In the excitement of reopening after a long quarantine due to COVD-19, many business owners will walk in, turn everything on, then a day or so later, suffer another downtime crisis.
But this time, the shutdown will be technology related.
When computers, servers, and other electronics have been dormant for several weeks, if they’re not properly serviced and prepared to go back into full-time operation, they can fail.
Just like your car battery can go dead if you leave your car sitting unused for too many months, technology can also end up with problems that arise after a long dormant period. That’s why it’s imperative to have business IT serviced properly as part of your reopening.
What Can Happen to Tech That’s Been Turned Off for 8+ Weeks?
You may wonder what could possibly go wrong when computers and other equipment have just been turned off for several weeks. Why wouldn’t they just boot up and work as usual?
Here are a few scenarios that can cost your business even more expensive downtime right after you reopen:
- Pest or rodent damage to electronics causes potentially dangerous electrical shorts.
- Dust inside a device damages the hard disk, resulting in data loss.
- Parts that have been dormant for 8+ weeks fail when started back up without being serviced.
- In the reopening frenzy, an employee accidentally clicks a phishing link that exploits an unpatched vulnerability and infects your network with a virus.
Reopening Checklist to Get Your Technology Ready
You can avoid unexpected downtime issues that ruin your reopening by using the checklist below to make sure you’ve properly prepared your technology.
1. Make Sure Your Internet Service is On
To save money, companies may have turned off their internet service while their location was shut down. If you rush back in to reopen and forget that your service was turned off, you could spend hours trying to figure out why you can’t get online, when the reason is that you never turned your service back on.
2. Have All Electronics, Cords, Wires, and Electrical Outlets Inspected
Before you turn on your equipment, you’ll want to check for any pest or rodent damage. While streets and buildings were empty, pests could’ve easily infiltrated a building looking for food and done some damage.
Not checking for damages to your IT infrastructure before powering it back up could cause some serious safety issues in addition to downtime.
3. Have Hardware Serviced & Cleaned
To ensure you don’t have a parts failure or a hard drive crash related to a few dust particles, you’ll want to have all your computers and other hardware serviced by an I.T. professional.
We’ll make sure your equipment is in good condition, completely dusted, and ready to go back into operation full time.
4. Install All System & Hardware Updates
One thing that didn’t stop during the lockdown were the feature and security updates for software, operating systems, and hardware. But if your technology has been turned off or unattended for a while, there are most likely several updates that need to be applied.
During the pandemic, cybercrime has skyrocketed, with the FBI seeing an increase in reported incidents of up to 400%. The last thing you want to do is start using your computers without ensuring any vulnerabilities have been patched.
You’ll want to check for and install the following types of updates/security patches:
- Operating system
- Cloud application
- IoT Devices (like routers, security cameras, etc.)
5. Reposition Technology Safely
Post-coronavirus safety measures mean that many businesses are ensuring that customers and employees stay at least 6 feet apart. For restaurants that means moving tables farther apart, and for offices, banks, schools, and retail locations that can mean repositioning technology.
You’ll want to have professional help when moving your technology so you can ensure it’s done safely and that nothing is accidentally disconnected. An IT professional can make sure there aren’t any cables laying around as trip hazards. They’ll also test all equipment to ensure it’s connected to local and Wi-Fi networks properly after being repositioned.
6. Set Up a Sanitizing Schedule
Keyboards, customer-facing keypads, and multiple other technology surfaces are touched regularly. This means that to help protect your employees and customers from any potential virus spread, you’ll want to put these on a regular sanitizing schedule.
This can look very different, depending upon how your devices are used, but it’s important to make sure the disinfection of electronics is done properly so the components aren’t damaged.
- Not using water or bleach
- Using a solution of at least 70% alcohol
- Allowing alcohol solution to sit on surfaces at least 30 seconds
- Wiping with a microfiber cloth to prevent scratches or lint being left behind
Get Help with a Successful Post-Lockdown Reopening
Unbound Digital can help you with many of the items on your tech reopening checklist. Call on us before you reopen to make sure your equipment is ready.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.