Here are some savvy moves to eradicate IT downtime

Tech

“Crisis costs” are often a key reason for start-up failure, as poorly managed IT has a way of becoming a cash flow vacuum when it fails.

Technology might be the superpower of today’s workspaces, but the deflation IT downtime brings is often costly and furiously frustrating. The IT experience never truly comes bug-free, as hardware components fail over time, and constant updating and re-inventing in the arena demand a perpetual vigilance to keep everything running smoothly.

IT allows us to compete with far larger competitors, connect with our customers, and enhance productivity in almost any business niche imaginable. All businesses will taste IT downtime during their lifespan, but the successful ones use several systems to limit fallout when those dark hours descend.

“Crisis costs” are often a key reason for start-up failure, as poorly managed IT has a way of becoming a cash flow vacuum when it fails, sucking in every other financial consideration as it tumbles downhill. Spending several thousand an hour in a panicked attempt to repair the damage isn’t uncommon under these circumstances.

It ultimately becomes a matter of resolving the issue before the money runs out and the doors close for good. Salvation lies in technical support proactively anticipating problems and having a management plan outlining responsibility for when it does.

Being prepared to maintain a few simple behaviors now can be the difference between being in business next year while your competitors close their doors. That’s how real and grisly IT failures can be. If you want your business to grow, learn more about how to resolve tech issues, and lead a team effectively, find out more.

Installing professionally monitored antivirus and firewalls

Almost all businesses insist they have these two aspects of online security sorted. However, many business owners or CEOs haven’t grasped the depth that lies behind these seemingly standard items. The idea of having proactive monitoring of firewalls and antivirus has been lost in the ad speak of much of these apps, as they create the impression all you have to do is load it, connect, and off you go. Truly embracing the concept of proactive human monitoring of antivirus software or the company firewall is still anathema for many companies.

SMEs are a primary target for cybercriminals. Malware, ransomware, or a blunt hack are often foisted upon smaller companies, as criminals anticipate there’s been no budgetary allocation for monitored IT management in these organizations. One of the principal benefits of professional technical support is all “auto” functions (and their potential for system corruption) become scheduled and monitored in action. Company-wide protocols are established, eliminating piecemeal updates and tweaks, while also eliminating the potential for any single user to wilfully – or accidentally – contaminate the entire system.

downtime

The idea of having proactive monitoring of firewalls and antivirus has been lost in the ad speak of much of these apps.

Ensuring reliable backups are in place

Great, effective backups that save your skin when needed protect you from viruses, including ransomware and hardware failures. Proper backing up also mitigates real-time threats like fire and flood damage, and burglary. Companies would do well to practice a three-tier backup system.

First, a data copy should exist on the server, as the system constantly backs up user information to the central server. Second, a copy should exist either in the cloud or on a hardware device that remains disconnected from daily business (if it’s in the office). And third, a backup copy should be maintained wholly offsite, and here many companies do opt for storage in the cloud.

The potential for an intruder to immediately begin overwriting cloud-stored data (uploaded on autopilot) remains, however, hence some companies will have both cloud storage (offsite) and hardware storage offsite, too.

Being strict on the issue means that in the event of system corruption, a recent legitimate backup is immediately available to enable workflow and business as usual. The most common scenario, especially among smaller companies, is a debilitating incident sends them limping along for days – sometimes weeks – losing revenue all the while. Crisis management in IT is only for the blissfully ignorant, as a rolling IT system collapse can bankrupt the budget in no time while destroying the business standing that often takes years to establish.

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Plan for managed failure

No one enjoys pessimism, but real-time incidents of flooding and fire happen across the globe, and data ransoming is unfortunately increasing, not decreasing. Do employees understand what’s needed under these dark circumstances? Savvy companies ensure a detailed and all-encompassing recovery plan is in place and understood by all company members.

Often, the difference between an attempted breach and a wholesale ransacking and collapse hinges on getting back up to speed quickly with minimal downtime. Any decent disaster recovery plan needs to identify priority systems and outline every employee’s responsibilities, as well as list the reporting chain of internal communication to be followed.

Constant hardware checks make early detection a cinch

Computing hardware has a way of signaling aging and imminent failure. If the tech isn’t your core specialty these indicators often go unrecognized. Simple indicators like new noises or a gradual reduction in speed over time, as well as more frequent minor crashes, are all clues that should prompt immediate inspection. It’s an old story – pay a little upfront to avoid disaster or pay whatever is needed when IT collapses.

Few businesses run a fleet of vehicles without comprehensive insurance or leave the office without locking up. The same wisdom applies to IT systems; relatively unseen background monitoring is common sense. Global statistics might list a business average of “just” 43 hours down per annum, but those figures don’t point to how much credibility, money, and new business you’re losing in that window.

The savviest companies reduce risk at every turn, and nowhere more so than in the IT arena. If you’d like to find out more about shedding the fear and enjoying your IT for what it really should be, get technical support from professionals who make it their daily bread thwarting online, app, and hardware nasties, to help you maintain business fitness and keep the flag flying high.

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