What would happen to your business if you suffered an extended internet outage? Would you be able to communicate with your team? Would customers be able to reach you with questions or concerns? Would your software keep running?
Considering the digital nature of today’s companies, the answer to all of those questions may be “No” or “Maybe.” That raises a related and very important question — just how costly would such an outage be for your business?
Internet connectivity has become a vital resource for today’s companies, like electricity or running water. That means you should be thinking about ways to make your connection more resilient and redundant, to prevent the damage that comes with downtime.
Organizations that don’t possess backups or redundancy in their internet connections may suffer major monetary losses the next time they suffer unplanned disruptions. To make sure your business doesn’t fall victim to this issue, it’s best to plan ahead.
What's the Importance of Uninterrupted Internet for Your Business?
Digital systems are the lifeblood of businesses today. Both internal and external systems are increasingly powered by cloud computing, which comes with benefits — remote access, affordability and flexible capacity among others. However, along with these advantages, the cloud has a major requirement: connectivity.
Everything from communications and collaboration software to enterprise resource management (ERM) and content management systems (CMS) requires a reliable, high-speed internet connection to function. Spending hours without access to any of those technologies can bring your business to a halt, causing a significant loss of value.
Research backs up the extreme value of connectivity. The Uptime Institute’s 2023 survey found that 25% of IT outages in 2022 cost companies over $1,00,000, while 45% cost between $100,000 and $1,000,000. Losing connection to critical tech infrastructure creates an immediate budget hole, as without their technology, companies can’t function.
The following are examples of services that could become unavailable during a business internet service outage:
Remote employee services, from video chat and email to virtual desktops, collaboration systems and more.
Customer communications, ranging from text chat to VOIP phone systems and interactive voice response (IVR) programs.
Databases and software enabling employees to complete their everyday work, accessing data for analytics, processing and more.
Transactions and e-commerce systems that allow you to sell your products or services and enable customers to browse your website.
Losing all these services due to an internet outage is potentially devastating for your business, and the longer the problem persists, the worse the damage will become. Specific kinds of damage that come from a service outage can include:
Lost business: If customers can’t transact with your company, that’s a missed opportunity for income — and there’s no guarantee they’ll come back once your digital services are back online.
Wasted productivity: Customers aren’t the only ones inconvenienced when you lose your connection. Employees can’t perform their work, meaning you’re paying salaries but not receiving any value.
Damaged reputation: Companies need to be known as reliable and dependable to retain business. In today’s intensely competitive corporate landscape, a loss of trust could result in an ongoing and hard-to-calculate loss of customers.
So, if uninterrupted business internet is so important, what can you do to preserve your connection? You can choose from a variety of secondary connectivity and networking options to build your resiliency.
Read more about the role a reliable internet connection plays today.
How Does Backup Internet for Business Work?
A backup business internet connection is a secondary connection that takes on the service load when the primary networking option fails. Ideally, this happens seamlessly without the user noticing. Having more than one connection as part of a commercial internet service package is vital to provide continuity and uptime for employees and customers alike.
While having multiple connections is most important during outages, the extra bandwidth isn’t wasted during the normal course of business. Secondary connections can serve a load-balancing function, ensuring upload and download speeds remain reliable and steady.
Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) provides the ability to automatically balance connections and ensure performance is always at a maximum. Even when the organization is running many bandwidth-intensive systems, such as video conferencing and other cloud-based applications, the connection remains reliable.
Backup services can include one connection in addition to the primary offering or several. While the right setup for your business’s needs will depend on its service usage and IT budget, having at least one additional connection available is a critical part of providing high levels of uptime for your users and customers.
See how reliable backup connections fit into the overall package of enterprise-grade internet.
What Are The Best Practices Associated with Backup Internet?
The highest-priority practice associated with internet backup is to simply ensure that your organization has more than one connection and that the connection doesn’t share the same path to the building as your primary provider, or uses what we call diverse path redundancy. Businesses operating with no or poor redundancy are at risk of suffering from extended periods of downtime that can potentially lead to catastrophic financial losses.
