Published on December 4th, 2016 | by Guest


15,256,836 Wasted Hours: Is the Tech Industry Prepared for Internet Downtime?

The average company has about 14 hours of downtime every year. That works out at just under 1% of a full-time employee’s annual working hours. While this may not seem like a lot of time, when you add up multiple employee hours, the time and the money adds up.

What about the tech industry?

In an industry reliant on the internet, we might assume tech businesses are covered in the case of internet downtime. However, as outages are often out of the control of individual enterprises, how much could these businesses be losing?

To find out, virtual phone number provider, Toll Free Forwarding, recently undertook research to examine 25 of the biggest tech and computing businesses in the US. They looked at the total number of employees and the average company wage to work out the potential losses through downtime each year.

They revealed that tech businesses could be losing a combined total of 15,256,836 hours annually, a potential loss in wages of $543 million. See the breakdown by company below:

The company breakdown

Despite only coming fourth out of the 25 in the Forbes Fortune list, IBM came out the biggest loser mainly because of its massive workforce, with potential losses of $166 million every year, almost a fifth of the industry.

Apple – the richest company on the list but with much fewer employees – only saw a potential 1.2 million employee hour loss, totalling just under $25 million in lost wages. Interestingly, despite losing a similar number of hours, Microsoft could be losing more money due to its higher average wage, with double the potential losses at $50 million a year.

The comparatively less well known Cognizant technology Solutions was also a surprise loser, with $84 million in total potential losses. That’s more than Microsoft and Apple combined.

The effect on staff

While lost wages are undoubtedly a worry for businesses, staff morale also needs to be considered. All those millions of hours aren’t just about money – they also mean a workforce could be unable to do their job. Aleks Almeda, Computer Application Supervisor at Scarinci Hollenbeck gave his thoughts on the potential problems that internet downtime can bring:

“As a Computer Application Supervisor, I would see it as an opportunity to show people that they can still do their work. However, on a personal level, I would get stressed because so many necessary applications are dependent on internet connection.”   

What can businesses do to prepare?

With the financial losses and morale implications for both big and small business evident, what should businesses do to make sure they’re prepared for downtime eventualities? Jim Angleton of financial advisory firm, Aegis FinServ Corp, gave us his three top tips:

  1. Budget for alternative methods of communication in the case of an outage. This is particularly important so you can keep in contact with customers.
  2. Create worst case scenarios so you’re prepared and know what to do if the internet does go down.
  3. Find and hire an external agency to test your internal systems and fail safes.

Does your tech business have fail safes in place for internet downtime? What do you think of the research? Let us know on Twitter @Techno_FAQ

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