cloud Trust Fail

With the number of companies utilizing the cloud, one would think that trust in the cloud is at record levels. In fact, trust in the cloud is stagnating even as investment in it keeps multiplying. A recently released Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study, commissioned by Google, of 452 senior executives worldwide found that while 38% of Enterprise IT is invested in cloud technology, only 16% of respondents expressed a high degree of trust in the cloud (good write up on the study can be found here, full study can be found here). The reasons for this can likely be found in the seemingly daily news stories about high-profile cloud outages. There was the Google Compute Engine outage in April, the Salesforce NA14 outage that dominated the headlines in May, and more recently BT in the UK.  Let’s not forget the several high-profile DDoS attacks bringing down Docker and the Library of Congress. However, the interesting thing about the study is that the companies who DO put trust in the cloud tended to have higher profits, market share, and revenue growth. To quote the study: “The relationship between trust in cloud technology and positive business outcomes at high-trust organizations appears to be linked to their willingness to foster business transformations that leverage what the cloud offers. Put simply, higher cloud trust appears to facilitate behavioral and process change within an organization.” So how do companies learn to stop worrying and love the cloud? Certainly, familiarity and use come into play. The cloud is still relatively new in many organizations. The EIU study suggests that incremental success builds trust in a...
CFO’s Corner: Ian Charles of Host Analytics

CFO’s Corner: Ian Charles of Host Analytics

Ian Charles is a strategic CFO with broad financial experience and a passion for building businesses. Having amassed 15 years of experience in senior finance roles, Ian was the CEO of IMC Capital Partners, where he led many successful software investments and advised technology startups in strategic development and financial analysis. Ian was CFO at RMG Networks, a digital media firm backed by Kleiner Perkins that grew rapidly and executed multiple acquisitions to establish a leadership position in digital out-of-home media. Ian was a founder and CFO at Rex & Co, SVP of corporate development for UNX, and vice president and equity research analyst for SG Cowen. He started his career as director of corporate development for AOL Time Warner, leading new acquisitions and strategic partnerships. We asked Ian a few questions about his experiences as a CFO: Q: You spent many years on the investment and corporate development side of things. What made you want to become a CFO? A: Good question. When you spend as many years as I did in corporate development and as an analyst in banking, you learn many things about a business and what drives it. You learn and understand the nuts and bolts of the business – R&D investment, customer growth and retention, revenue, employees, costs, cash flow, and how the key metrics illustrate strengths and weaknesses. So it was a natural step into the CFO’s seat. As CFO, one has purview and influence over the entire organization from a numbers point of view and my background of Corporate Development and as an Equity Analyst created a natural transition. After all, who is...
Five Ways to Ensure a High-Performing, Scalable Hybrid Cloud

Five Ways to Ensure a High-Performing, Scalable Hybrid Cloud

As more devices churn out more data than ever before, organizations need storage solutions that are cost-effective yet maintain high-performance levels. Now that scalable and affordable software-defined storage is available, data centers around the world are making use of scale-out storage solutions. Organizations are always looking for ways to maximize budget efficiency and performance goals. Hybrid cloud enables both by providing the most business flexibility from cloud architectures. In a nutshell, hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premise and private and public cloud services, with orchestration between the platforms. Guest article by Stefan Bernbo, Founder and CEO, Compuverde An IDC study found that more than 70 percent of heavy cloud users are considering a hybrid cloud strategy. However, not all organizations are heavy cloud users, and many are still learning about the benefits and challenges associated with deploying a hybrid cloud approach. We’ll offer five design elements you can use to ensure your hybrid cloud delivers the performance, flexibility, and scalability your organization needs. 1) The Crucial Role of Scale-Out NAS Since hybrid cloud architectures are relatively new to the market—and even newer in full-scale deployment—many organizations are unaware of the importance of consistency in a scale-out NAS. However, a scale-out NAS is the cornerstone of a hybrid-cloud storage solution. Many environments are eventually consistent, meaning that files that you write to one node are not immediately accessible from other nodes. This can be caused by an improper implementation of the protocols, or integration that’s not tight enough with the virtual file system. The opposite of this is being strictly consistent: Files are accessible from all nodes at the...
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