Most businesses rely on a relatively small IT team, or a lone “IT Guy” to keep their systems up and running. Typically, these employees know the ins and outs of every piece of the network and handle all your technology needs. With IT being the lifeblood of your business as well as a role that takes specialized education and experience, it can be frightening to think about what would happen if you suddenly lost your IT guy.
Do you have access to your backed up data?
Do you have the ability to change passwords?
Do you have the log in to the software that handles the software updates and network monitoring for your business?
These are all questions that you should be able to easily find the answer to. If you don’t have these answers, or the answer is no, you should work with your IT administrator to make sure if anything ever goes wrong, there is more than one person with access to your systems.
Even if it’s just a brief absence, things can fall apart without that one person. Your IT guy shouldn’t have this weight on their shoulders, and your business shouldn’t rely on the guaranteed 24/7/365 availability of one person.
We’ve put together the five things you should do to minimize the impact if you lose your IT guy or they become unavailable:
1. Commit to consistent documentation.
IT employees keep track of things that their non-technical co-workers might not even know exist. Without consistent documentation it will be hard to make sense of your IT systems.
We’ve seen situations where a former systems administrator left unexpectedly, and all administrative accounts were locked down because no one else in the company knew the passwords!
This type of info, including administrative passwords and the process for changing those passwords, needs to be documented and updated every time there is a change. Here are a few things you should make sure are well documented and others on your team are able to do:
- Locate and restore backups
- Change passwords
- Login and update all company software
- Access current hardware rooms
- Receive and monitor network alerts
2. Have a protocol for removing access to your systems.
In the unfortunate event that your IT administrator unexpectedly quits or is fired, you need to be able to remove their access to your systems. As the person who previously held all the passwords and information on your systems, they could really do some damage to your business if they wanted to.
Change the passwords of all administrative accounts they had access to. Disable any email forwarding they may have setup to their personal email accounts. Remove any VoIP phone call forwarding.
This may seem like a harsh thing to plan for, especially if they’re a current employee in good standing, but a rogue IT administrator can bring your business to a complete halt. Have a plan, just in case.
3. Know your data backup location and schedule.
Whether you use on-premises or cloud data backups, you should have a regular backup schedule. This data backup process should detail the time of the backup, the frequency, the location of the backup, and what documentation should be documented. This ensures that any IT resource can step in and continue the data backup process as scheduled if you lose your IT administrator.
If anything were to happen to your files, your backups are your saving grace. Not having them administered according to schedule or not being able to access them, could seriously cripple your business.
4. Stay in the loop on current and upcoming IT projects.
Your IT administrator should be the only person in your organization who know what is going on with your systems. Have regularly scheduled check ins with your IT administrator where they brief you on current and upcoming IT projects and needs. This ensures that even if documentation falters, you or a manager have an idea of what was being worked on and how things were going.
5. Consider partnering with a Managed Service Provider.
Though having an on-premise IT administrator can be helpful, it is worthwhile to consider a partnership with a Managed Service Provider. Having a partnership with IT professionals that know your systems and can step in during staff absences or turnover can be extremely helpful and reassuring. All your IT systems shouldn’t be managed by just one person.
If you have recently lost your IT administrator, or aren’t sure if you could survive if you did, we would be happy to help you through completing these steps. You can book a call with us anytime via this link.