How to Handle Your I.T. When You Reopen Your Business Post-Lockdown
health protocols to follow, companies preparing to reopen also have to ensure equipment that’s been shut down for 8-10 weeks or more is handled properly. If you just walk into your office or retail location and turn on all your computers and other I.T. and conduct “businesses as usual,” you could end up being shut down again, but this time due to technology problems.
What Can Happen When Tech is Dormant for 8+ weeks? The pandemic caused nationwide shutdowns, which included closing businesses and having employees work from home. When your on-premises technology infrastructure has been turned off and/or unattended for several weeks, many things can happen that need to be addressed before it can be put back into operation safely. Some of these include:
Dust collecting throughout technology infrastructure
Pest or rodent damage to cabling and connections
Updates or managed services being suspended
Issues with parts/hardware components Before you reopen and fire up your technology infrastructure once again, you’ll want to read our tips below on how to properly prepare I.T. to be ready to go back into full operation.
Tips for Preparing Your Technology for Your Reopening From cybersecurity to physical safety, your I.T. is going to be a big part of how smoothly your post-lockdown reopening goes. Here are the steps to take to ensure it’s ready to support you.
Have All Equipment and Cabling Inspected With fewer people out on the streets to drop food, many pests have ventured into other vacated areas looking for food. This could include your empty office or retail location. Rodents may have chewed on wires or cockroaches could’ve infested your electrical outlets. Before you turn on your I.T., you’ll want to make sure you or your employees are not at risk due to damaged cords, cables or electrical outlets. Have all physical components of your tech inspected to make sure nothing was damaged while you were away.
Dust I.T. Inside and Outside Dust is an enemy of electronics. Just a few dust particles in a hard drive can cause a major crash. Dust that’s collected on fans or vents can cause equipment to overheat and internal components to become damaged as a result. Have all electronics thoroughly dusted with compressed air and microfiber cloths or wands to avoid these types of dust-related problems that can cause unexpected downtime.
Review Technology Positioning (i.e. 6 feet apart) Are your employee workstations, common area tech (like scanners/printers), and customer-facing technology (like POS devices) all distanced according to reopening safety guidelines? There’s a good chance that you’ll need to have some equipment moved to ensure it meets social distancing standards. You should have this done by a professional, like Texas I.T. Pros. Otherwise, you could end up disconnecting important network connections or leaving cables in unsafe places that could cause trips and falls.
Have All Hardware & Software Updates/Patches Installed Operating system, software, and firmware updates have continued to come out during the shut-down. When your equipment is turned on, if those aren’t applied, it’s going to be immediately at risk of a data breach. Approximately 60% of data breaches are tied to exploited system vulnerabilities for which a security patch was issued but never applied. Between all the different types of equipment (computers, servers, router, POS equipment, etc.) that you have at your premises, there will be multiple updates to apply. These all should be done before you put that equipment back into operation to ensure your network and data are protected.
Set Up a Disinfecting Schedule for “Touch” Electronic Surfaces Some of the most touched surfaces in your office or retail location are electronics. These include surfaces like:
Point of Sale (POS) device keypads
Tablets/mobile devices While COVID-19 health and safety measures are still in place for reopened businesses, you’ll need to create a disinfecting schedule for those electronic touch surfaces to ensure they’re safely sanitized in a way that doesn’t hurt your tech.