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Over the past years, more and more organizations have been striving for the goal of a >99.99% availability to ensure that their users or customers can get access to their offerings at most of the time. Within the period of unplanned downtime, the usage of the service is expected to be trivial in an attempt to minimize the loss. However, with 2.6 billion users globally that can access to the internet via a smartphone, the loss of a service downtime would be tremendous for any type of organizations. For SMEs a service outage may sabotage the growth or even lead to a business failure at worst, and it could also wipe whopping millions of revenue on large Enterprises’ annual report and negatively affect the brands.

Impact of Mobile App/Website Downtime

For many of the organizations, the definition of downtime means more than ‘the system is not accessible’. It also includes the following two scenarios:

  • The system is accessible but some functions are not operational
  • The system is accessible but performance is highly degraded

With those in mind, do you know how much service unavailability would cost and how much your organization risks to lose during downtime?

Revenue Loss And Hit on Cash Flow

First things first, revenue loss is inevitable due to downtime. According to Gartner’s research in 2014, the monetary loss is close to $5,600 per minute, equaling over $300,000 per hour. This is just an average number and there’s a large degree of variance. But let’s take some examples.

In case your mobile e-commerce website generates $50 million of revenue in a typical year, it looks like this.

For a 99.5% uptime, your website can be down over 43.8 hours. The total cost would be $250K.
For a 99.7% uptime, the downtime is over 26.28 hours, extrapolating a total loss of $150K.
For a 99.9% uptime, the downtime is about 8.76 hours. The total revenue loss would still be $50K.

Now imagine the downtime happens on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the loss is much higher. Your cash flow would take a big hit. This applies to mobile applications or mobile games as well. As more people nowadays order products or consume your services with mobile phones while they are the go, that monetary cost of downtime is surely rising.

Productivity loss

When service outage happens, your internal employees’ workflow will get affected as well. The affected departments are not able to complete tasks, which produces unplanned delays to deliver the accomplishments. This can bring down overall productivity.

Your marketing and business team might have troubles to carry on the ongoing sales campaign.
Your financing team might not be able to finalize the budgeting and calculations due to no access to data from your database.
What could be even worse is that you or your boss might be presenting the current progress of the company to the shareholders?

All of the associated parties have to slow down their pace due to the service outage. That leads to low responsiveness. And at the end of the day, time to market is one key success factor in today’s competitive industries.

Customer Churn and Strategic Partners

One of today’s mobile characteristics is that there are so many selections out there and consumers have much more alternatives to meet their needs. When you undergo a period of downtime, your customers can simply go somewhere else to get what they need. And your loyal customers might also complain the service unavailability.

Now if your mobile websites or applications suffer a downtime in some locations, your strategic partners that are planning or executing campaigns will experience the delay or inaccessibility as well.

Loss of Usage/Visits

If your mobile website is not accessible or very slow to visit, your website usage will simply drop and that would definitely have a bad impact on your sales. The longer the downtime lasts, the fewer visitors you will get. In the long run, your website SEO will be punished.

The same rule goes to mobile apps or games. Your mobile apps or games might be perfect in terms of quality, with no flaws, no bugs, great content, etc. But when your app doesn’t launch in an acceptable time, users will just quit, never try the second time, and uninstall it from their mobile gadgets. What’s worse is that they go to the app store and leave negative reviews.

Damage to reputation

Like mentioned above, app users will spread the frustrations with your services on the app store and social media. The news of downtime in your services reaches across the globe very fast. Your mobile apps or websites can be labeled as ‘unreliable’ or ‘slow’ based on a shared experience that touches public’s consciousness.

At the same time, your direct and indirect competitors would be quick to avail your service downtime and win over the market and consumers to stay with them. And you are ended up with a less market share and a bad brand image.

How to prevent downtime?

How can hidden issues be visible upfront to prevent the performance pitfalls? Many organizations have implemented synthetic monitoring strategy to observe their mobile applications and websites. Synthetic monitoring helps IT professionals to proactively check the availability of their service in every predefined interval, especially making sure that mobile apps and websites are up and running smoothly at peak hours. By incorporating synthetic monitoring into your mobile DevOps process, your DevOps teams are able to get insights on different types of metrics – accessibility, mobile performance, competition, etc. and take responsive actions quickly before your products or new versions get published.

Lingkai Shao

Marketing Manager