Businesses and consumers alike are increasingly turning to the Internet to conduct their financial transactions, whether it’s paying bills, locating and purchasing goods and services, or monitoring credit cards and bank accounts. This is why, more than ever, businesses in particular are finding that their continued success and ability to compete is dependent on maintaining uninterrupted network access.

This increased dependency means that if the network goes down, a company stands to lose untold amount of money as business grinds to a halt. Even traditional brick and mortar businesses, as opposed to e-commerce sites, can find their mundane everyday operations slowed down if not outright halted in their tracks.

Here’s how your online business can save money by eliminating network downtime.

Adequate Training

According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, almost half of all network outages are a result of human error. Let that sink in for a moment. Half of those disruptive, costly incidents are precipitated by people. In other words, it’s a cause that’s very preventable.

Making sure that staff is trained completely by means of clear and consistent policies and protocols can eliminate many of these errors. While it’s impossible to be 100% error-free (after all, we’re talking here about people; pencils are equipped with erasers for a reason), a business can reduce the likelihood of a downed network considerably.

Furthermore, when administrative or procedural changes are made, everyone needs to be kept in the loop. How many problems out there have their origins in the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing?

Document Everything

If it’s important, write it down. Isn’t that what we’ve all been taught? Make sure that your business has its latest procedures committed to writing, and that event logs are kept up to show user activity and usage. After all, sometimes trouble-shooting is simply a matter of pinpointing that one error and correcting it.

Have A Plan

Your business should have contingency plans that are flexible enough to cover every eventuality from a simple power outage to a major natural disaster. These plans should be put together by the appropriate department heads, and shared among everyone who needs to know it. The plan should spell out what everyone’s role is in the event of a disaster or major network disruption. This includes accurate contact information and a means of documenting what happened and what measures were taken to correct the matter.

Not every network downtime incident is due to a natural disaster or human error. There are annoyances like Denial of Service attacks done by hackers that can freeze up your network and cripple your operation.

Good Backups Mean Fast Recovery

In order to resolve a network downtime incident, a smart company has adequate backups (located both on-site and off-site) so that operations can resume with minimal time and data lost. Maybe this means restoring databases to an earlier point, but losing several hours of data because you are restoring from a backup done earlier that day is far better than losing the data permanently. Easy access to a full set of backed up data means you’re back in business faster, with minimal disruption to your business or damage to your reputation.

It’s a fact of life in today’s world that you need a functioning network in order for your business to perform at its peak. But by educating yourself on the main causes of network outages and how to prevent them, you can be better prepared to tackle emergencies and get the system up and running again with minimal impact.

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