IT Helpdesk Support Productivity Cost Savings and Downtime

By Mark Watson|5 November 2018

Do you know how much an IT outage could cost your organisation? Unless you’ve recently experienced one probably not, many IT professionals and senior leaders have no idea. I’m not talking about a ‘major’ incident such as a Denial of Service attack or other disruption caused by malicious outsiders either; systems fail for more benign reasons but the consequences are just as serious.

It’s useful to know what the cost of an IT outage is. If you know that for every minute of downtime – Garter put the average cost of downtime at around £4,200 per minute – your organisation is haemorrhaging cash, you might find it easier to make a case for more robust IT support.

Here's how to calculate the average cost of downtime in your business, and why IT support increases productivity and delivers cost savings too.

Calculating The Cost Of Downtime

The following costs will give you a better idea of how much downtime costs your organisation. These costs will be known to the business and can be quantified on an hourly rate:

  • Staff costs p/h
  • Average revenue generated p/h
  • Remediation costs p/h – how much does it cost to fix an IT outage?

This will give you a ballpark figure for how productivity and revenue generation is affected for every hour of downtime, and how much it costs to get everyone back up and running again. But there are additional costs that should also be factored in:

  • Reputational damage – could a systems failure have an impact on your organisation reputationally?
  • Customer deflection – could existing and prospective customers decide to go elsewhere because of an IT outage?

These costs are hard to quantify but very real. If your organisation is a well-known brand your outage might end up as headline news, as happened to BA in 2017 when a global IT crash resulted in the airline’s entire fleet being grounded. It’s easier to gauge the reputational damage this caused BA because €400 million was wiped off its parent company’s share price.

Reputational damage might be harder for a non-public listed company to quantify, but that doesn’t mean you won’t suffer some fallout. For example, customers might vent their frustration about a poor service (caused by the IT outage) online by leaving reviews on your company profiles or on 3rd party sites like TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, Google etc. They may take to social media and complain, and these digital interactions are very difficult to remove. Even when an incident is ancient history, a customer’s review could still influence other people and effect your business.

Making A Business Case for Better IT Support

With a clear idea of how much downtime costs your organisation in the short and long term, now you can demonstrate how robust IT support can save money and increase productivity.

While a major incident like BA’s global IT crash may seem like a one off, IT outages are actually increasingly common. Most organisations rely heavily on their IT systems and have moved many processes that once were not IT reliant to technology solutions: often because they increase productivity and deliver cost savings. But when something goes wrong, even when an outage doesn’t affect your entire operation, those productivity and cost benefits are lost.

Therefore it’s essential to have sufficient IT support to keep systems running, troubleshoot problems when they occur and spot threats before they have a negative impact. To get an idea of how much this might cost, use our IT service desk cost calculator here (just enter your requirements and get a quote).

To get a better return on investment from your IT support or service desk, read our whitepaper on driving efficiencies:


Further Information

How to drive IT Service Desk efficiencies

How you can streamline your IT support.


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