Small Business IT Support: Deciding What’s Important

ITBusinessEdge: Small Business IT Support: Deciding What’s Important

The five nines of uptime – 99.999% availability of systems – that big businesses shoot for is an expensive proposition because it costs more in hardware and support. Most SMBs don’t need it.

“I first explored the topic of achieving high system uptime earlier this year in Does Your SMB Really Need 99.999 Percent Uptime? In that post, I questioned conventional beliefs that achieving 99.999 percent system uptime – also known as the “five nines” – automatically equates to a better level of IT support. Among other factors, I pointed out that attaining better availability costs exponentially more for every additional “9” added behind the decimal place, and suggested that a small amount of downtime might have negligible business impact.

Well, CIO and project turnaround expert Peter Kretzman, in a recent CTO/CIO Perspectives post also thinks that focusing on the system availability metric by itself isn’t terribly useful. Writing in Business impact and transparency: expressing system availability, Kretzman has the following to say of the fascination behind the raw statistics:
‘The underlying insight here is that raw outage statistics, whether they’re expressed as an uptime percentage or as downtime hours, are nothing but a proxy for business impact. And not a very good one…'”

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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