Why IT Downtime Keeps CFOs Awake at Night

Sam Bloedow
CFO yawning

It happened again. Your network went down. Your IT services company is scrambling to get things up and running. Some of your people are scrambling, too, trying to help the IT people, and trying to help customers the best they can even though they can’t access any business data from the network. The rest of the staff are just waiting around. Maybe this time the IT downtime doesn’t last quite as long as last time, but the thought that runs through your mind is the same as everyone else’s. It will happen again. We just don’t know when. That’s enough to keep CFOs awake at night.

Downtime Obstructs CFO Success

When you’re the CFO, you know that network downtime is more than lost productivity. Technology failures ultimately impede your ability to be successful at your job to keep the company financially viable and to meet strategic goals. It’s the CFOs responsibility to make sure that resources are used to advance the company goals including those to grow and be profitable, so when you have a recurring problem like network downtime, company success and your personal success as a CFO is obstructed.

Stalled, Stopped and Stressed

Financial Stress from IT downtime

The main financial impact of recurring downtime is unpredictable costs. The bill to get up and running again could be big or small depending on the cause of the outage. You can't give your customers an extra invoice for the wiat time in the middle of their order or service delivery so it's going to cost more to meet customer needs. When confidence is dashed due to downtime, it gives customers a reason to look for a different vendor.

Progress Towards Goals Stalled or Stopped

The CFO is tasked with using the resources of the company to implement the business strategy. When IT downtime is a recurring event, it's hard to follow through with plans that are meant to grow the business such as capturing greater market share, or becoming more profitable because these goals need to be enabled with technology. Certainly technology may not be the only problem that thwarts business growth, but in today's digital business world a reliable information and technology framework is a must-have if forward progress is going to be possible.

What is Normal IT Anyway?

As CFOs contemplate the reasons for their financial stress and lack of progress towards goals, they wonder if what they are experiencing with IT is the same for other companies.

  • Do other companies have the same problems? What are we missing?  
  • Is it too much to ask for predictable costs and predictable results from IT?
  • Can we get tangible ROI from our technology investments?
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