With more of us online now than ever before, businesses across the world have become increasingly reliant on the internet. Essential IT infrastructures including emails, file-sharing platforms, POS systems, VoIP phones, and our new favorite collaboration tools Zoom and Teams all require an internet connection to use.
Whilst digital transformation coupled with a shift to remote and hybrid working has made businesses more agile and efficient, it has left them with a heavy reliance on a strong and stable internet connection.
When connectivity drops, it can be devastating for businesses, hindering their ability to service customers, frustrating staff, and making the organization run far less efficiently. In retail environments, a lack of internet can impede the ability to process payments entirely.
Fortunately, there is a solution – failover internet provides a backup should your primary internet connection fail, allowing you to continue operating as normal throughout an outage with zero downtime.
Read on to understand how failover internet works, its benefits, what options are available, and why it should play a key role in your continuity planning.
The Cost Of Internet Downtime To Businesses
Beyond staff sitting idle, the real cost of downtime includes missed sales, an inability to service customer requests, overtime to clear the backlog that is created, IT maintenance costs, and reputational damage – all of this whilst you sit and wait for your connection to be restored.
According to a well-cited 2014 study by Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime to businesses is $5,600 per minute – that’s $336,000 per hour!
Whilst this is, of course, just an average and the actual figure will vary depending on many factors such as the industry, these shocking figures highlight the need for businesses of all sizes to consider backup internet solutions as part of their business continuity plans.
What Is Failover Internet?
Failover internet is a secondary internet connection which your router can automatically switch to should your primary connection fail, meaning that you are always online.
Having this secondary broadband failover line in place allows your business to continue working even when your primary internet connection is offline, with zero downtime in most cases.
Once the main connection has been restored, your router will switch back from the backup internet connection. Again, in most cases, there is zero downtime making the whole process seamless.
Your internet connection can fail for several reasons. Beyond provider outages, internet failures can be caused by damage to hardware such as routers, power outages, scheduled maintenance, or even a mistake by your IT team.
What Are The Benefits Of Failover Internet?
Investing in a backup internet service offers many benefits to your business including:
- Your business can continue to operate even when your primary internet connection fails.
- The switch is usually seamless, meaning there is no downtime.
- More efficient and reliable working from cloud applications.
- Save on the higher costs of reactive IT support in the event of network failure.
- Prevents any loss of revenue from being unable to process transactions.
- Staff can continue to work on the secondary internet connection.
- Customers are still able to contact the business online.
- Strong contingency planning is reassuring for staff, customers, and stakeholders.
Types Of Backup Internet
As this technology has developed, failover internet is now more affordable than ever, with different types to suit most budgets. The most popular types of standby internet available to businesses are:
Wireless LTE Failover – LTE cellular failover allows businesses to switch to cellular wireless data from any Ethernet-connected device. This option is affordable but network speeds may be slower.
DSL Always On Internet – A Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) backup is a fast and affordable internet solution that plugs into your phone line connecting to a DSL network with an IP backbone.
Business Fiber – Business fibre optic internet is the most modern technology available, offering guaranteed speeds and reliable uptime.
What’s The Best Choice For Your Business?
As with any type of IT infrastructure, the best backup internet choice for your business will depend on several factors unique to your needs. This will include the amount of hardware and software you rely on that need an internet connection, how many employees you have, what sector you operate in, and what budget you have available.
To ensure that your business makes the right decision, it is highly recommended to discuss your options with a professional IT consultant who will be able to run you through your options and guide you through the process of setting up your new failover internet connection.