If Constant Access to the Internet is VITAL to your Business, this is a MUST read

Businesses are relying more and more on their internet connection to stay productive throughout the day. Email access, business partner sites, on-line hosted applications, FTP sites, remote access, and more all depend on constant connectivity. Even an hour of downtime can be very disruptive.

Yet, internet access is vulnerable to disruption due to events that are completely out of our control. A cable accidently cut by a construction company, a vehicle accident, a problem with a communications provider, or even an instability on the part of an internet service provider, can all lead to a loss of connection. Sometimes it’s only a few minutes. Other times the outage lasts much longer.

If your business has been a frequent victim of internet downtime because of something out of your control (it happened to us thanks to a backhoe operator digging a trench and cutting our building’s access to all Bell services), then you’ll want to seriously consider a contingency plan to avoid being crippled because of an outage.

First step

Define which business services are critical to your business.

What can’t your business live without for hours or days that requires internet access?

  • Email?
  • Remote access for your road warriors / home users?
  • Third party business applications requiring internet?
  • All of it?

By prioritizing the systems required during an outage, you can go with lower cost options for the backup service than your main service.

Determine the cost benefit:

If the internet connection went down for 4 hours, multiply 4 by the number of staff, x your average hourly rate for your staff, to arrive at your total loss of productivity,

Example:  20 staff x 4 hours x $20 / hour = potential loss of $1,600, plus any lost opportunity costs (i.e. proposals don’t go out in time, can’t respond to sales inquiries, etc.)

Find an Alternative Service:

#1. Find an alternate supplier to your current one that can provide internet access that meets the requirements you listed above. For example if you use Bell, call Rogers. This will protect you against an issue impacting one specific vendor.

#2.  When considering who to choose as an alternate supplier, look into a service that uses a different technology to deliver access to your office than what you currently using. For instance if you use ADSL from Allstream, look into wireless or cable service from Bell. This protects you against an issue affecting the delivery method of your main internet access, such as a cut cable.

How backup internet saved OUR bacon

We have two internet services that have the exact same capabilities. Earlier this year our primary service went offline due to issues with our provider. Without internet, we would not have been able to provide technical support to our clients.

During the outage, all of our services (e-mail, CRM and remote help desk tools) became fully functional again within minutes of our backup service taking over. This was all done automatically – we didn’t do a thing - it was business as usual.

While signing up for an alternate internet service as a backup won’t prevent every internet outage, it’s a great way to greatly reduce your vulnerability and keep working during most outages.

Need help developing an internet backup plan for your business? Call Joe at Technical Action Group for advice (no fee or obligation). Joe can be reached at 416-489-6312 x 204 or through his email: JStoll@TechnicalActionGroup.com.