24th April 2017
Businesses rely on their technology, but they need not live in fear of the disruption caused by a technological failure.
Reliable technology plays a vital role in business and even the most minor disturbances can be detrimental to the workplace. Not to mention the downtime, money and frustration that goes with it.
Almost all of us use technology on daily basis to network, keep our fingers on the pulse with industry news and updates and utilise online tools to get our jobs done efficiently. Our world has turned into one that’s fuelled by dependable technology which allows us to connect with anyone around us. Here’s a few top tips to avoid disruption and downtime in your workplace and achieve technological Nirvana.
IT Training for All
Having a reliable IT support department is always a powerful weapon in the fight against disruption, but IT training should not end here. Whilst every business should have external IT consultants on hand to deal with the bigger issues, regular relevant IT training across staff members can be handy. This enables key people within the business to have the tools they need to stay online and remain productive, while still leaving the technical stuff to the professionals.
Working with the right tech partner is an essential component of every successful business. Employers should be reviewing their digital and technology needs on a regular basis (at least once a year) to work on ways to improve these smart partnerships and tech outsourcing opportunities.
Implement an Update Schedule
You wouldn’t slow your business down by working with out of date hardware, and the same standards should be applied to your software. Implement a rolling schedule, enabling everyone to understand which pieces of software need to be updated and when. Not only does this keep everyone up to date, it also avoids any annoying down time while you wait for individual platforms to update. Having an IT specialist on board with things like this means you don’t have to worry about keeping your finger on the pulse for updates. Your IT specialist will remind you what needs to be done and when, and come into the office to make it happen and ensure all staff are up-to-date.
Foster an Anti-Virus Culture
Having robust anti-virus and anti-malware protection in place is a vital protection against cyber-crime, but it can be taken a step further. Regular briefings to make sure everyone understand their responsibilities when it comes to remaining virus free, and to ensure all members of staff are up to speed on the form an attack could take, further enhance the level of security. Keeping staff informed about the dangers of downloading from the internet is important and making sure they have approval beforehand. Staff should be aware of scams and potential virus threats to their computers to keep corporate work safe.
Regulate Password Standards
A straight-forward but effective tip; implement minimum standards for passwords on all devices and systems. Outlaw the use of easily identifiable information – such as pet’s name or partner’s birthdates – and make sure all passwords feature both upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Encourage staff to download programs like LastPass which can help to keep all passwords together utilising one master password. This is great for those employees that can’t keep track of all passwords or have a habit of locking themselves out of their own apps!
Use Only Secure Servers and Wireless Networks
As organisations grow, so do the duties and responsibilities placed on its servers and networks. It is up to you to scale these networks along with your organisation, to ensure that they retain the levels of security necessary to keep your company safe. An external IT service can help to keep servers and wireless networks secure and up-to-date.
Be Careful When Using Devices
Many organisations allow their staff to use personal devices at work, and, in doing so, reap the benefits of scope, capability and flexibility that such policies provide. However, there are also dangers. Using external or personal devices makes it difficult for businesses to keep track of security across all devices. Make sure a strong set of policies are in place to keep all devices in check and only key staff members have access to wireless passwords.
Take the Opportunity to Understand
Data rules everything these days, and technological disruption is no exception. Collect data from all your systems and devices – when are they likely to fail? What has caused these failures in the past? What is preventing problems from being sorted out quickly and efficiently? – and then put this data into practice. Understanding what is going wrong is the first step towards eliminating the problem. You can learn a lot of IT training and seminars for your business to keep everyone in check with what they need to do to play their part in keeping the business safe.
Regular Appraisals and the Right Partner
Keep checking; never stop checking. Make regular appraisals of your system and situation a major part of your routine and you will begin to see how much time, money and effort this proactive approach can save you in the long run. By conducting these regular reviews, appraisals and re-appraisals, you will find yourself one-step ahead of the bugs and issues that threaten to bring your systems – and business – crashing down.
Often, you will require a second perspective; an organisation with an external vantage point which can shed light on problems you may have missed. Investing in the right technology partner makes it far easier to keep your systems online and fighting fit than if you were to go it alone. Gain peer recommendations, scour industry reviews, and find yourself the business IT partner that can take your organisation’s systems to the next level.