To be successful, businesses need to operate with as few technological disruptions as possible. After all, you can’t make money if your employees can’t work or your customers can’t pay you.
Eliminating technology-caused downtime is something that every business desires, but there are so many factors that affect your IT structure that avoiding downtime altogether can seem impossible. Luckily, we’ll share some steps that go a long way toward maximizing your business’s uptime.
Train Your Staff
Many IT problems actually are caused by people, not faulty technology, so it’s important make certain that your employees are comfortable with your Information Technology systems.
What should your staff be trained on to curb this source of disruptions? Focus training on these three areas:
- Cybersecurity: Even if you have the best antivirus software available, employees can be a gateway for hackers to get into your systems if they fall prey to phishing attacks, use weak passwords or other lax security practices, or click on or download suspicious, malware-carrying links or programs. When you train your employees to recognize potential cyber threats and suspicious online activity and to use strong security practices, you’re sealing the gap that cyber criminals most often exploit. Taking preventive measures now to enhance your cybersecurity could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours of downtime in the future.
- Best IT Practices: Some employees may overload systems or leave your networks vulnerable due to simple lack of knowledge about best IT practices to follow. At the beginning of their employment, you should provide training that shares best practices for storing and transferring data, caring for hardware, and specific instructions for using any industry-specific programs they’ll be using.
- Using Technology Efficiently: Even employees who are experienced in many areas of technology may struggle with a new program. Before tossing them into the ring, make sure your employees have had time to ask questions and be trained on efficient use of their technology.
Even if they don’t necessarily cause system crashes, if employees are slowed down because they don’t understand how to use equipment efficiently, they’ll be hampering your business. So it’s worth taking the time to give a little extra training that will help your employees work harmoniously with their technology.
Protect Against Security Breaches
One major concern for businesses today is securing systems against data breaches and cyberattacks. No matter what your business’s type or size, it’s more likely than not that your business will be targeted by cyberattacks at some point in its lifetime; In 2018, the Ponemon Institute reported that two out of three small to medium-sized businesses suffered a cyberattack within the last year, causing eight or more hours of downtime among 40% of businesses. And that number is only going up.
To save your business time and money, you need to have adequate cybersecurity measures in place that will anticipate attacks as they evolve and consistently monitor your systems.
Configure Your Systems Correctly
There are also occasions when system failures can be caused by a business’s failure to configure their systems correctly. Even a small mistake could have a large effect on a business’s operations. If you are unsure how to configure your systems correctly, IT specialists can help you with this critical function.
Keep Equipment Updated
Outdated technology, both software and hardware, can cause your systems to lag, become overloaded, and crash, resulting in costly downtime for your business. To maximize uptime, you should make sure that your systems are kept up to date with new operating systems, security patches, and upgrades, and that your hardware is replaced when it starts lagging or otherwise requires replacement.
That’s not to say you need to go and buy new equipment every year; some equipment is built to last, and your hardware may still have years left in it. But an IT consultant can share industry norms with you about how long equipment should be kept and provide recommendations when equipment does need to be replaced.
Prepare For Power Failures
There usually isn’t much you can do to prevent a power failure should one occur due to extreme weather or other drastic circumstances. But you can plan for them effectively by ensuring that you have a backup generator ready to kick in when the power goes out. When your business is reliant on electricity (and what business isn’t today?), a power failure can be disastrous if you’re unprepared. But if you think ahead, you can avoid even those frustrating moments of downtime caused by power failures.
Work With The Best IT Provider
Finally, one of the very best ways to avoid downtime and keep things running smoothly is to enlist the help of an outstanding IT service provider. When you have the support and IT services of an experienced team on your side, you can be certain that professionals will configure your systems, advise you on equipment to use, help train your staff, implement cybersecurity measures, and prepare your systems for any emergency, giving your business its maximum amount of productive uptime.