IT downtime could be shaving up to 2% off your profits

Unplanned IT system downtime could be costing businesses as much as 2% of their annual profits, says Veeam Regional Manager for Southern Africa Warren Olivier, highlighting the urgent need to reduce recovery time and recovery point objectives.

“Globally, according to Veeam’s most recent Availability Survey, enterprises have unplanned downtime an average of 13 times a year, for up to 51 hours of downtime,” says Olivier. “Depending on whether the downtime affects mission-critical apps or not, that adds up over a year to an average cost of between $1.4m and $2.2m in lost revenue, decreased productivity and missed opportunities.”

Similar figures apply in South Africa, says Olivier. “It’s not hard to calculate the impact of downtime on your business, and it’s an exercise every company should do. Let’s say you’re a medium-sized business with a turnover of R100m per year, making a decent profit of R20m a year. Assuming operations run 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, every hour that you can’t operate because your systems are down cuts your profits by nearly R3,500."

Olivier cautions that the costs don’t stop there. “Direct revenue loss to downtime is one thing; but there is also the cost of lost data. Let’s say you manage to get your systems up and running within two hours - that’s a two hour recovery time objective (RTO). But when was the last backup made that you can restore your data from? Many companies accept a recovery point objective (RPO) of up to 24 hours -- in other words, you’ll lose a day’s worth of data. Lost data means lost orders you can’t bill for, which means lost revenue. That dramatically multiplies the cost of those two hours of downtime.”

“This difference between what the business needs and what IT systems are able to provide is what we call the availability gap,” says Olivier. “Assuming just five failures a year the cost of that gap for our hypothetical business rapidly climbs to nearly half a million rand per annum, or 2% of their total profits. That’s not a loss any business can afford to take lightly.”

To protect themselves, says Olivier, businesses need to take advantage of data availability solutions that can bring recovery time and point objectives down to as little as 15 minutes. “If you know you can recover in 15 minutes, and that the last backup will never have been more than 15 minutes ago, you’ll never lose more than half an hour’s data. For our example business, that takes the annual cost of downtime down from half a million rand to around R20,000. That’s a dramatic difference.”

“In the age of the always-on business,” concludes Olivier, having your systems and data always available is a protection you can’t afford to neglect. In highly competitive global markets, one day of lost productivity could mean the difference between surviving and sinking.

About Veeam Software Veeam® enables the Always-On BusinessT by providing solutions that deliver Availability for the Modern Data CenterT, which provides recovery time and point objectives (RTPOT) of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data. Veeam recognizes the challenges in keeping a business up and running at all times and addresses them with solutions that provide high-speed recovery, data loss avoidance, verified protection, leveraged data and complete visibility. Veeam Backup & ReplicationT leverages technologies that enable the modern data center, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, NetApp storage, and HP 3PAR StoreServ and StoreVirtual Storage, to help organizations meet RTPO, save time, mitigate risks, and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs. Veeam Availability SuiteT provides all of the benefits and features of Veeam Backup & Replication along with advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for the backup infrastructure.Veeam Management PackT for System Center is the most comprehensive, intuitive and intelligent extension for app-to-metal management of Hyper-V and vSphere infrastructures, and includes monitoring and reporting for Veeam Backup & Replication. The Veeam Cloud Provider (VCP) program offers flexible monthly and perpetual licensing to meet the needs of hosting, managed service and cloud service providers. The VCP program currently includes more than 5,000 service provider partners worldwide. Founded in 2006, Veeam currently has 25,000 ProPartners and more than 111,500 customers worldwide. Veeam's global headquarters are located in Baar, Switzerland, and the company has offices throughout the world. To learn more, visit

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Veeam Software

Lauren Booth Marketing manager
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