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Tips to help you prepare your IT for the holidays

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The festive season, with its heightened activity and increased online and foot traffic, can put a strain on your business technology infrastructure. External factors such as surging eCommerce sales and internal factors such as heavy internet usage by employees can lead to technical glitches and downtime. However, by anticipating and addressing potential challenges, your business can navigate the holiday season smoothly and avoid any major disruptions.

Related article: Get your eCommerce business ready for the holiday rush

Anticipating the holiday rush is crucial for business owners. Here are four ways to prepare your business technology to handle the surge in activity:

1. Avoid major changes

The bustling holiday season is not the time to disrupt your business operations by making major changes to your technology infrastructure. Just as you would schedule a car checkup before a long road trip, it’s essential to have your IT department conduct a thorough evaluation of your systems to ensure they are functioning optimally and address any potential issues before they escalate. Postpone any significant updates or system changes until the calmer until January.

However, if time permits, you should bring your software sufficiently up to date to ensure that you have maximum security and uptime capabilities before the worst of the holiday rush. Getting too far behind on updates is risky too, as it can leave your system vulnerable to attacks. Sit down with your IT team to find out the timelines of different updates, and do high-urgency updates that will not cause you to have downtime during this period.

2. Optimize your sales platforms

Online businesses should brace for the surge in traffic that occurs between Black Friday and Christmas Day, with Cyber Monday being the peak. Most experts also believe that online merchants can expect up to a 200% increase from their usual traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

To make sure your business is ready to handle this volume, you should enhance your website’s performance and conserve bandwidth by optimizing your web pages. One way to do this is by reducing image dimensions and streamlining external JavaScript to minimize page load times. Additionally, look into utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to identify and rectify potential performance bottlenecks.

3. Place your cybersecurity on high alert

Cybercriminals are well aware of the surge in credit card transactions during the holiday season, making online shopping platforms a prime target for malicious activity. To safeguard your systems and protect your customers, ensure your antivirus software is up to date, enforce strong password policies, and regularly remind employees of essential cybersecurity practices.

Related article: Top tips to protect yourself from holiday hackers

4. Have a backup plan

While your hardware might suffice for your daily operations, the holiday season brings a surge in customer traffic that can overwhelm your systems. To avoid performance slowdowns and lost sales, consider renting backup tech to handle the increased demand. Renting allows you to scale your infrastructure without the upfront investment of purchasing new hardware.

Aside from backup equipment, make sure you have a data backup system in place so that you can avoid disruptions due to data loss. With cybercriminals hovering around to steal data during this time, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have backup data ready to get your business up and running quickly after a data loss or downtime event.

As the holiday season approaches, it’s crucial to ensure your IT infrastructure is ready to handle the increased traffic and demands that come with the festivities. By implementing the tips outlined in this blog post, you can effectively protect your systems, enhance performance, and maintain a seamless customer experience throughout the holiday period. 

Aside from following these tips, partnering with In-Touch Computer Services to strengthen cybersecurity measures and optimize website performance will help you navigate the holiday rush with confidence and minimize disruptions to your business operations. Contact us today to get top-shelf IT for your business this holiday season.