As businesses in North Carolina and around the country get ready to reopen in the coming weeks, many business owners are making plans to institute new COVID-19 related measures. These include things like social distancing, the use of masks, and keeping surfaces sanitized.
One more big consideration that needs to be planned for is how to handle your technology when you open an office or retail location that may have been dark for 8 weeks or longer.
When your main place of business has been closed for that long, the last thing you want to do it just turn everything on without having it properly serviced, secured, or sanitized.
What about security patches and updates that may have been released while equipment was dormant? How does dust impact your hard drives and other hardware components?
In 2019, 60% of data breaches were the result of unapplied (but available) system security updates.
Before you turn on the lights and go back to business as usual, you need to ensure you’ve thought about your IT service needs. It’s important to prepare your tech to be ready to support you so you can hit the ground running.
We’ll go over several questions that will serve as a guide to preparing your technology for your post-quarantine reopening.
Questions to Help You Ensure Your Technology is Ready to Go
Asking the right questions is often a good way to make sure all your bases are covered when it come to being prepared for anything. These will help you get your IT ready for a successful “wake up call” after being dormant for several weeks.
How Does Dust Harm Electronics?
An office or retail location that’s been closed for 8-10 weeks is going to have some dust that’s collected everywhere, including your computers, printers, point of sale (POS) devices, and other electronics.
Dust inside a hard drive can cause a head to crash, meaning a hard drive crash and potential data loss. Dust can also get into fans causing devices to overheat once they’re put into operation.
Use compressed air and microfiber cloths to thoroughly dust all your equipment before it goes back into use.
Do I Really Need to Apply All Our Computer Updates Now?
Having the software, operating systems, and firmware updated on all your computers and other devices may not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to reopening your place of business.
But it’s important that you do all those computer updates before you start operations back up. Otherwise you could be looking at a ransomware attack or virus infection that causes you major downtime right after you reopen.
Having a PC professional, like RCOR, handle this for you can ensure your devices are all updated properly and allows you to focus on other areas of your business.
Could Anything Have Happened to Our IT While We Were Gone?
From a short due to a rodent-chewed wire to a server that’s become disconnected from its ethernet cable, any number of things could’ve happened from the time you closed up your office back in March until now.
It’s important to have all your devices properly serviced before they go back into operation. This will ensure everything checks out and you don’t have any unpleasant surprises when you’re trying to restart everything.
How Do You Sanitize Electronics?
You’ll want to put any areas that people touch regularly on a regular sanitizing schedule while the risk of virus spread is still around. This includes things like like computer keyboards, mice, copier touchpads, customer-facing devices, and mobile and IoT devices.
You have to be careful when sanitizing these devices, so you don’t harm them. Precautions include not using water or bleach, unplugging them when they’re being disinfected, and using a solution of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Can We Just Move Our Technology to Social Distance Employees?
You need to be very careful about moving your technology if you’re rearranging to accommodate a 6 to 8 feet span between employees and/or customer-used devices.
Cabling can end up being disconnected which can result in poor data transfer rates or some equipment not working properly.
Cables that aren’t properly moved and secured can also result in safety issues for employees of customers if they were to trip over them.
It’s best to have an IT professional help you rearrange any computer workstations or other equipment to ensure it’s done safely and without slowing down your productivity.
How Do I Accommodate Employees Still Working from Home?
Blending your onsite and offsite staff into a single cohesive workforce is important. While this can be tricky if it’s not something you’ve done before, with the right software tools, it can be a win-win for both you and your employees.
Now is a great time to consult with your IT pro on workflows that can be seamless for employees that switch between working from home and office, and to connect remote staff with onsite staff for fluid communications.
Ensure Your Tech is Ready to Support Your Reopening
Our experts at RCOR can help you with a variety of reopening needs to ensure your technology is ready to support you at full speed when you reopen.
Contact us today to schedule an IT reopening consultation. Call 919-263-5570 or contact us online.