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Downtime can be a nightmare

Downtime is costing you, writes Duncan Cooke, pictured, of Stratus.

At the risk of stating the obvious, downtime can be a nightmare for security personnel who are tasked with ensuring the protection of a company or an organisation’s assets, people and property. Access control, video surveillance, as well as fire, intruder and perimeter protection systems, need to be working as close to 100% of the time as possible, but they are increasingly reliant on software based management. As a result, even a well designed and maintained system can be vulnerable to downtime because of a simple server fault.

Have you ever installed mission critical or high security software applications? What happens if one of these applications goes down? How does this impact on your security operations and your business as a whole? Across the spectrum of industries, one thing all companies are likely to agree on is that the cost of unplanned downtime is quite substantial. But how is cost of downtime measured? Well that depends on your individual business.

Quantifying loss

Cost of downtime can be represented by loss of production, confidential data, brand reputation and potentially, lives. The most common way to represent the cost of downtime is in £s. How much money is your business losing with every minute, hour, day or more when your systems are down? Surprisingly, many companies are not tracking downtime cost with any quantifiable metrics. This means most companies won’t know what an outage costs until it occurs and by then it’s too late to prevent such an incident.

Prevention is key

Preventing downtime is a huge motivator behind measuring it. When companies know how much they are losing, then they know what kind of preventative measures they need to take. When businesses lose huge chunks of money for even a minute of unplanned downtime, that is when they begin their search for a solution. Stratus Technologies, has developed an online Cost-of-Downtime Calculator. This tool will help security professionals figure out the full financial impact of downtime on business. It was created for the US market and so the cost is represented in Dollars but it will nevertheless give a good indication in cash terms of the cost of downtime.

Whilst protection of people, assets and property is of paramount importance, video surveillance and access control are increasingly being used in support of compliance issues and as a result, any unplanned downtime could have a major impact on operational activity. Indeed, the consequential costs of downtime could be far greater than first appears. What is the impact of let’s say, just 0.05% (one twentieth of 1%) of downtime in a year? The answer is approximately five hours of lost security data, the threat of which could easily keep anyone who is tasked with ensuring the protection of a company’s assets, people and property, up at night. The Cost-of-Downtime Calculator will give you an estimate of the likely cost of this.

Heightened security awareness has meant that more than ever it is crucial for the individual parts of an integrated solution, as well the system as a whole, to be continuously available. everRun Enterprise® from Stratus Technologies is a fault-tolerant solution which maximises uptime to ensure businesses are protected 24/7/365.


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