As technology advances, so does the rate at which people consume connected services. What that means for your business is an increasing need for reliable connectivity at all times. Whether you're hosting a website, serving a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, or delivering cloud services, it's important to understand that downtime can cripple your ability to make money and service clients effectively. In this short guide, you'll learn how connectivity impacts your business and how you can reduce the risk of downtime in the first place.

Consider How Connectivity Impacts Your Day-to-Day Business

The idea that"admitting you have a problem is the first step," also applies to figuring out potential connectivity impacts. In order to determine problem areas, you'll need to map out exactly how connectivity impacts your day-to-day business. Consider whether you rely on:

  • Email
  • Internet-based file transfer services
  • Online tools
  • Social media accounts
  • Networked applications
  • Ecommerce platforms
  • Softphone applications
  • Video conferencing
  • Other applications, websites, or plugins that provide service to your clientele

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider how much your business's bottom line would be impacted if you suddenly lost connectivity for an hour. How about for 5 hours? What if your service was down for an entire day or an entire week? 

The majority of businesses are going to find that even nominal downtime can quickly become costly. When you don't have the right tools to work effectively, productivity can be reduced or even halted--and that's always money lost. Consider the statistics: Dunn & Bradstreet, a firm responsible for thousands of reliable technology research studies, state that 59 percent of all businesses experience downtime each week. The mean average amount of time lost is 1.6 hours. For large businesses, the same research showed an average loss of $84,000 or higher during each downtime period. 

Mitigating Connectivity Concerns: Actionable Steps

Now that you have a better idea of how connectivity downtime may impact your business, it's time to learn what you can do to prevent it in the first place. Protecting connectivity, of course, starts with using a reliable internet service provider. Before signing up, ask about their average downtime rate--anything over 98 percent is fair, and most providers will experience far less downtime than this.

Ensure That Your Network Is Connected to an Uninterruptible Power Supply

One of the most common reasons for downtime is power loss, be that a local outage or the fact that your technology is drawing more power than you have available at any given time. There are three main ways to mitigate these issues:

  • Have a backup power source in place, like a generator or battery backup server rack
  • Constantly re-evaluate where additional power or more complex equipment is needed
  • Replace aging power supplies and connections as they begin to show signs of degradation

If you do all three of these, you're likely to drop your total power loss risk to next to nothing. Even having a backup power source for an hour or two is enough to get most businesses back online and connected with no interruption.

Make Use of Mirror Services and Content Delivery Networks

Not to be confused with data backups, making use of mirror services or content delivery networks can provide you with a failsafe in the event of downtime. These services are especially helpful if you experience malicious DDoS attacks, hardware failures, or software maintenance downtime. During outages, the network will automatically serve pages or application requests from your backup service, instead of repeatedly presenting users with a browser or application error.

Ultimately, this can result in only a few seconds of downtime for both your clients and your business. 

Consider Using Multiple Data Centers

If you have multiple offices, making use of multiple data centers can be an effective mitigation tool, too. Hosting servers in areas that are geographically close to each office ensures that at least one will be able to pick up the slack if the others experience downtime due to localized weather issues, outages, or maintenance. Call centers frequently make use of this strategy, as it allows them to transfer softphone calls into another center if one happens to be closed or unable to connect to the network.

Consider Colocation if You're Pressed For Space

Don't have space for multiple data centers? Have no fear; you can still apply the same strategy by making use of coloration. When you rent a colocation service, you are effectively renting space in which to host your equipment. You maintain control over it at all times, but the provider handles all power needs, cooling, and physical security concerns. Better still, it's possible to rent colocation space in almost any major city throughout the United States.

As most colocation providers also monitor power for you, you'll also be protected from downtime due to power loss at the same time.

There's no doubt that technology is advancing quickly. Your ability to serve clients and provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs correctly is inherently tied to their ability to stay connected reliably at all times. It's important to be well-prepared for any situation that might arise, whether that's a DDoS attack or just a localized outage. If you have questions about connectivity, or you want to know how to make your network services work for you, contact your internet service provider today. You can also go to websites of local colocation companies to learn more.