Benjamin Franklin told us there were but two certainties in life: Death and taxes. I would add a third, specifically relevant to businesses in the 21st century: IT failure. Even with the best technology and a committed team of support staff, IT disasters can stem from the most unpredictable sources and inevitably, present themselves at the most inconvenient time.
When a catastrophe strikes your IT systems, the single most important goal is to restore a measure of functionality as quickly as possible, limiting or preventing entirely any significant damage to your business. For a business operating 24 hours a day, the speed and quality of the response from their IT support will be a vital factor in determining how effectively they can return to full operation. At Doherty, we pride ourselves on the fact that our 24 hour support is always manned by a team of experts, ready to combat any problem your IT systems may face, regardless of when or where they happen.
Our 24 hour support systems and the dedicated team who run them faced one of their biggest tests when a long standing client who operates within the travel and tourism sector experienced massive server failure in the middle of the night. This would have been disastrous at any time of the year, but this particular night was the Friday before the first Saturday of the new year, their busiest day for booking holidays and trips. For this particular company, a server failure could not have come at worse time.
At around 10pm on the Friday, an electrical fault caused all 140 of the company's servers to go offline, effectively preventing them from communicating with customers or receiving holiday bookings. The fault was immediately picked up by Doherty's monitoring service, who began to take steps to resolve the problem. By 11.30pm, all relevant senior members of Doherty were aware of the server failure and formulating a plan to have the business up and running by Saturday morning. Experienced technicians from our London and Kuala Lumpur offices began working on fixing the problem, highly aware of the deadline looming over them as they set up to work through the night.
By 9am the next morning, Doherty technicians had all the servers back online and full phone connectivity was restored an hour later. Our team had been working nonstop to ensure that the client would be able to maximise the most important sales day of their year. Thanks to a concerted team effort, a serious amount of hard work and above all, the early warning our 24 hour monitoring team provided, we succeeded in making this a reality.
To many businesses, 24 hour IT monitoring staffed by real people may seem rather unnecessary, but it is not only about opening hours: it is about business continuity. In this case as in many others, the early warning given by these dedicated teams means that you can avoid losing a day of business to fixing IT problems. If our client had been using an automated, unmanned monitoring system, their server failure would have only been picked up in the morning, far too late to try and save an important trading day for the business.