Network downtime is a menace in today’s business world. According to reports, an estimated one-third of businesses deal with network disruptions every month, and related losses can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Although the impact of downtime varies, depending on the size and nature of the business, any form of outage can adversely affect your bottom line. And, more often than not, the time it takes to bring systems back online will make the difference between a quick and painless recovery, and the potential demise of your company.
Thankfully, you can significantly minimize the number of incidents and the associated costs with the right strategy. Below are three excellent ways to accomplish precisely that.
Effective downtime management entails identifying and solving incidents before they cause serious problems. Without the right technology, however, ensuring timely response for human IT workers, especially those in larger enterprises becomes next to impossible.
Automation will enable you to identify, evaluate, prioritize and address every incident accordingly and on time. If an incident requires human attention, a proper network monitoring software will intuitively flag the issue and assign it to the appropriate staff. And if the problem persists or remains unattended, an automated alert would then be sent to the system administrator demanding immediate escalation.
#2. Full Transparency
Everyone in your IT department, particularly senior staff, must be constantly aware of the status of the systems and the personnel on duty for each section. A unified staff management dashboard provides visibility and transparency and promotes problem ownership for a more efficient response. Keeping your staff connected and communicating at all times will help you to identify which team member is available for which incident, and where they stand at any one moment.
#3. Best Practices
You might be used to only looking at systems when they fail, but when it comes to managing an enterprise network, frequent maintenance is the key to preventing unexpected failure. A routine maintenance schedule will help you to ensure that your network infrastructure, servers and storage drives remain in peak condition, and any potential points of failure are detected and addressed to before they become costly problems.
Additionally, all software components must be updated and configured properly. Make sure your networks are secure to prevent outsider attacks and keep your customer/public WIFI networks separate from your internal business infrastructure.
In the server room, label as many ports and cables as possible, so that if your primary IT support staff member is unavailable, the next person on call would be able to take over and address the problem quickly. You may also want to post the names and contact information for IT staff and consultants somewhere that is visible and accessible to all your employees so that the required professionals are contacted quickly in case of a network emergency.
Lastly, don’t forget to log network downtime incidents and preserve reports detailing how specific problems are solved. You will save your business significant work-hours when/if the same issue recurs if the response team knows what works and what doesn’t through past experience.
Keeping your business network 100 percent downtime-proof may be virtually impossible, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get close to the mark. Implement the tips above correctly, and give your business a chance against network downtimes.