Tech Talk | Mike Dunn | Partner at Carolinas Cloud


It’s true. Anything made by people will break. That especially holds true for IT hardware and systems. Outages always seem to happen at the worst possible times. There many kinds and causes for outages. Some kinds of outages are:

  • full system outages where the companies main servers or infrastructure fails
  • power outages, lightning damage outages
  • water shut off office closures
  • pandemic office closures
  • software license update outages
  • virus outages, ransomware outages
  • unknown intermittent outages
  • software vendor outages
  • software incompatibility outages
  • power surge damage outages
  • Internet outages
  • and last but not least, and the topic of this post, just the individual laptop outages.


Catastrophic system-wide outages

As a business owner or manager, nothing is worse than seeing everyone in your office just sitting at their desks, doing nothing, AND GETTING PAID. You know that you are losing thousands of dollars in payroll and you will have to pay overtime to get the work caught up as a double hit. The HR cost impact of a major system-wide outage is a far higher cost than paying someone for your IT problem. Even with all the possible business risks listed above, a catastrophic outage is a huge problem, but it is less frequent.


The insidious costs of outages and accidental damage


The Under-The-Radar Cost of individual laptop yearly outages can cost more than one major outage every two years. Really? It all comes down to the math,  the costs, and the meantime to failure statistics for laptops. Even worse, the EPA now disallows lead solder causing cracking in laptop motherboards sooner.

Laptop costs – personal laptops (non-Apple) with spinning hard-drives are $350. However, business-laptops with solid-state hard drives are $800 fully loaded, and Apple devices are $1,200+.



Employee time off the job when they have a major laptop outage.

Whether employees:

  • take their laptop to a repair shop or buy a new laptop
  • get the Microsoft reinstalled
  • get the data reloaded,

it will take over 1.5 days for the employee to get back online and working again. Some times for some people it will take less time but some most folks it will take 1.5 days if everything goes perfectly – while getting paid.



Meantime to failure

According to some leading industry information, the average laptop will have a major failure every three years. So,

  • if you have a 100-person company
  • you will be you can expect 33 outages per year at 1.5 days per each employee
  • 33 outages X 1.5 days = 48.5 days of paying people to do nothing and you are buying or repairing the laptop.


Conclusion, your average hidden cost is over $35,000 per year

If you and your employees average making $40,000 per year X 1.3 benefits/taxes factor = $52,000 loaded costs. Or $200 per business day. $200 per day X 1.5 = $300 per outage in waste payroll cost. $300 X 33 = $9,900. Plus, 33 new laptops = $26,400. So the total average yearly hidden cost is $36,300 per year.



Mike Dunn is a partner with Carolinas Cloud, which is a Managed IT Cloud company that provides ”out-sourced IT” for business customers. Carolinas Cloud helps Carolinas-based companies save money with cost avoidance, increase employee productivity, and increase security by smartly using customized cloud-based IT solutions. Mike started Charlotte’s second computer instruction company while in college. That led him into a 24-year career as a Major Accounts Account Manager with BellSouth/AT&T handling both large government and commercial accounts, most of which he had for over 19 years. In addition to business cloud services, Carolinas Cloud offers Dev Ops consulting and IT Business Analysis/Cost Justification consulting on a fee basis. If you have questions about this column or have questions about your IT, reach out to Mike at or 704-408-8050. Carolinas Cloud is a “Microsoft Partner | Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions” provider.