Ideally, you should be so well-prepared that you wouldn’t have any system disruptions in the first place.
However, unpredictable problems crop up every now and then no matter what you do. When that happens, you want to minimize the damage and keep productivity high. Here’s how.
Know Your System Weaknesses
When a network or connection does fail, the first thing you need to do is to identify where and why it happened. Is it a blown fuse? A damaged cable? A widespread grid failure in the area? The sooner you identify the point of issue, the sooner you can get it fixed.
Prepare your business for downtime scenarios by examining its weak points in advance. Consider things like:
- Cable management,
- The condition of your wiring,
- Local grid capacity,
- IoT security measures etc.
Periodically upgrade your office connections and network setup to keep the system balanced and minimize risks.
Have Backup Power
Even if your installations are fine, power outages can still happen due to various other reasons, like nearby construction work. That’s why it would be smart to invest in a stable generator. You need to have a reliable power source independent of the grid, even if only a temporary one.
However, generators don’t come online the moment an outage happens. It usually takes them anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. That’s not a lot of time, but it could cost you hours’ worth of unsaved work.
To minimize this problem, equip your business with an Uninterruptible Power Supply. It’s a backup battery for your IT system which starts up the instant your regular power source goes offline. In other words, there won’t be any interruption to productivity.
However, an Uninterruptible Power Supply has limited capacity. They can’t last longer than a few hours. Don’t rely on a UPS as your main backup, just use it to smooth over the transition from the grid to the generator.
Keep an Eye on the Weather Patterns
You might not consider disruptions due to weather unless your business directly deals with the weather – e.g. airline transport – but it can have a significant influence. For example, the humidity and warmth in the Sydney area last month were higher than average, and there was heavy rain.
Heatwaves and unusually wet weather pose a risk to the electrical grid. They can cause power outages over a large area, and that indeed hinders business. If your area is cut off from power, you risk physical damage to equipment, as well as data loss.
In addition, in situations like those, business networks aren’t the priority for backup supplies. Access to any available electricity will first be granted to emergency services, hospitals, etc. If you experience connectivity issues due to inclement weather, call up an emergency electrician in Artarmon, Willoughby, or whichever area is the most accessible to you.
House Your Data in the Cloud
Office servers are one of the biggest disruption liabilities. If anything ever happens to your local network, you could stand to lose immense amounts of data. Of course, you can always arrange for emergency server support, but it is better to avoid the problem altogether. Round up your essential documents and store them on a cloud server.
These are housed in colocation centers, which are designed to be safe from disaster. There’s on-site security, and the locations are typically engineered to resist or withstand natural calamities. In addition, your data will be backed up to several geographic areas. That way it won’t be lost if the primary center location is hit by an earthquake or some other destructive event.
Have Backup Internet
Internet outages are potentially even more disruptive than “traditional” power supply interruptions because they’re far more unpredictable. You could lose your connection to the web due to anything, from large-scale natural disasters, through nearby road work, to an employee accidentally tripping over a cable.
You want to have an internet failover in place. If your primary service experiences any downtime, your communications and data will be automatically rerouted to your backup network. You have several connection types to choose from:
Whichever one you opt for, make sure it is entirely independent of your primary. In other words, it’s not enough to just have a wired setup for when your wireless fails. You want to go with a different provider and use a different network carrier.
Written by Mike Johnston