IT Managers: How to Use the Holidays to Optimize IT Operations

Tips on using the downtime to set up your operations for maximum efficiency after the holiday. Plus: don't forget to take a break!

Holiday spirit is in the air and you and your colleagues are gearing up for the highly anticipated winter vacation. However, those in IT know that with the majority of staff out of the office, the holidays present a great opportunity to evaluate current IT systems and procedures and proactively prepare for the coming year. Some tips to make the most of the seasonal break:

1. Test your network backbone and electricity backup: Use the holidays to test your network switch failover, including internet access and essential service continuity, as well as all accessing application / services from outside the office. Also take this time to test your Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) load, readiness and capacity, and generator automatic ignition system and load.

2. Test your DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) solution: With users out of the office, there are no data changes, so now is a great time to make sure that everything works properly in case of an unexpected event. Simulate a complete electricity failure in your datacenter, complete a data lost condition that requires restore from backup, and initiate a site elimination that will force you to initialize all services from a remote site. Note: it is important to document all results, as this will be the foundation for future SLA and budget discussions with your CEO for next year.

3. Implement major infrastructure changes: The holidays are a great time to plan major infrastructure changes, including changes that are risky or require long downtime in order to be implemented. This will give you enough time to make changes - if necessary- or perform additional testing and fine-tuning to ensure proper completion. Some examples of major infrastructure changes include; storage upgrades, database migrations and electricity maintenance.

4. Take advantage of your remaining yearly budget: Buy new software or upgrade existing platforms, take advantage of professional training programs, or purchase new peripherals for your users to surprise them when they come back to work after the holidays.

5. Proactively replace old equipment: Check and replace any old or damaged equipment before it breaks down. This will help prevent unnecessary costs and hassles in the long-run.

6. Ensure your backup: It is critical that you review your backup strategy and test your backup consistency. Invest in a solid backup solution for both personal laptops and servers in the workplace. Continue to test your backup solution on a monthly basis to ensure that it will be in proper working order if needed.

7. Take a break: Although these activities will keep you quite busy, make sure to set aside time for quality time with family and friends this holiday season to recharge for the New Year. Hopefully, the pre-emptive measures you take will help offset some of the future challenges, but it’s important to take some time off to recuperate before the help desk requests come rolling in again.

This article is courtesy SysAid Technologies, a global provider of help desk solutions.




Tags: IT manager


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