are-you-ready-for-an-IT-emergencyIT emergencies happen, and usually at the worst possible times. When they come, are you prepared to deal with them? 

Can you prepare for something that is, by definition, unexpected and potentially catastrophic?

The answer to both questions should be yes.

But being prepared for an IT emergency is not the same as handling it on your own. The first step in coping with any IT mishap starts months, even years, before it happens. It’s called planning.

 

The Power of the IT Preparedness Plan

Having an IT emergency plan isn’t necessarily a complicated procedure. Your plan should cover the following areas:

Problem assessment

Basic troubleshooting

Designation of an IT point person

Next-step plans, if the problem can’t be solved in-house

Regular maintenance and testing

An assessment section helps you determine:

1) the source of the problem, and

2) the severity of the problem.

Without these, both you and your IT problem solver are headed for extra frustration.

As an example, let’s talk about a preparedness plan in the event of a PC power failure.

 

Stay Calm and Power On

So, you come into work one morning, and your computer won’t start.

You perform the first step of your plan almost immediately, in this case: your computer won’t turn on. Assessment done.

What’s the severity of the problem? Potentially pretty bad.

You move into the troubleshooting steps, starting with the basics. First of all, was the computer turned off?

Is the computer plugged in at the outlet? Is the power cord securely plugged into the computer? (Hey, it’s been known to come loose.)

You look at the monitor. If it’s not an all-in-one PC, is the monitor on? Are there any lights on at all?

If you’re using a power strip, is that turned on and plugged in? Next, try unplugging the computer power cord and connecting it directly to the wall.

Bingo! The problem was a faulty power strip; replace it as soon as you can, but by all means go on with your day as planned.

By fixing this problem yourself, you saved time and money, and the embarrassment of calling an IT professional just to find out your power strip needs replacing.

Here’s what this page on your IT emergency plan might look like:

Problem: Computer won’t turn on

Check:

PC is actually off (Verify all lights on PC and monitor are off)

PC is plugged into wall/power strip

Power cord is plugged into PC

Power strip is working

Verify outlet is working (using another non-sensitive electrical device, such as a lamp or radio)

Next step: Call TechSperts Services.

 

When It’s a Real IT Emergency

Sometimes, an IT emergency is patently obvious. A computer breaks. A network router dies.

Smoke starts pouring from your machine. Your computer gets a stubborn virus.

In these cases, your IT point person should be called in right away, and likely, he or she will opt to contact a pro. In this event, your best IT emergency plan is the plan itself.

So, your plan might have a series of routine maintenance and safeguards, as well as fallback positions in place before this happens. This section might read:

At 5pm daily, sync up data to cloud storage

In the event system crashes:

Power off and unplug the computer

Resume working on backup laptop

Download data to backup laptop

Sync data to cloud storage as usual

With your data synced to the cloud (or whatever backup storage solution you prefer), an IT disaster will be a little less of a disaster.

Yes, you might be in for expensive repairs, but you can still continue working with your vital data. Your business can still run while your repairs are being carried out.

 

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Contact Techsperts Services so we can help you!

Topics: Small Business, Best Practices, Featured, Managed Services

Robert McNicholas

Written by Robert McNicholas

Robert McNicholas, is CEO of Techspert Services. Connect with Techsperts on Twitter at @TechspertsJax. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.