Every business owner understands how bad downtime is for the company and the bottom line. It doesn’t matter what the cause is, any downtime has a negative effect. This is exactly why business owners create plans and put measures in place to help limit the amount of downtime. One of the more common causes of downtime in businesses of all sizes and across all industries is IT-related issues. Incredibly, such a small problem can lead to a massive shutdown and huge losses – both to productivity and profits.
If this sounds familiar and you want to limit the amount of IT-related downtime your business suffers from, these tips can help.
Make Sure Devices and Software are Updated Regularly
The first tip is to make sure that updates are performed regularly. This means device and software updates, which can be often depending on the item. Ignoring updates leaves things open to potential cyber threats and attacks, the software not working properly, and efficiency issues. Staff should also be informed of the importance of performing updates.
Are Your Server Backups Working Properly?
As part of a company’s contingency plan, backups on the server need to take place. But what happens if that backup isn’t working properly and suddenly things were to go down? How much data would you lose? Experts suggest you check your server backup often, making sure it’s doing its job and there are no issues.
Use the Cloud as Much as Possible
And speaking of storage, the fear of downtime and losing data is exactly why businesses will want to move as much data to the cloud as possible. When data is stored in the cloud, the IT hardware in the office doesn’t matter. If it goes down, you haven’t lost everything. Authorised employees can access that data from any device, even out of the office. This can drastically reduce how much of an impact downtime has on a company.
Upgrade Hardware as Needed
Along with updating the software, the hardware also needs to be upgraded. Companies will want to keep careful track of the age of the various devices so they can be replaced before they start causing too big of issues. Computers and laptops have average lifespans that can be tracked, giving business owners a general idea of when this hardware should be replaced.
Chances are by the time you’re ready to upgrade the hardware, it probably isn’t as useful and efficient as it was when you first bought/leased it.
Create a Maintenance Schedule That Is Strictly Followed
Just as you keep your car in good working condition by following a set maintenance schedule, the same can be said about your IT devices. All IT should have a set maintenance schedule that is strictly adhered to prevent issues from happening. This can include patches, updates, and even upgrades. The goal should be to catch the red flags when they pop up, rather than letting them spiral out of control and lead to downtime.
Do Your Employees Have Adequate Training?
Sometimes the problem is not the IT devices and software; rather, it is the employees. If your employees haven’t been trained properly and aren’t offered the right kind of support, then they can’t perform to their peak levels. Employees need initial training when hired, when new IT is introduced, and new systems and processes are adopted. It’s also a good idea to hold refresher training sessions from time to time, just to ensure that everyone has the same information and tools at their fingertips.
Have You Done a Risk Audit?
This can also be a great opportunity to conduct a risk audit of your IT systems and equipment. This audit will highlight any areas of concern so that you can act on them promptly.
Hire Professional IT Support
For businesses that don’t have a dedicated IT department and don’t want to hire full-time staff, it can make sense to outsource the IT support, especially if a business needs Construction IT Support services. Texaport is a company that specializes in providing comprehensive business IT solutions, offering a wide range of services to meet the unique needs of each client. They can help you with IT strategy planning, offer unlimited IT help desk capabilities, and put together solutions that work for your company’s specific requirements.
The other great thing about outsourcing is that you don’t have to deal with training new employees, making sure you have the equipment needed for the IT support department, and ensuring they are up-to-date with the latest technology and practices. It’s a convenient and simple solution for businesses of all sizes.
Downtime Is Never Good for a Business
Downtime can pose a very real and serious challenge to businesses, so it’s naturally something they want to limit as much as possible. Using all of these steps can help to cut down on the amount of downtime suffered, even eliminating it.