In modern business environments, we are more reliant on technology than ever before. With so many automated and digitised systems being used, outages are no longer minor inconveniences, but potentially devastating events that can drain IT resources and dramatically affect a business’s bottom line.
IT outages are impossible to eliminate completely – so a business’s best bet is to be well prepared when the worst happens.
With a well-considered plan in place (preferably in conjunction with your email service provider), a business can minimise the duration and impact of email outages and get back up and running as soon as possible.
Downtime is your business’s nemesis, and the consequences are far-reaching and potentially long-lasting. These are just a few of them:
- Lost business opportunities. Whether B2B or B2C, downtime will interrupt your transactions with potential clients. Online purchases, requests for quotations, funds transfers – all will grind to a halt if your network fails.
- Lost productivity. IT services are essential for your employees to work, and in today’s hyper-connected workplace, downtime can have a domino effect that can bring overall productivity to a standstill. This is an even more serious issue in highly competitive industries, where time to market is crucial to the success of a product.
- Lost confidence. Even your long-term customers and partners will eventually lose patience if your downtime is affecting them as well. This will lead them to seek out other options, and with your closest competitors only a click away, they will quickly find them.
Solution: Have a plan of action in place that will allow your business to limit the duration, and minimise the impact, of any crises that lead to IT downtime.
Step 1: Verify Contact Information
It is vital to ensure that there are open and effective lines of communication between your IT department and your email service provider, so that email outages can be addressed promptly, and status and alert notifications via SMS or other channels can be received from them.
Step 2: Configure the Service Monitor
Service monitors take snapshots of important email delivery queues and continually check the status of your email system. This early warning system will let your IT department know if emails cannot be delivered or are slow to be delivered.
If you have partnered with a continuity specialist like Mimecast, it is important that your service monitor is properly configured prior to an outage.
Step 3: External email archival
Email archive solutions, such as those supplied by Mimecast, are designed to save copies of all inbound and outbound mail to a location that will be unaffected, should your premises experience a power outage.
Make sure to confirm that your emails cannot be deleted, altered or lost, and that they will be kept for a long period of time. It is also useful if the users in your business can login remotely and access copies of their emails if and when they need to.
Step 4: Make sure you have a reliable Domain Name System
DNS issues are responsible for a great number of email outages. If your DNS is slow or badly maintained, it is more likely to cause email failures, so choosing a reliable DNS provider is critical to preventing outages.
Due to the reliance on DNS for sound email flow, it is recommended that you are familiar with your DNS configuration and hosting services. This enables you to plan for and make changes quickly if required.