In a world where business and technology are closely intertwined, organisations must be prepared for IT disaster before it hits.
Nowadays, it is hard to find a business that doesn’t use technology. In fact, most businesses not only use technology, but rely on it. This means that, in the event of an IT disaster, a business’ operations may be completely crippled as a result. This is why organisations need to have good disaster protocols in place. We discussed this with some companies that have a background providing IT support services in London – according to them, there are a number of common types of IT disaster than businesses should be prepared for.
What is an ‘IT Disaster’?
An IT disaster refers to any type of event that inhibits a business’ IT infrastructure to such a high degree that the business in question is unable to operate as normal. An IT disaster may arise due to a range of different factors – from natural events, to man-made attacks (such as hacks, etc.) Any business can be a victim of an IT disaster. According to one company we spoke with that provides IT support for Schools – an important area of modern IT is based around disaster recovery which aims to outline the protocols and solutions that a business will use to restore functionality as quickly as possible.
Common Causes of IT Disasters
1. Power Outage
All technology is at the mercy of its power source, and power outages remains one of the most common causes in the world for IT disaster. This is an especially important factor to consider for businesses that have an office running on an on-premise IT infrastructure – including servers, data, centres, and a local network. For these businesses, a power outage could knock out their operations in an instance. The easiest solution would be to have a backup power supply – such as an uninterruptible power supply.
2. Hardware Failure
Another factor that businesses reliant on on-premise IT need to be aware of is hardware failure. Technology has not yet evolved to the point where it can run perpetually, and infallibly. Hardware can degrade over time, and if a business’ hardware inventory contains no redundancies, then their operations could easily be impacted by a simple hardware issue. According to one company we spoke to that provides IT support for Construction Sites, creating a redundant hardware stack (i.e. one with backup hardware and resources) can prevent hardware failures from having a larger impact.
3. Software Issues
Nowadays, all businesses use software, and software is constantly being updated and patched. One might think that there is no point in updating a software if the current version still works for them. But this is not the main reason why updates and patches exist – they are developed not only to improve the functionality, but to improve the security. An out-of-date piece of software may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. This is why a business should maintain a consistent patch management schedule for all their software.
4. User Error
Not all IT disasters are caused by technology; sometimes they are caused by people. This is not to say that businesses should expect their own employees to take malicious actions against the organisation, but human error is the root cause of many IT disasters each day. Something as simple as a mistyped command on a server can result in a major malfunction. An employee may accidentally click on a malicious link in an email, or on a website. There are many ways in which a harmless, yet misguided action can result in a significant IT headache for a company.