Downtime and data loss represent a considerable risk to businesses, particularly now that they are heavily reliant on electronic data accessed through servers or the cloud. Moreover, the reputational damage businesses can suffer due to downtime has far reaching consequences and is much trickier to fix than any IT system glitches.
Electronic data storage and usage is pretty much ubiquitous and it only tends to become an issue when something goes wrong. The reputational cost to Talk Talk following their data hacking episode last year has still to be fully assessed. Regardless of the actual risk to its customers, the company’s standing has been dealt a harsh body blow.
“Trust is the key thing here”, explains Nick Walls, director of Walls Data & Electrical, in Manchester. “Once trust is damaged over the issue of sensitive data, it’s hard to get back”.
The Impact of Downtime on Business
There are a number of different ways that downtime can impact on a business, and in turn lead to a loss of trust on the part of its customers:
- It can interrupt the smooth flow of business, delaying orders and disrupting efficiency. This impacts on customer service
- It can create serious backlogs, leaving the business having to try and claw back time and resources to stay on schedule to meet its customers’ expectations.
- It can damage customer confidence, sometimes fatally. Lost customers may never return.
“Together these can conspire to damage a company’s overall reputation“, Nick continues. “With the ability of social media to spread customer dissatisfaction like wildfire, reputational management can then become an uphill task”.
Sometimes the diagnosis and resolution is relatively straightforward, but the key is to act. Businesses that attempt to simply put up with downtime and adapt their working practices around it risk long-term reputational damage.
“The bottom line is that you can’t manage your data if you can’t access it”, concludes Nick, “and that’s not something your customers are going to be happy with”.
If you would like to minimise downtime and data loss in your business, please call Walls Data & Electrical on 0161 714 4475 or visit their website.