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Downtime in the age of Digital Transformation

By Eli Sabatier

Needless to say, we live in interesting times. The proliferation of technology as it relates to business services is at an all-time high—and with that technology has come the new era of digital transformation whereby the expectations of the end user is finally the greatest driver of services.

Simply put, the technology that is now available has increased customer expectations to the point where individual opinion truly matters. So, what does this mean for business? As technology continues to advance and represent the customer experience, brand becomes the undeniable driver in market acquisition and market share. The idea that the better the technology, the better the customer experience, the better and more successful the brand.

So with all of that said, downtime for companies now takes on an entirely new meaning. Historically, downtime has always been a negative—no one wants IT infrastructure down for any given time as it inevitably impacts the bottom line. However, downtime in the age of digital transformation can result in far worse consequences than ever before.

Now, as companies experience downtime their brand competes with other companies in the same space in real time. For instance, imagine a company such as a multinational coffee company that relies heavily on mobile app sales. If that app were to be unavailable due to infrastructure downtime, the consequences could be catastrophic. For one, the earnings associated with that app during the downtime are lost. But that’s not where it ends. If multiple “outages” happen, suddenly the brand’s own reliability diminishes—paving the way for customers to move to a more reliable competitor. 

Now, even though this example is of a coffee company there is no difference between that and a software-as-a-service company, a manufacturing company, or any other company. The moral to this story is that business moves in real time, therefore so do people’s decisions on who they do business with. And as the global society’s collective attention span continues to shorten, so does the tolerance for failure.

What should companies do to ready themselves for this new era of digital transformation? It really comes down to embracing the importance of IT hardware and maintenance, and ensuring that infrastructure is protected 24/7 from extended downtime. For instance, with a third-party provider skilled across multiple vendor hardware and software, as well as able to access the appropriate spare parts, you not only reduce the potential of downtime, but you also reduce the time your IT hardware is out of service.

It also leads to a more manageable and more stable environment. A support and maintenance program provides a stable IT environment by helping you maintain your hardware system so that you avoid costly repairs from the effects of fatigue, corrosion and oxidation on your system. So, instead of spending money on maintaining the equipment, you add money to the bottom line by freeing up valuable resources to administer to the equipment. 

In all, the need for better maintenance and support of IT systems is imperative for business success. And as technology continues to expand services to end users, the strain placed on equipment is like nothing that’s been experienced before. 

Overall, digital transformation is astounding, and what it enables companies of all types to deliver to its end users is nothing short of miraculous. The flip side is that with all of this technological wonder, comes the very stark reality of downtime being non-negotiable in the new digital age. 

The only question now becomes: Are you prepared to live up to the heights of the new digital expectations?