Handling IT issues on top of everyday work can be hard enough with systems in place and near impossible without systems to keep response times inside of a week. Having a tech plan for general IT concerns and everyday jobs can halve the time you spend dealing with the issue. Here are seven things to help you build an efficient IT checklist that will serve you for those days when things aren’t working the way they are meant to.
Use a helpdesk system
Any helpdesk system should involve a ticketing system that provides you with the full details of the enquiry, including things that may help you in the future to assess if there are patterns for certain failures and ways to avoid them. Taking note of the issue, the actions leading up to and after the IT problem can save you time in narrowing down the source of the problem. Even having a self-service option can provide employees with the ability to find their own resolutions without having to contact IT support. In fact, a study by Nuance found that 67% of respondents preferred self-service over speaking with representatives and another 40% search for answers before calling IT support (Coleman Parkes).
Implement a Service Level Agreement
The SLA will act as a catch-all for specific response times to specific enquiries. An SLA will give details like:
- Availability and uptime — the percentage of the time services will be available
- The number of concurrent users that can be served
- Application response time
- The schedule for notification in advance of network changes that may affect users
When you implement a service level agreement in your tech plan, you are reducing the amount of time spent on queries about fixing the issue, giving more time to actually focus on amending the problem at hand.
Ensuring all documentation is updated regularly is a must. Wasting time guessing login details for software and devices can prolong your processes, especially when these details are known by a customer or employee that’s away on leave.
Create one master file, securely located and accessible via remote services, to save you precious time. Limiting the access to this document is also integral for a CEO’s IT checklist, as your employees may not have the same level of control and respect for data.
Maintain an Operating Environment
It goes without saying that by maintaining a standard operating environment (SOE) for your equipment you will be able to isolate faults faster and will make updates uniform. Simply put in this clip, as a company grows, it can be hard to keep track of all tech – which is why a tech plan that involves SOE is crucial for continued growth and IT management.
Maintain Systems Automatically
With all the automated software available, it seems a waste not to try some out. Having an automated patch management system will take care of the tasks simply and with little interaction. A patch management system aims to:
- maintain current knowledge of available patches
- decide what patches are appropriate for particular systems
- ensure that patches are installed properly
- testing systems after installation
- document all associated procedures
Keeping systems patched and maintained automatically will ensure that they don’t need to be fixed first. A patch management system is a must for your tech plan if you want to see a lowered rate of viruses and extended software life, which is done by creating new features and functionality.
Offer Spare Devices
This is a given. Your tech plan should be equipped with spare devices for situations when systems have been compromised and need to be isolated. Having devices removed from employees with no spares will result in paid leave if there is no substitute system for them to use, which is, of course, not good.
Third Party Support
Outsourcing to a contractor can avoid having to deal with smaller, easier tasks when your IT support is attempting to amend a larger issue. On the other hand, if you only see a severe issue that needs top level attention and software to fix, it’s better to outsource these jobs to a contractor that has the right tech to handle them. Attempting to fix these larger errors can be fruitless and can even cause further faults if the IT support team isn’t equipped with the correct tools.