The holidays are an important time when it comes to managing uptime and reducing downtime for most businesses. Downtime applies to both employees and IT systems, with one inevitably feeding the other. The task of ensuring that the business keeps ticking over the holidays is usually within the purview of IT professionals and managers. There are a number of ways to make sure that your business doesn’t suffer from IT slowdown during and after the holidays.
Holiday Peak Season
The challenge for businesses that experience peak trade during the holidays is ensuring adequate staffing levels, as well as systems that don’t fail at the worst possible time. Two of the most common issues that can damage a business during holiday peak season are websites and payment processing failures. Increased traffic is the usual culprit that leaves customers frustrated and without access to services.
Loss of revenue is obviously a major concern during ecommerce failures but the damage caused to customer trust is also important to consider. Anticipating your ecommerce needs and ensuring that the resources are in place to handle the additional stresses to your IT systems and infrastructure is crucial during periods of increased activity.
When your business relies on payment service providers and other critical platforms, a Service Level Agreement is necessary. Although almost all service providers offer assurances of uptime, the value is in the details. A difference of 1% in uptime can make or break a business.
Payment systems can crash on any network for several hundred different reasons. However, a reliable payment processing service will always have an effective backup network to reduce or eliminate downtime. An “Active-Active” configuration ensures that there is no disruption to service, as the backup network automatically takes over when the primary network fails.
Fast & Effective IT Solutions
If your IT services have struggled over the holidays, there are fast and effective solutions worth consideration. Rather than attempting to overhaul your entire PSP systems during or immediately after peak season, look to cloud-based IT services to strengthen and improve your network and IT systems. IT is also worth recognizing that hackers are fully aware of the best times of the year to strike – namely around the holidays. Step back and audit your DDoS mitigation capabilities to protect business and customer data.
If you are a small or medium business with limited budget and resources, ClubDrive can provide consultation on affordable cloud-based IT services. For many businesses, switching to an entirely cloud-based setup allows for greater opportunities to upscale the business. However, we can also provide recommendations for hybrid IT solutions to better suit your business needs.
Employee Downtime Management
The fact that employees tend to use up their remaining leave around the holiday season is not the only downtime management consideration for businesses. Of course, the reallocation of duties is important. However, have you thought about all those little inconveniences that are not necessarily written into business processes? You have the employees who are the sole guardians of passwords and processes for standalone systems. The keyholders to server and data control centers. Then you need to ensure that the unfortunate souls charged with dealing with customer existing customer queries have access to the information that they need.
After the holidays, when most of your employees have returned to work, expect a deluge of password resets and access requests. All of these issues can cause significant downtime if not handled correctly. To help your business better navigate the holiday season, reach out to ClubDrive for a consultation on cloud-based IT management. We are committed to helping you merrily get through your peak season.