In today’s increasingly digital marketplace, the importance of a reliable internet connection for businesses can hardly be overstated. With growing dependence on cloud computing, remote workforces, digital transactions, and online customer engagement, steady and speedy internet has become a fundamental business necessity. But even the most dependable internet connections can sometimes falter, making a backup internet service for businesses an essential consideration.
Impact of Internet Outages on Businesses
When discussing the impact of internet outages, we need to understand that downtime can significantly affect businesses, especially those in the mid-market and enterprise sectors. The average cost of network downtime can range from approximately $140,000 per hour at the low end to $540,000 at the high end, according to Gartner. These staggering figures don’t even factor in potential lost opportunities and damage to brand reputation.
A 2016 report from IHS Markit found that IT downtime costs North American organizations $700 billion per year, with network interruptions accounting for $100 billion of these losses. And these losses have likely grown with the increase in digital business practices.
More recently, a study from Uptime Institute in 2022 has found that in recent years, the proportion of outages costing over $100,000 has soared to an alarming 60%. In the same study, 43% of outages are attributed to power-related issues. This was one of the reasons that led WiLine to develop its own solar-powered UPS backup.
Notably, Amazon experienced an outage in 2018 that reportedly cost them $100 million in lost sales. In 2020, Google’s six-hour-long outage affected millions of businesses globally that rely on Google Suite for everyday operations.
Top 5 Causes of Internet Outages
Understanding the most common causes of internet outages can help businesses prepare for potential disruptions. Some of the top sources include:
Hardware Failures: Failures can occur in modems, routers, or other hardware devices due to overheating, old age, or defects. Like with any equipment, hardware failure is hard to predict and almost impossible to prevent completely. However, at WiLine, we use the latest fixed wireless technology to minimize the impact of hardware failure on our customers.
ISP Downtime: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can experience issues like data center failures or fiber cuts that can cause outages. We are aware that in the past, this has been a common complaint of some of our customers, since 2021, WiLine has been investing in building a software-defined mesh network that is self-healing and prioritizes vital traffic in the event of an outage.
Power Outages: Power disruptions can shut down all devices connected to the network, causing a complete internet outage. WiLine was the first fixed wireless ISP to include solar-powered UPS backup with its installations to minimize the effect of power outages throughout its network. These are now in every install we do.
Natural Disasters: Events like hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes can damage infrastructure, leading to widespread outages. We can never underestimate the force of Mother Nature. Depending on the severity of the incident, this could affect all your connections, primary and backup, and these are often impossible to predict. These are cases where a disaster recovery plan could be vital to get your business back connected as fast as possible.
Cyber-attacks: These can range from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to malware and can result in substantial downtime. To minimize the chances of being hit by a sophisticated cyber-attack, your business needs a multi-layer approach to cybersecurity. WiLine has partnered with best-in-class providers to bring you the best possible protection.
Emphasizing Backup Internet Services
Given the potential risks and costly consequences of internet outages, it’s clear that having a backup internet service is crucial for almost all businesses. These services can seamlessly take over when the primary connection fails, ensuring business continuity.
A survey conducted by the Uptime Institute found that 31% of businesses lack a backup connectivity option. This gap leaves these businesses exposed to avoidable downtime and its associated costs.
One major player in the SaaS industry, Salesforce, illustrates the importance of backup connections. Salesforce’s backup strategy includes diverse network paths and multiple internet providers to prevent a single point of failure. This approach ensures that their platform, crucial for millions of businesses worldwide, remains accessible despite potential outages.
Redundant connections can be established using different technologies, such as fixed wireless, cable, fiber, or even 5G connections. Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) can enhance resilience by dynamically choosing the best path for traffic, even directing traffic over multiple connections simultaneously for increased bandwidth.
In summary, in our interconnected world, a reliable internet connection is a non-negotiable component for businesses. However, outages are inevitable, and the potential impact on revenue, productivity, and reputation can be devastating. A backup internet service for businesses provides a safety net, enabling operations to continue even during primary connection failures.
By understanding the common causes of internet outages and implementing robust backup systems, businesses can ensure continuity, preserve their reputation, and safeguard their bottom line. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to internet connectivity for your business.