Avoiding Catastrophe This Winter: Proactive IT Support
Whilst winter officially begins in December, this recent cold weather got us thinking about how we are prepared to deal with the changing weather conditions and what our clients could do to ensure they’re proactively dealing with potential IT issues.
You may first be thinking about how the worst snow could do to your business is stop some of your staff getting in, however, there are many other factors which can impact your IT infrastructure. For example, three years ago towns in the North of England suffered severe flooding which caused homes and businesses to evacuate, with many businesses forced to rebuild entirely after losing entire systems.
So, have you got a contingency plan in place?
Can Your Employees Work From Home?
These days, our homes can become remote offices, simply connect to your company server and away you go. Unfortunately, if this is not something you commonly practise, you may be unaware if your company network is secure, which can leave the data and information being sent back and forth vulnerable to interception.
Installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will ensure company privacy and allow you to freely transfer information back and forth without fear of interception. This can be tricky to install if you have little experience doing so, but an IT Specialist should be able to perform this task quickly and accurately for you.
If you are a smaller business, you may not have a company server, but making a small investment into online tools and packages such as Office 365 and Dropbox will enable your employees to work remotely and securely.
Are Your Devices Well Protected?
A device ‘underheating’ is much less likely to occur than overheating, but the results can be just as catastrophic for your business. Every piece of technology has a temperature range for safe operation and allowing your device to fall outside these parameters risks a malfunction.
It goes without saying, but leaving your device in a car overnight is a serious mistake. For starters, your vehicle can be broken into and your device with company information stolen, but the temperature inside of your vehicle can reach minus figures which may damage the hard drive.
Similarly, your office may be a converted garage or a conservatory which is kept warm and cosy during the day, but at night, when the temperatures plummet and the heating is turned off, this space can be just as cold as outside – don’t leave your devices here.
Are You Taking Regular Back-Ups?
You hear this all the time, but people still don’t take proactive action. Taking regular back-ups of your system can help get your business back online quickly should the worst case scenario happen. Remember the floods that we mentioned earlier? Several businesses suffered for a long time because their systems crashed and without a back-up available, they, in essence, had to start again.
If you are using the Cloud, then your files will backup automatically. You could also take hard drive backups, but if you keep it in the same location as the original files, if something happens in your office (such as a flood), then you lose both copies.
The best option in this scenario is to find a support company who can manage your backups for you and will be able to restore your data if you ever needed it.
What Happens In An Emergency IT Situation?
If you are a large business you should have an IT support contract in place so that in an emergency situation measures are in place to get you back to work with very little downtime. If you are a small business, having a support contract may not yet be feasible, but Omicron Solutions are available to work in an emergency situation on an ad hoc basis.
See our Emergency Support page, and get in touch to see how we can help you in your hour of need.