The survey also found that the online community lags behind its more traditional counterparts, with 73% of online businesses calculating the cost of downtime using man-hours and of these, only 45% consider the damage to stakeholder and customer confidence.
Attitudes across Europe also differ when it comes to the impact of downtime on corporate reputation. Spanish companies came out on top, giving equal importance (75%) to the loss of man-hours and impact on customer confidence when measuring the effect of outages. French businesses followed, with 70% including customer confidence in their calculations, while 64% of Dutch businesses considered the damage to customer confidence in their cost analyses. However, UK and German companies appeared the most myopic, with only 56% and 54% respectively recognising the impact of IT downtime on corporate reputation.
Paul van der Hilst, European Director at Global Switch, commented on the findings, “In an age where companies are spending millions on IT systems which help them to get closer to their customers and track their every interaction, it is alarming that this crucial element is ignored by so many when counting the cost of IT downtime.” Van der Hilst continued, “One reason for this may be that companies either don’t make the link between an outage and corporate image, or that they simply do not know how to measure the financial damage in terms of loss of reputation. Lost man-hours are perhaps an easier metric to use but by ignoring other criteria, companies risk being unaware of the longer term implications of system failure.”