5 ways to prevent hardware breakdowns
Not all hardware is created equal, and business equipment that suffers from frequent breakdowns may wield significant costs in productivity reductions and lost revenue. Here are five simple things you can do to keep hardware downtime at a minimum.
1. Ensure software is not the problem
Software malfunctions are far more common than hardware breakdowns. From viruses and annoying bugs to out-of-date software that is no longer compatible with your updated operating system, misbehaving software can cause havoc with your productivity.
Don’t leave software updates to your users. Make them automatic and set security updates to download automatically as well. And don’t disregard paid upgrades from software vendors – these often come with substantial security, stability and productivity benefits.
2. Put service contracts in place
Do you have the in-house IT expertise to diagnose and repair malfunctioning hardware? If not, you’ll need a good relationship with a hardware maintenance and repair service. For your big-ticket items, such as printing stations and major hardware infrastructure, look for vendors who provide a fast maintenance and repair service as part of the overall contract – and know exactly who to call when you need help.
It can also pay to create a relationship with an independent maintenance and repair provider who can fix smaller issues with employee devices and even provide a second opinion if you experience frequent breakdowns of your big-ticket hardware.
3. Make security a priority
Don’t be fooled – all business face hacking attacks whether in the form of serious network breaches or phishing scams through employee email. It’s your responsibility to protect your customer data, so it’s vital that you educate your staff about proper security procedures.
Set password management policies that demand strong phrases, consider two-factor authentication, and talk to your team about the dangers of clicking on suspicious links in emails and social media sites.
4. Cleanliness is a computer’s best friend
‘Cleaning’ a computer isn’t just a metaphor for de-fragmenting and deleting orphan files. It doesn’t take long for dust to build up in desktops and servers. When it does, it will reduce the unit’s efficiency and potentially lead to a hardware breakdown.
Give each of your staff members a cleaning kit that includes a can of compressed air, some cotton swabs, and a cleaning cloth – and send regular email reminders to ensure your employees are keeping their hardware ship shape.
5. Consider the real cost of hardware
When it comes to hardware, you get what you pay for. Downgrading the specs on the hardware you’re buying sometimes looks good on paper. The problem is that less expensive equipment tends to fail more often.
When buying new equipment don’t just look at the price tag. Rather, calculate all the costs, including how long each variation will last, how much maintenance it will require, and how much lost revenue you can expect due to downtime – that’s the real cost of the hardware in question.