Information technology (IT) manages and operates the hardware, software, and network that allows information to be collected, shared, stored, and accessed. It’s central to current workplace operations—regardless whether it’s a small business or a global enterprise. However, companies may struggle with IT downtime when there’s no efficient IT management plan.
What Is An IT Downtime?
IT downtime is any unplanned interruption in using IT systems. The causes of IT downtime include natural disasters, computer viruses, human error, and hardware failure.
The cost of IT downtime can be high. For example, if a business has to shut down for one day due to a virus or other malware infection, this could cost them thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Importance Of Efficient IT Management Plan
The IT department is one of the most crucial departments in any organization. It is responsible for keeping all the systems running smoothly and efficiently, from servers and networks to desktops and laptops. In case of any issues or problems, it is the responsibility of the IT team to fix them.
Hiring a credible IT support service provider for round-the-clock support should be one of the first things enterprises should look into. With many companies offering IT-related services, you must distinguish IT staff augmentation vs managed IT services to select which one model best fits your business.
Ways To Avoid IT Downtime
Below are some courses of action that can be taken to avoid IT downtime in the workplace. Ideally, your IT team should be the one to perform these tasks.
1. Have A Backup Plan
Make sure you have an offsite backup of all your company’s data. You never know when disaster might strike, so having a backup will save you time and money if something goes wrong. External hard drives can be an excellent option for storing your data in an emergency, but if you want to ensure that your files are safe from natural disasters and cyber attacks, consider cloud storage solutions.
Your backup plan must include the following considerations:
- A Secondary Site: If you have more than one facility, consider using a secondary site as your backup location. This way, if there’s an issue with your primary location, your employees can still do their jobs and access the necessary data from the secondary site.
- A Remote Access Solution: This service enables your employees to securely access network resources from any location using a virtual private network connection or other secure communications channel.
- A Clear Disaster Recovery Plan: Your plan should include detailed instructions on how employees will respond in an emergency and what steps the management and IT personnel need to follow to access the backup data and continue operations as quickly as possible after an outage occurs.
2. Test Your Backup System Regularly
Another essential step to avoid IT downtime in your workplace is testing your backup system regularly. Doing so lets you know exactly how long your networks will come back online after an outage and what works best when restoring data from backups after a crash or power outage.
Test the speed at which your employees can access their files if they’re stored on a cloud server or other remote location. You can do this by shutting down the server for a few minutes and letting employees re-access their files. This will give you an idea of how quickly they can get up and running in case of a power outage or other disruption affecting your business’s IT infrastructure. An important thing to note is that tests should be conducted outside active hours.
3. Always Update Your Software
One of the most common causes of downtime is outdated software, so you must update any software regularly. Failure to update your operating system or antivirus software regularly can lead to data loss and other issues that are very costly.
Updating software is not that complicated. You can set up automatic updates so that you are always working with the latest software versions. For software updates that take a lot of time, it’s best to schedule them on weekends.
4. Invest In Firewalls
If any device in your office has been infected with a virus or other malicious software, it could cause severe damage to your entire network and even result in a full-on cyber-attack on your company’s network.
To secure your office computers, it is crucial to invest in firewalls and antivirus software to protect all devices against these threats in real time. When choosing firewalls, you must ensure that they are compatible with all of the computers currently used by your employees. If you have outdated systems, there could be problems when trying to get them up and running again after an attack.
Since the advent of information age, IT has become an indispensable component in business operations. IT downtime can significantly affect your entire organization by making you vulnerable to data threats and reducing the productivity of your staff. You should not only have an IT team at your service but also an efficient IT management plan to avoid IT downtime. By taking the time to devise a plan for addressing downtime, you can save a substantial amount of money in the long run. Other advantages of avoiding IT downtime include maintaining workplace morale, brand image, and customer satisfaction.