Mac users will be well aware of the “spinning wheel of death” or the “rainbow wheel”. That damn frustrating, continuous spinning, caused when you open too many programs or when your network or Internet connection is lagging. PC users will know this as a spinning cursor – the dead time when you wait for a program to load or page to open.

spinning-wheel-mac

That spinning wheel means much more than a slow response from your computer, the program or web page you are trying to open. It’s eating away at your business profits. It should be sending alarm bells to every business.

Spinning Wheel Of Leaking Profits

Not just frustrating for any employee trying to get work done, that spinning wheel effects businesses from office desktops right up to the next board meeting on profits. It should be a danger sign to any business owner or CEO, because it means downtime.

This downtime might be milliseconds at a time, seconds every hour or worse, minutes a day. These precious seconds and minutes ultimately add up to loss of workplace productivity, output and crucially, profits. As the age old saying goes; “time is money” and computer, network or Internet lag, is time that an employee can not perform the services they are paid for.

Spinning Wheels Hurt Silicon Valley Businesses More

This couldn’t be more important for Silicon Valley companies, the most expensive area in the United States to rent commercial office space (even more than Manhattan). Silicon Valley companies and businesses also put a working roof over the heads of some of the highest paid employees in the world.

Image courtesy of catherinehendricks.com

Image courtesy of catherinehendricks.com

How much is it costing Silicon Valley companies?

Likely, more than you think. Here is a very basic example; let’s say our Data Scientist, (we’ll call him Bob), earns the average salary of a Silicon Valley Data Scientist of $200,000 a year. Data is a hot commodity now as companies need people to manage and make decisions from user data.

On average, Bob works 45 hours a week for fifty weeks of the year…..which is 2250 hours (135,000 minutes) in the workplace, equalling an hourly rate of $88.88. Note: this is an estimate on average working hours for this position. We found a wealth of information on salaries in Silicon Valley, however information on average working hours was difficult to find).

Bobs hates when he sees that spinning wheel on his Mac. What an unwelcome distraction from his data management software, not to mention a delay on his data backup service. His company has a very solid business grade Internet connection usually, but the growing amount of data that Bob deals with on a day to day basis is slowing things down.

Bob decides to tally all the time his wheel spins in a day;

  • 3 minutes total over his 9 hour working day =
  • 15 minutes a week =
  • 750 minutes in his fifty week working year = 12.5 hours a year Bob spends waiting to work while….at work. Zero productivity.

These 12.5 hours a year (longer if Bob works more hours) for which Bob is compensated for, at his average hourly rate of $88.88 = $1,111 per year, for a 0% return to the business.

Nothing against Bob – he is an expert in his trade and this is what he signed up for. But as a business owner, CEO, CTO or IT Director, the overall financial impact and effect on efficiency is much larger. That’s only Bob who’s waiting to get back to work. Think about  the size of your work force 10? 20? 50? 100? 1,000? 10,000? That spinning wheel adds up to a big time cost and a sink hole of productivity.

Learn About Latency At Your Business

Lessening spinning wheels and these small increments of “downtime” across a business network is achieved with lower latency. Latency can apply to both networks, fiber optics and computers. Go ahead and read the exact definition, here.

latency

Image courtesy of soundonsound.com

What’s a good level of latency? It depends. Generally, the lower the better. It means less downtime and less spinning wheels. As a benchmark, we have achieved a 4ms latency for a large business customer with our fiber optic internet service.

Go ahead and ask your IT department about latency the next time Mr Spinny Wheel pops up. Remember to always report or raise a ticket with your IT Department if you’re experiencing slow responses or this sort of downtime multiple times a day.

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