Every IT professional knows that system downtime costs their organization a fortune – that’s not news. Downtime has measurable direct costs: revenue and human resources as well as indirect costs such as damaged reputation and customer frustration. Once an organization’s reputation is compromised, it can very difficult to restore and this will have a significant negative impact on future revenue streams.
With a justified obsession over minimizing downtime, in many IT departments an equally critical issue gets less emphasis than it deserves – database performance. If your servers slow down on occasion, you are losing money. If your servers are always slow, you are losing a lot of money!
Slow SQL server performance may not mean that employees can’t do their job or customers can’t make purchases and get service. But it does have a significant impact on your bottom line. In a world where almost everything is just a click away, how many customers will tolerate sluggish response times and system timeouts? Poor server performance is a stain on a company’s reputation and has a negative impact on future revenue streams. In fact, it could, if measured, prove to have a bigger impact on your profit and loss statement than downtime. Consider that when the server is down, everyone starts screaming and IT reacts immediately. But when it is slow, employees are less likely to raise the issue and customers will have to suffer through or more likely leave for an alternative service.
Why improve SQL server performance if no one is complaining?
First of all, there may be complaints but they may not reach IT or the DBA. Second, customers have so many choices, why should they complain when they can just go somewhere else? Customer and employee expectations are evolving rapidly. To meet those expectations, you need a database architecture that is continually available, while at the same time provides lightning fast response times, especially when transaction rates are high. If customers have an unpleasant experience with your shopping cart or service, they will leave. Internal users also have more choices than ever. Today, departments can procure their own cloud solutions with little to no technical knowledge, circumventing IT red-tape and leaving the slow database servers to collect dust.
Consider an example of how the organization may be leaking cash because of a slow database. An organization with 1,000 employees earning an average of $30 per hour is dependent on a system that is performing 20% slower than it was specified to perform. Lost productivity is at least $6,000 per hour without accounting for the possible need for overtime and/or additional manpower. In addition there are hard to quantify costs such as missed deadlines, lower employee morale, missed opportunities and so on.
In conclusion, when you calculate your IT ROI don’t only account for downtime. Look at your SQL server performance.