Downtime occurs when a business cannot operate due to a computer system or network failure. While it is not an unusual occurrence, it can have a negative impact on your business. For instance, a Gartner report suggests an average IT downtime costs around $5,600 per minute. Consider the tips below to reduce your business downtime experiences.
1. Go cloud with IT operations
One obvious advantage of going cloud with your IT maintenance is that you won’t require any on-premises hardware. Cloud servers can significantly reduce downtime risks even if you want to keep some data center components. You also enjoy round-the-clock IT support since remote support teams may access your services from any device or location. The cloud infrastructure guarantees continuous access to your business applications and data. It also allows you to configure automated maintenance routines and receive notifications when something goes wrong.
2. Identify downtime causes
Experts have advised proactive prevention as an efficient technique for decreasing downtime. For example, it is common to notice that some business aspects suffer when one piece fails. To avoid this, you must monitor your efficiency throughout the workplace to uncover factors causing downtime in your business. Facility managers can directly connect with operators to identify and rectify factors causing downtimes. Fortunately, a detailed analysis of the business’ efficiency will help identify downtime sources in certain areas. This way, you can get a more precise picture of what to do to correct a problem.
3. Employ a computerized maintenance management system
CMMS systems can store info such as machine and part catalogs, maintenance schedules, and repair prices. You may connect this data with procedures such as automated parts and task orders for optimal efficiency. Businesses have the opportunity to design innovative approaches to ease work scheduling thanks to the many new software support for CMMS systems. According to an Upkeep Maintenance Survey, 39% percent of facilities use CMMS to manage maintenance activities. Your business can’t pass the opportunity to increase its efficiency by using the automation features of these programs.
4. Offer staff training
During employee training, it is crucial to emphasize the significance of reporting issues relating to business processes regardless of how little they appear. For instance, a breach or issue with a particular PC or software could occur when your customer service team notices a delay in loading client history. Quickly reporting the issue can avert potential long downtimes or significant system breaches. It is also important to always have a team on hand to listen to and address any reported challenges, no matter how insignificant they appear. At this point, you might consider switching to managed IT support since recruiting an in-house team could be an extra workload for your IT team.
5. Schedule maintenance
Scheduled maintenance is essential for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses. For instance, if you have created your own business software, there is a chance your programs could have vulnerabilities, leaving them exposed to hackers. A similar concern may arise even if you use paid software. This is why developers usually offer constant updates on existing programs to block these vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, others like fleet and trucking businesses require regular maintenance to minimize potential breakdowns on the road. Repairs services like M&L Truck Service offer high-quality, timely repair and maintenance services to keep your trucks in shape.
6. Solicit for employee feedback
Some processes may look nice on paper but not so much in practice. Your working teams may frequently offer you important input on what is generating downtime and the best way to avoid it. For instance, you may not notice that your employees queue to use the printer when you have dedicated one in your office. Until your employees let you in on this problem, you may not quickly remedy the situation. Once you find out, installing extra printers or considering other solutions to lessen the trouble can be useful. Soliciting employee feedback can help minimize delays and downtimes.
7. Try outsourcing
You may cost-effectively deliver some tasks like accounting and IT through outsourcing. You can use outsourcing to complement your existing personnel, especially when work volumes exceed your capabilities. Bringing outside labor is best for handling the overflow. For instance, if your IT department is swamped with executing new software packages, you may outsource server maintenance to prevent your servers from going down with no available in-house staff to swiftly bring them back online. As a result, you have more peace of mind knowing that your infrastructure is being watched 24/7 and that no issues go unnoticed.
8. Use downtime for marketing
Another productive method is to use downtime for marketing. It is normal to pull back your efforts when you think the business isn’t developing, and marketing will be a waste of resources. However, downtime is excellent for business promotion, and you can start by assessing your previous strategies and developing new ones. The areas to focus on are digital, promotions, and social marketing. It will include finding out what your customers think about you, reviewing your products and services, and websites, among other things.
9. Utilize space for dual purpose
You can make some money by giving out your workplace during downtimes. If you own a small coffee shop, you can use the space as a bar after closing each day. The bar may not be glamorous; however, it is ok if you’re in a nice location near multiple business buildings and has moderate prices. Little revenue can help offset some main shop expenses like rent costs. Businesses that rent or own facilities with predictable downtime can use this method to their advantage. Some cinemas, for example, often have poor attendance during weekdays. So they can make use of the idle space by selling discounted matinée tickets as a means of boosting attendance. This is a terrific method to employ if you can rent a space.
While some of these tactics apply to specific businesses and industries, others are more flexible. So it would be best to consider the most applicable strategy to your business and implement it to reduce downtime.