02 March 2018

Is your IT downtime getting customers worked up?

Fuelled by unrealistic marketing and customer service promises, today’s expectation that organisations are always-on is running ahead of reality. Downgrading customer expectations is not an option, so organisations face making a step change or continuing to risk significant damage to their brand integrity.

For decades, customers have been encouraged to become increasingly dependant on the data and application availability of organisations they choose to work with around the globe. As a result, customers assume back-up and recovery levels are higher than they really are.

Most organisations know they have a problem

In a 2017 global survey, 82% of participating enterprises admitted they had a gap between user demand and what their IT team can deliver in terms of data and application availability.

Despite the best efforts of IT professionals, the constant evolution and diversification of the IT landscape is making it almost impossible to keep pace. As a result, organisations are struggling to digitally transform and innovate.

The potential impacts are wide ranging

While the economic impacts of availability and data protection gaps are easier to visualise and even quantify (the survey report calculated an average direct financial cost of $21.8m per enterprise), other impacts such as loss of customer confidence and damage to brand can be just as harmful to the business.

When asked about the associated risks to their business, 41% of the enterprises said loss of customer confidence is a most concerning potential impact of their availability gaps.

The damage continues long after the downtime

Customers feel let down, frustrated and powerless when they find the systems you have encouraged them to rely on are not available.  As they are usually online at the time, social media is only a nano-second away, so that’s where they often go to vent their frustrations and feel like they’ve regained some control.

Mainstream media trawls social media for news leads and within minutes your business is on the national news for all the wrong reasons. Any experience like this moves customers closer to your competitors and strengthens the connection your competitors have with their customer base. It means your investment in marketing and growth strategies can be completely neutralised.

High availability has become a foundation for success

On the flip side, having genuinely high availability that truly meets expectations can be a strong marketing bid to win customers and land contracts. While customers are less likely to jump onto social media about it, if you explain it in the right terms in your marketing collateral they’ll happily spread the word for you.

New cloud environments present countless opportunities to ‘surprise and delight’ customers and gain competitive advantage. They also offer new and easier ways to build the high application and data availability required.

A step change is required for most organisations

The day when organisations must be operating in the cloud to be competitive is coming fast. While cloud technologies offer significant business benefits, they also have a very different set of rules. Waiting and watching while your business builds the in-house capability to compete is unlikely to end well.

The easiest and safest way to make the step change to the cloud and its high levels of availability is to work with a partner that has the right expertise, experience, software and capabilities.

Take a moment to understand more

Veeam® is a leading producer of the tools specialists use to help organisations around the world achieve exceptionally high levels of backup and recovery. For some years now they have commissioned the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to provide an annual report on service availability levels around the globe, the impacts they’re having on business and the recommended steps for putting things right.

To learn more, download a free copy of the Veeam® Availability report.

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