Even the fastest, most reliable primary internet connection can suffer from outages. They are simply a fact of life and can occur due to:
- Data center failures as a result of some combination of hardware or software failures in the internet service provider’s facilities.
- Fiber cuts impacting the lines providing bandwidth to your facilities.
- Natural disasters affecting the primary provider’s infrastructure at one or more points.
Though today’s internet service providers pride themselves on their reliability and uptime, having a backup plan is essential so your organization can continue without interruption. This commitment to redundancy can create a distinction between your business and less-prepared competitors.
Connection types that you can combine via SD-WAN to lock in reliable, high-uptime business internet include:
- Fixed wireless.
- 5G mobile.
Fixed wireless internet can be especially interesting from a backup and redundancy perspective. Since fixed wireless is deployed with a mesh topology, it offers several paths to the internet. If one data center or other node suffers from a network outage, the connection automatically reroutes without a loss of service to you.
Investing in more than one connection gives you an effective way to manage traffic for maximum bandwidth and performance when everything is functioning as intended. Then, when downtime strikes, the system stands ready to provide continuity and keep your business functioning.
It shouldn’t take suffering a network outage to remind you that this level of redundancy and resiliency is important. By projecting the possible consequences of losing your primary internet connection, you can commit to a better approach now and start the search for a reliable business internet provider.
How Do You Find a Reliable Backup Internet Provider?
When it’s time to search for a backup internet provider, the most effective option is to search for a partner that can offer connections that take different paths to the building — this increases resilience if the primary pathway is compromised.
A true dedicated business internet service provider is different from a standard provider, though their service offerings are relatively similar in terms of connection speeds. Business broadband today is fast, but the connection is shared by multiple businesses. Dedicated business-class internet is a specific offering for one client.
When selecting a business internet provider, you gain a level of control over your connection type. Selecting a highly resilient offering such as fixed wireless can help you guard against any potential network disruption or instance of unplanned downtime.
A business-focused internet service provider will in many cases offer a service level agreement (SLA), dictating the minimum standards of service your business can expect to receive. Any failure to uphold SLAs is compensated, ensuring you’re not taking a chance with your budget. We recommend that you carefully examine the terms of your SLA agreement before committing to a new provider.
These benefits and more can help make up the difference between the cost of dedicated business internet and standard business broadband. Scalability is also an important consideration, as your organization will ideally grow over time, requiring the same level of internet reliability, but at a greater overall level of bandwidth.
The ability to dictate terms of internet service, including the use of multiple connections, SLAs and the deployment of resilient systems like fixed wireless internet makes dedicated business internet service an intriguing option for growing businesses. Building backup service into your primary internet contract can keep your organization one step ahead of downtime.
Learn more about the value that comes from picking the right business internet provider.
Ready for More Resilient Business Internet Service?
If you’re ready to commit to a more resilient business internet service option, suitable for your company’s next chapter, you can choose to work with WiLine. You can select between dedicated business internet packages offering various levels of bandwidth to reflect your current needs while knowing you can scale up for whatever’s next.
Fixed wireless offerings from WiLine come with route diversity and redundancy, delivered with a mesh topology to make sure your connection can survive issues with hardware or software on the provider side, keeping the lights on and your vital services online. These packages come with SLAs to ensure you receive the level of reliability you need and deserve.
Being an online business today is synonymous with being a business. Without a reliable business internet service provider that offers redundancy and backup options, you’ll be at the mercy of unpredictable network disruption issues that can inconvenience your customers and employees alike.
When the whole assortment of your service offerings is provided through cloud computing and other technology tools, uptime is critical. WiLine understands this importance and is ready to be the provider your company needs.
Don’t wait for your internet connection to fail. Get out ahead of potential problems and build resiliency — contact us now.