September 08, 2016
We spend a lot of time talking about mobility, cloud applications and services and other trends that are shaping and transforming IT in this space. Businesses are beginning to realize the myriad benefits of cloud computing for a variety of usage cases and yet, surprisingly, most businesses continue to use outdated premises-based PBX phone systems or standard PSTN services.
Once the lifeblood and the core of business communications, these legacy solutions are vulnerable to outages and disasters that may render them useless for days or weeks. And no phone spells downtime and trouble for any business, with consequences ranging from angry customers to major revenue losses. Intermedia, a company specializing in business cloud solutions, recently discussed the serious fallout from downtime and how cloud offerings can help with business continuity.
Downtime, whether it happens due to a power outage, hardware failure, theft, malicious activity or even an accident, causes a variety of problems that can impact any business. In the case of legacy phone systems and networking, office locations can be rendered inaccessible, disrupting all external business communications. Additionally, if network connectivity is disrupted it creates issues with operational and support services. The end result of all this is that customers and partners are incommunicado, business cannot be conducted and sales and revenues suffer as a consequence.
To understand how severe the consequences of downtime can be, we can examine the losses in hard numbers. The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council states that 38.3 percent of businesses lost up to $20,000 in 2014 because of a loss to critical communications and IT services. Ten percent of businesses lost up to $100,000 while nearly 20 percent of businesses lost more than $50,000 all the way up to over $5 million.
In case those numbers aren’t scary enough, the Aberdeen Group says that small businesses will experience 1.7 downtime events per year on average, at around 2.2 hours per event. That downtime translates to a loss of $46,451 per year, or approximately $12,420 per hour of downtime.
Fortunately, the cloud can be a key weapon when it comes to combating downtime and fostering business continuity. By moving phone systems and services to the cloud, workers can use data networks to connect to a phone system, bypassing the PSTN entirely. And since the entire platform and system are hosted in the cloud, local outages have no impact on services. Workers can use this type of system anywhere with an Internet connection, making it portable and flexible.
Cloud-based phone systems offer a host of advantages in the way of scalability, cost savings, rich features and major flexibility. Business continuity is yet another benefit of this type of system, and perhaps one of the most important ones.
Edited by Alicia Young