In today’s data-driven world, everything is dependent on the digital systems connected to the internet. Everything is only a click away, whether you have to attend a meeting overseas or download customer data.
But have you ever thought about what will happen if the information technology (IT) system crashes?
Cybercriminals sometimes break into the network to hack the system and steal sensitive information. Likewise, technical glitches and bugs in the software can also cause the entire system to crash.
After all, IT outages have become quite common in the 21st century, leading to massive downtime. It is a period during which business functions come to a halt because of technical glitches.
As entire workflows depend on IT systems, downtime can be disruptive and costly for the business. In addition to the loss of productivity, entrepreneurs can lose a lot of money, leading to low profitability.
So now, the question is how to overcome glitches and reduce downtime? Have a look below.
Here are six tech solutions to minimize IT system downtime.
1. Test Backup System Regularly
Did any of the business files get deleted accidentally? These human errors are inevitable when dealing with technology.
However, not having a backup available can lead to prolonged downtime, hindering productivity. As a business owner, it is your job to install backup systems. It would be more like a proactive approach to keeping the data secure.
In addition, having a backup will help you overcome all security concerns related to data theft.
Once the backup system gets installed, you have to test it regularly to ensure it is functional. Then, in case of errors or bugs, you can contact IT maintenance services and get the problem sorted immediately.
After all, you don’t want to lose all the data that business has worked so hard to create. Besides this, you can even keep copies of your data off-site.
2. Provide Training to Employees
As employees are the backbone of every organization, you have to ensure they are up-to-date with technology. In addition, they need proper training regarding the use of technology to prevent any human error that leads to downtime.
For starters, explain cybersecurity protocols to your employees. Perhaps, you can tell them about potential phishing attacks and how hackers disguise themselves to steal information.
Likewise, explain to them the importance of IT policies and procedures. Furthermore, educate them about the new systems and software solutions.
For instance, if your company has switched to inventory management software, ensure every employee learns to operate it. Providing such staff training will ensure they can maintain the systems by themselves.
This will reduce the time workers spend fixing personal computers, reducing possible downtime and improving productivity.
3. Update All Devices
Usually, entrepreneurs think their job finishes after installing a high-profile IT system, but it is only the beginning. Once the system is installed, you have to update it with the latest software solutions.
Otherwise, it will become vulnerable to malware, bugs, and cyberattacks. After all, older systems are easy to hack. Hence, keep all of your devices updated to ensure the system never crashes and there is no downtime.
For starters, secure your endpoints. Install antivirus at endpoints if you have programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or intelligent electronic devices (IEDs).
It will filter out unnecessary traffic from the communication channels that lead to cyberattacks. Likewise, secure your network with firewalls to protect the communication protocol.
4. Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan
Truthfully, every business is susceptible to downtime despite having an intelligent IT system.
Therefore, you must stay prepared when any such thing happens. And for that, you have to develop a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
It will outline the steps and actions employees have to take in case the system crashes. In addition, it will list protocols that can help reduce downtime.
Furthermore, the disaster recovery plan can also address risks specifically associated with the company.
If a business has tons of data stored in Excel, one of the disaster recovery strategies could be to make better use of Cloud Services.
Even if employees lose access to an in-house server, they can still access data from Cloud, ensuring no workflow disruption.
Lastly, you must include trial tests in the disaster recovery plan to determine if any areas have glitches and need an update.
5. Deploy Scalable Infrastructure
Do you accept payments online? Everyone does, no? However, some companies have lagging servers that take forever to load. These are not only unappealing to customers but drive conversions away.
Therefore, you have to scale and balance workloads across different servers to process transactions quickly. Let us explain how load balancing works.
Load balancing is when there is one node missing. For instance, if one node processes files, the other can respond to the request. In simple words, it is like multi-tasking.
Thus, it will ensure the system has an infrastructure balanced to cope with demand. Also, it is easily scalable, reducing the need for any planned downtime.
6. Integrate Active-Active Clustering
Sometimes, the system crashes due to heavy file size and extensive workloads, leading to substantial downtime. Having active-active clusters reduce workloads by balancing the server across different networks.
It minimizes the workload on one system while distributing the data equally across the web. It can also spread the workload across digital networks despite the geographical boundaries.
Some organizations also use active-passive clusters, but they are far more costly. In addition, they require a hardware-heavy approach reliant on redundant servers.
And these servers only come into action when the primary system fails. Also, these are less secure than active-active clusters.
Hence, if you use clusters for your core IT systems, integrate active-active clustering without hesitation to reduce downtime.
Truthfully, downtime will always be a threat to business continuity. Therefore, every organization must reduce downtime and ensure maximum productivity levels.
Perhaps, they can deploy more tech-savvy tools that are less prone to getting crashed.
Likewise, they can integrate new methods to reduce system load and ensure optimal performance.
Initiatives like backup testing, disaster recovery plans, and scalable infrastructure can also come in handy in reducing downtime. All you have to do is see what works best for your business model.