Key UK sectors are at significantly greater risk from the impact of network downtime according to new research conducted for Networks First, the specialist provider of converged network support services by Warwick Business School. The research revealed that retail is particularly at risk, with an average probable downtime cost of over £350,000 per hour. This is more than three and a half times greater than finance, which itself faces downtime costs of over £100,000 per hour.
The research highlights the growing dependency of many businesses on IT infrastructure and the networks that join them together. Retail is particularly at risk because supply chain logistics now virtually depend on IT to get products onto shelves within very tight schedules. In addition, retail point-of-sale (POS), the rapid growth of online sales and stocking for longer opening hours all depend on reliable IT networks.
The aim of the research project was to identify the tangible and intangible costs of network downtime and to provide companies with a tool to discover for themselves the probability and real cost of downtime in their organisation. The end result is a Network Downtime Calculator which is easy to use and accessible online at www.networksfirst.com
Commenting on the findings, Peter Titmus managing director at Networks First, says: “Other sectors at significant risk from network failures are finance, services and healthcare, which is expected to rise dramatically as more and more systems are migrated to IT. While risk for commercial sectors is largely financial, for healthcare the stakes can obviously be much higher. Network failure for a bank can obviously be highly damaging financially but in healthcare it could mean the difference between life and death.
“This is why it is so important that organisations understand the impact of network downtime on business today. The Network Downtime Calculator Networks First has developed in conjunction with Warwick Business School aims to help people understand just what they are up against so they can address potential network failures.”