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Cover your bases this holiday season as your team prepares to take time off for the holidays

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By Liz Young, Marketing Coordinator

It’s the end of the year and everyone is getting ready to take off for a long weekend (perhaps even the week) to be with their friends and families for the Holidays.  It’s been a crazy week; sales has been busy making calls and trying to get in those last few orders to help with numbers, the accounting team feverishly working to invoice the last orders of the year, and pretty much everyone else in the organization checked out for the year after last week’s pot luck.

The next week should be interesting because there are just two people left to run the entire IT department, and your systems certainly don’t take any time off.  They’ll keep running, keep updating, and inevitably there will be some issue that crops up that you’ll be called to rectify (mid-dinner).  Thus, is the Holiday Season for a senior member of the IT team.

This year, though, you don’t have to go through this same routine.  You can enjoy your time off, worry free.  Consider doing these simple things to ensure you have a quiet and relaxing time off, where you can focus on the joy of the season and not worry about that phone ringing.

  • Update all the Things. Schedule those system updates to run before the mass exodus occurs.  This way you can monitor them and ensure there are no conflicts with any of your systems.
  • Tell Them How. Create and publish an escalation process for the organization to follow.  This will help your team know what to do and who to call should crisis hit.  This eliminates the fire drills that can occur when issues arise.
  • Prioritize Your Apps. Map your applications and prioritize them by operational importance in the event of a catastrophic incident.  It also helps to document brief descriptions of what each application does.  This will help the team trying to restore systems identify and repair anything that goes down.
  • Testing, Testing, 1-2-3. Test your VPN and ensure your remote access is fully functional.  This is simple to-do and it could spare you the phone calls that the system isn’t working later.
  • Cover the Spread. Schedule your staff strategically to pair them covering the most functionality.  Scheduling team members of varying backgrounds together leverages their diverse backgrounds to help them solve an array of problems (not to mention promotes collaboration which otherwise might not happen).
  • If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Avoid scheduling new maintenance, or consider rescheduling routine maintenance, which might occur while the key staff is out.  Taking a little time to do this could spare you crashing systems or issues later.
  • Review Your Contracts. Contracts often come up at year end because many budgets renew with the New Year.  Make sure your contracts are good through the time you are understaffed so those left in the office don’t have to worry about dealing with expiration problems.
  • Take Advantage of Cloud-Managed Services and Automation. If time permits, investigate how you can use cloud-managed services to simplify operations and look to automating your redundant tasks.  Not only can you increase efficiency and save time and money, but you also ensure that staff members won’t have trouble with internal applications and eliminate those time-consuming tasks that weigh down your team when they could be doing other things.

Completing any one of these things can increase peace of mind and gives your team the necessary confidence to handle whatever comes their way, which will payoff big time for your organization during the busy Holiday Season.

Liz Young - Evolving Solutions

Liz Young is part of the Evolving Solutions Marketing team.  She works with the incredibly talented sales and architect teams at Evolving Solutions to ensure we offer the best support to our clients.  From creating collateral to planning world-class events, Liz works to support the Evolving Solutions Sales and Architect teams to ensure our best foot is always forward.

She is a journalism major at the University of Minnesota and writes content for the Evolving Solutions blog, LinkedIn page, Twitter feed, Facebook page and Instagram account, in her spare time.

Like what you read? Follow Liz on LinkedIn.