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I am writing an article about a service that is provided by my company and I really want to highlight the fact that it is a non-stop service, since it is active every single day of the year, 24 hours a day. Here is my approach:

Our service is provided in a 24/7/365 environment.

Do you know a more idiomatic way to express this concept or do you find this solution acceptable?

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  • 1
    In the US "24/7" is generally sufficient.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 4, 2016 at 11:49
  • 2
    (In fact, I find the recent "craze" of using "24/7/365" to be annoying, especially during leap year.)
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 4, 2016 at 11:57
  • An always on service?
    – bib
    Oct 4, 2016 at 12:36
  • @HotLicks - "Twenty four - seven - three sixty five point two four" just doesn't roll off the tongue quite as nicely.
    – cobaltduck
    Jan 12, 2017 at 16:17
  • 1
    If you are saying 365 days a year, why should the "7" be necesary? Just "24 hours a day, 365 days a year" should do it. Jan 13, 2017 at 15:19

4 Answers 4

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Technically your way is not (standard) English. Whether it is acceptable is completely subjective. Also, if you want a 'proper' idiomatic English way, one possibility is:

Our service is provided non-stop, day in and day out.

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The phrase "24/7" seems to be generally understood among an American English audience. If your intended audience is global, the idiomatic phrases should be avoided.

Your original example (Our service is provided in a 24/7/365 environment.) has several possible interpretations:

  • User support is available by phone 24 hours per day, every day
  • The service has not routine downtime
  • The service is trying to advertise 100% uptime
  • Your company is always working/busy (e.g. you have researchers working overnight, but user support is only available during the day)
  • Your organization does not recognize leap years and all employees get an extra day off every 4 years

In most cases, I try to re-write 24/7 to be more specific about the product or service I'm talking about.

Examples

Product X user support is available 24/7.

Service Y has 24/7 uptime.

Support is available 24/7 at example.org.

Service Z is available 24/7 except holidays.

Customer service is available 24/7

verses

Product X user support is available any time of day, every day.

Service Y has no routinely scheduled downtime.

Documentation and other resources are available at example.org

Product X user support is available any time of day, every day.1 (List specific holidays or unavailability details in footnote.)

Customer service is available any time of day, every day, including holidays.

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  • The problem with 24/7 is that it isn't clear about "special" days. There are plenty of 24/7 shops that close on Christmas. Hence I understand the OP's desire for something clearer.
    – AndyT
    Jan 12, 2017 at 17:26
  • @AndyT In those cases, you probably need a footnote, since what "holiday" varies by company and region (I added this to the examples). If the goal is to be complete and unambiguous, you'd need to list those specific details. Jan 12, 2017 at 17:32
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    My point was that if I hear "24/7", without further clarification, I don't think it means 24 hours a day 365.25 days a year. Therefore in order to be clear, the OP would need to say "24/7 including holidays". (NB This may be due to my own interpretation of 24/7, I'm not sure how common this interpretation is.)
    – AndyT
    Jan 13, 2017 at 9:15
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    @AndyT I've added that example. Either way, it seems clear that 24/7 is ambiguous and in most cases the writer should probably think about the specifics and re-write. Jan 13, 2017 at 10:42
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There are two things to consider. Firstly, 24/7 implies also the 365 part, it means all the time already. (ODO) This is the time the service is generally supposed to be available.

Our service is available 24/7.

Secondly, if this is a high-availability IT scenario there is also the reliability. Usually that actual availability of a service during the service hours is defined by number of nines. Planned outages are usually not part of that calculation.

Our service is available 24/7, with a five nines reliability. Maintenance discussed separately.

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  • +1. I think the five nines (99.999) availability approach is the correct answer - suggest expand that part
    – k1eran
    Jan 12, 2017 at 17:02
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    The problem with 24/7 is that it isn't clear about "special" days. There are plenty of 24/7 shops that close on Christmas. Hence I don't believe it does imply 365 days a year, and I understand the OP's desire for something clearer.
    – AndyT
    Jan 12, 2017 at 17:26
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Your service has a 100% uptime.

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  • Only write that if you want to get sued into oblivion.
    – Helmar
    Oct 4, 2016 at 11:49
  • @Helmar: My background is not law. Nor should that be an expectation. Other than that I feel it is a good suggestion to consider. No? Oct 4, 2016 at 11:59

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