Today, we’re going to explore technology: specifically, we’re going to look at what happens when tech goes wrong. Almost every business deals with minor tech issues on some occasions, from dodgy net connections to e-mails not sending from their Outlook, but just how much of a negative affect are these supposedly ‘small’ problems actually having on their bottom line?
A recent survey put together by Compuware shines a rather devastating new light on the idea of ‘little’ tech issues. More than 300 business executives were surveyed as part of the study, with a whopping 48% reporting that they experience a number of technology performance problems each day. What’s even more absurd is that 75% of those executives noted that the tech issues hadn’t even been reduced to make them more durable.
In a world where technology makes it possible for businesses to be run from all over the world using just an internet connection, it seems genuinely staggering that day-to-day issues still present themselves. The truth seems to be that such executives simply don’t have the time to fix these issues themselves: indeed, 81% of those surveyed said that technological problems they encountered were repeats.
How can tech issues affect a business?
There are multiple ways in which minor tech issues can cause major problems:
Accuracy and error reduction – something as simple as an e-mail not being sent could end up leading to a vital piece of work not being completed, or an important edit not being made. It could also mean that a staff member doesn’t receive a notification of over-time, or doesn’t prep for a client meeting. All of these errors could end up legitimately costing a company thousands of pounds in custom.
Process management – any manager that deals with a relatively large team will rely on technology in some way. This might be a spreadsheet that containing records of holiday taken, specifically tailored software designed to monitor workload or even something as simple as a company mobile that they use to communicate. If any of it ceases to work, then it could become exceptionally difficult to track which staff members are carrying out which tasks, who’s working when and what work still needs doing. Again, this could lead to a loss of thousands of pounds.
Marketing and sales –no sales means no business and most modern sales teams rely substantially on technology. In some cases this will be managing cash flow itself, in others it’ll be keeping a record of company sales history. Other firms – particularly those online – might rely massively on their e-mail address list in terms of building sales. All of this vital data could potentially disappear simply due to a technological error, leaving the company almost back to square one, especially in terms of their client base.
What are the financial consequences?
It’s all very well noting practicalities, but there will be many readers out there who want the figures. Well, here they are:
-The average short-term financial impact of an isolated technology performance issue was $10.8 million.
-45% of respondents experienced a loss in market share or brand equity as a result of their tech performance issue.
-The biggest area of the business negatively affected by tech issues was customer service: 69% of respondents noted that their customers had been affected.
It’s financially vital to ensure that tech issues are resolved as soon as possible. To not take a no-tolerance approach is to legitimately risk a businesses’ financial future.
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Damian Coates is the ICT Business Support Director at UK-based IT support company Utilize. Damian personally helps hundreds of small companies streamline their IT systems every year to lessen the risk of unexpected tech issues.