Los Angeles distributors know what IT downtime is, right? It is people cursing under their breath. It is that fancy pick-to-light system – but without the lights. It is truck drivers waiting around with blank stares because nothing is getting loaded for delivery to resellers.
It is that sucking sound as income disappears down a hole, followed by your business reputation. So it is no wonder that distributors want to keep IT systems up and running as required.
Two Key Approaches
Minimizing downtime by repairing outages rapidly is one perspective. The other is the maximization of uptime by preventing outages from happening in the first place.
To put it another way, enterprises need both:
- Business Continuity. You want IT resources to perform correctly and be available at any given time for your distribution company to be able to carry on doing business.
- Disaster Recovery. If the level of IT resources ever dips below the minimum level required, a replacement or recovery solution must be ready to activate in a way that avoids any significant negative impact on your enterprise.
Possibilities for Optimal Uptime
Life can be full of surprises for Los Angeles distributors. If it is not neighboring construction work that knocks your power out, it is an earthquake that shakes your servers to a halt. The solutions you choose will need to take these factors and more into account.
- IT System Virtualization. For multiple IT servers on your premises, virtualization spreads your IT applications out over your servers in a way that avoids any single server failure from impacting your business. If one server stops, the others automatically pick up its load and carry on.
- Backup Power Systems. If you lose power, these battery backup systems cut in immediately, followed by your diesel power generators, for example.
- Data Backups. Critical business information and files that become corrupted, mistakenly deleted or unavailable through disk crashes are all possible causes of IT downtime. Proper data backup and recovery procedures are essential. That includes vital system configuration information as well.
- Process-Driven IT Maintenance. IT downtime can also come from human error. To avoid this, robust maintenance procedures have to be defined and followed step by step. This way you can make sure your systems continue to run up-to-date operating systems and software with the best possible protection against system glitches.
- IT Security. Some hackers are only out to steal your data, without necessarily stopping your systems from running. However, others do damage, either deliberately or as a by-product of their hacking activities. Firewall and system security measures can reduce the risks in both cases.
- Cloud Computing Services. These can range from providing safe data storage to providing additional computing power to handle peak loads, or even to handling entire enterprise IT requirements. Reliability and security are typically good for cloud-based systems. Los Angeles distributors will also find that being able to access their data and applications in the cloud via their smartphones and tablets will mean they can get work done without having to battle traffic to get back into the office.
What IT downtime war stories do you have? Share your experience with us in the section for Comments below.
If you own or manage a distribution company in Los Angeles, and you’re looking to stay up to date on the latest technology, be sure to download your free guide, How COOs at Los Angeles Distributors and Manufacturers Get More Done: A Guide to Productivity, Data, Staffing, Delegation, and Making It Home for Dinner Most Nights.