My IT Systems are down, what should I do?

By: Samantha Geary, Marketing Executive

Networks and computers are built for reliability and they are becoming more robust each year. It’s hard to imagine that in the past, when technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today, having regular periods of downtime was a common occurance throughout the year.

Businesses who take their data security and availability of their IT systems seriously will have a disaster recovery plan in place to reduce downtime if the worst was to happen.

There is another side to this story though. Although on average IT systems are more reliable now, there is also more of a chance that they will be put out of action by external factors. This can include malware or hacking. On top of this, the cost of network downtime has risen. This is mostly due to the increasing reliance on IT systems to carry out day-to-day business tasks.

So, now that the scene has been set, what should you do if your IT systems go down? Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to minimise both the damage and financial cost to your business. Below are three things you should (or shouldn’t) do if your IT system is down.


You have a disaster recovery plan after all… 

Although they’re getting rarer, IT systems can go down for all sorts of reasons, some more serious than others. Sometimes it can be as simple as a server needing a reboot, other times it’s due to malware. The point is, there’s no need to jump to conclusions and go straight into panic mode. Instead, you should follow the next step which is…

…Contact your IT provider or support team

It sounds obvious, but the first thing you should do if your IT system is down is to contact your IT provider or support team. They may either be in-house or a third-party provider. Either way, they need to know ASAP so they can set about resolving the issue. They can also help to minimise the damage by implementing the disaster recovery policy you’ve likely negotiated with them. This will include both retrieving information that’s been lost by looking at backups and minimising the damage of whatever has caused your IT system to fail.

It’s important that you contact your IT support team as soon as you notice a problem because they can minimise the time it takes to fix the issue or prevent the damage from spreading if the system outage is caused by malware. It’s also good advice to stop using any of the computers if you suspect that the IT outage is caused by malware. This can limit the spread of the malware to other parts of your network.

…Review your disaster recovery policy

If your IT systems are going to be down for a while, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your disaster recovery policy. How could things be done better in future to minimise the downtime and the cost to your business? Try turning the experience into a learning curve, so your IT systems and business are more resilient in the future. This might involve purchasing some new equipment or simply laying out an action plan for the future.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning should be considered a critical aspect of running a business. However, many organisations disregard it completely. Others have a plan in place but fail to grasp how time consuming the recovery process can be and the associated cost of downtime. The good news is that today’s data protection technologies and services have greatly improved the IT piece of the business continuity puzzle. It’s worth checking out our ‘Business Continuity Planning Essentials’ guide that you can find by clicking here.

Unfortunately, some disasters are unavoidable, so in the unfortunate event that your business is hit by one we’ve provided some handy ‘Disaster Recovery Steps’ you should follow to soften the blow. Check them out here.

If you have any questions on business continuity or disaster recovery, please get in touch with a member of PCS. We provide expert advice to businesses who’d like to find out a bit more about the disaster recovery process. If you don’t have a disaster recovery process or you are thinking about reviewing your current disaster recovery plan then claim your free disaster recovery review today.

Thanks for reading!

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Meet The Author

Name: Samantha Geary
Employment Start Date: August 2017
Job Title: Marketing Executive
Years in Marketing: 3

Check out Sam on Social Media:

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