This article was featured in the August 2017 issue of Santa Barbara Lawyer Magazine
By: Michelle P. Baca, PhD – Business Development & Marketing Manager, CIO Solutions
The concept of IT that “just works” is at best a myth and at worst a marketing device. Whether your IT is outsourced or in house there is actually a great deal of care and consideration that goes into making sure your technology, and by extension you, are able to “just work.” In fact, the phrase “just work” elides much of the work that goes into keeping everything and everyone working. You don’t, however, have to be an IT expert to make sure that the tech you rely on is working. Here are some tips for simple summer tech maintenance that will help you make sure everything just keeps working.
- Keeping Things Clean – Summer is a good time to physically clean any workstations in your office with a can of compressed. Blow out any holes in your computer with the can. If you’re comfortable, unplug the computer and take the side panel off first for a more thorough cleaning. This will help your computer run better (and cooler) all Summer and all year.
- Use the rest of the can on things like your DVD player or other electronics around the house.
- Always keep the compressed air held up, tilting 90 degrees to the side can spit out frozen liquid that can damage electronics. Don’t have a compressed air can? Office supply stores and pharmacies carry them for around $5. Still, if you set your hair dryer on the high-cool setting, you can achieve the same result if you’re willing to wait a little longer.
- Take some time to inventory your equipment. Is everything working? Is everything up to date? Is everything backed up?
- Planned and Unplanned Power Outages – Depending on where your office is located and how hot it gets your place of business might be subjected to power outages, planned or unplanned. A sudden loss of power can be rough on your equipment, and it may be difficult to get everything back up and running again.
- Planned Power Outages – you should receive a notice from SCE or your building manager. A planned outage means that you’ll be able to gracefully shut down your equipment. If you have in house or outsourced IT let them know so they can come in and shut everything down and be onsite the next day to bring everything up. If you’re on your own make sure you save all your work, and shut everything down before you leave the office. Don’t just put things to sleep, shut everything down and arrive early the next morning so you can bring everything back up and make sure it works before you have to start working.
- Unplanned Power Outages – The best way to prepare for an unplanned outage is by making sure you have right equipment. Having a good UPS and testing/replacing the batteries to make sure it will hold up the systems long enough to shut them down during a prolonged outage.
- Onboarding and off-boarding interns and summer employees – Do you have interns or summer employees? Does your employee onboarding and off-boarding include a plan for keeping your technology secure?
- Develop a standard for passwords so that your interns and seasonal employees are adhering to a minimum security standard.
- Document all passwords and logins for these employees so that you can remove their access once they are gone.
- Make sure that you have admin access to any workstations or laptops that your interns might use so that you can limit their access to sensitive information.