Like it or not, your company is dependent on technology. The modern era we live in is impressive, and it helps us work more productively and in closer communication to one another, but the flip side is that when our technology assets fail or underperform, our work suffers. Imagine working a day in the modern world without an internet connection, or without the laptop, tablet, or even the smartphone that you utilize throughout the day—outages and failures do happen, and they can wreak havoc on your company’s bottom line, so it pays to be prepared for the worst.
Types of Technological Disaster
First, you need to be aware of the technological disasters that could unfold in your business.
- Though you may not think of cyberattacks as a threat to small and mid-sized businesses, they’re more common than you think. One solid infiltration could grant access to sensitive customer data, or hold your entire network hostage in a ransomware attack.
- Natural disasters. Don’t forget that natural disasters are uncontrollable, and could affect your physical business. What if a fire breaks out in your office? What if there’s an earthquake? These events can cause massive damage to your technological assets, setting you back weeks of work and costing you thousands of dollars or more in replacement costs.
- Power failures. Your system runs on a tight network. A power failure or corruption in your connectivity could prevent efficient connections or even damage your existing devices.
- Natural deterioration. Despite our modern ingenuity, technological devices are still fallible, and tend to degrade with time. As devices become older, they perform worse and become more susceptible to other forms of corruption and damage.
These are just a few of the most common and most devastating kinds of technological disasters—your proactive prevention plan should guard against as many threats as possible.
Preventative Measures to Take
With those (and more) disasters in mind, take the following actions to protect your company’s technological assets:
- Have a redundancy plan. The best way to prepare for a disaster is to assume one is going to happen. Redundancy gives you a backup plan that you can rely on if the worst happens. For example, you could have a set of backup servers on the other side of the country in case your current set fails you in any way, or you could have backup devices ready in case individual devices show signs of failure.
- Better manage your power and connectivity. All your devices run on electricity, and depending on what systems you’re using, they’re probably all connected to each other. If there’s a flaw in your power setup, your equipment could become overheated, or it could become more susceptible to sudden power outages. Strategizing with your IT department to create and maintain more efficient connections is essential if you want this supply to remain uninterrupted.
- Implement better security protocols. Though there’s no way to guard yourself against every threat, the vast majority of cyberattacks can be prevented with relatively simple security measures. Hackers tend to look for weak targets, with no security measures in place, or gullible people who are oblivious to today’s common tactics. Use a firewall, use good passwords and change them often, and most importantly, keep your employees up-to-date about basic cybersecurity practices (such as not clicking suspicious links in emails or giving out their passwords to anyone).
- Upgrade your devices regularly. Even if your devices are in decent working order, it’s a good idea to upgrade them regularly. You’ll have to upgrade them eventually, anyway—upgrading them sooner just gives you faster access to better security, more damage resilience, and more efficient working processes. There’s no firm replacement rate for this that applies to all devices.
- Get a good insurance policy. There are hundreds of variables to consider when you purchase business insurance, and while you don’t need the most exhaustive policy on the market to be protected, you do need to consider these variables carefully. At a minimum, get a policy that protects you against the major natural disasters your business is susceptible to in your geographic area. You may also be able to pursue a technology replacement policy that protects you in the event of any interruption to your work.
With your technology better protected, you’ll not only maximize your monetary investment (in physical objects like servers and devices), but you’ll also guarantee the greatest amount of uptime for your workers’ productivity. The costs associated with these strategies, such as monthly insurance costs or periodic costs of upgrading devices, are small compared to what you’ll save in the long term.