IT Managers Holiday Checklist

10 Point Checklist for IT Managers to Make Sure your Holiday is not interrupted by Emergencies at the Office.

Are you responsible for your companies’ IT Infrastructure? Holiday coming up? Run through our 10 point checklist to ensure your holiday is not interrupted because the IT system has hit a blip.

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You should have a robust cover system in place anyway, to allow for family time, weekends off, illness as well as annual holidays. Let’s have a look at some steps to take, from common sense basics through to facilitating real time remote access to key systems.

1. Have a Nominated Deputy

The first thing you need to do is identify and train a deputy who can be your first line of defence. They need to have access to all drives and passwords and any other necessary information. And you must ensure you are not both planning to be away at the same time!!

2. Train your Deputy

Your deputy needs to understand routine maintenance procedures, such as backup and storage. They will also need to understand any other responsibilities, such as replacing failed equipment, and how and where to log the provision of new equipment. They will also need full access to and understanding of the disaster recovery plan.

3. Set up remote access

What if you are on holiday and your office calls you on the mobile because the email server is down? Can you respond immediately and minimize company downtime and interruption to your holiday and family? Can you remotely access and configure computer systems from any location, using a mobile device such as a smartphone, or tablet?

You can ensure a remote control solution is always available by leaving the office computer running and logged in to the remote application. This will provide immediate access to computer systems and data on the company network, and enable you to troubleshoot quickly with full access to office servers over your smartphone or tablet.

4. Keep your housekeeping up to date

Change backup tapes, check hosting, security, licenses are not due to expire.

5. Arrange access for your deputy

They may need keys or pass cards to secure areas of the building, and you must have authorization in place for them to contact third party service and support providers

6. Check payments

Check all supplier payments are made, ideally with direct debits in place

7. Have written procedures in place

Write a procedure document, stored as a hard copy as well as electronically, for each of the common problems. Don’t assume whoever is reading it has your expertise! Construct a FAQ section. Ensure your deputy and other users are aware of it and familiar with it, and ideally have had practical experience with it.

8. Set up backup plans

Set up backup plans for servers databases and passwords, and make sure your deputy has access to them. If you have responsibility for a datacentre, make sure the power supply has a backup option.

9. Advise key suppliers

Advise key suppliers of hardware, software and network components of your forthcoming holiday, and also advise them of your deputy’s contact details. Check that no upgrades are scheduled while you are away.

10. Advise key colleagues of your holiday dates.

Advise key colleagues of your holiday dates and remind them again 2/3 days before you go. Ensure senior management are aware that the normal of support will not be available and who to contact if they have a problem

Remember to set the “out of office “up on your email account, and direct urgent queries to your deputy by name. And also give the same information on your voice mail message

Then sit back, relax, and enjoy your holiday !