The holiday season is upon us. At this point you are probably more excited about getting out of the office than you are about reading this article, but alas, you do have to get ready for any time off around the holidays. With that in mind, we're here to help you prepare your IT service desk for your holiday vacation and ensure that the people who are still working are able to get the job done effectively and without running into problems trying to get help. If you can check off all five of these steps to getting ready for time off, then your service desk will be good to go, regardless of who will be out of the office.
1. Ensure server uptime
Get your IT teams to make a run through the data center to make sure servers are well positioned to function as they should for the duration of the holiday season. Chances are that IT and support teams will have a skeleton crew at the office most days, and you don't want that small group to have to deal with an outage that could have been prevented through routine maintenance prior to the holiday rush. You may also want to adjust the maintenance schedule, if you haven't already, to perform as many of the upcoming tasks before people go on vacation.
2. Check on the self-service portal
A funny thing happens with self-service portals sometimes - organizations put tons of effort into getting them running, then let them sit unmonitored for months at a time while the forums get cluttered, the knowledge base becomes confusing, the search functions aren't archived properly and the whole system ends up falling into disarray. You don't want to get an emergency call while you're on vacation because a user couldn't solve a simple incident due to a problem with the self-service portal. Just like performing basic server maintenance, you need to check on your self-service portal and make sure users will be well positioned for the holiday season.
3. Establish communication channels
You may have to get a hold of a support or IT worker during vacation, and it's best for everybody involved that you have a plan for communication under those circumstances. Make sure you have the right contact information on record and create a clear policy for how you will get in touch with employees if they are needed for emergency help. Having a good system can help you ensure that you are ready for even a major outage during the holiday.
4. Make sure remote access is configured properly
There may be times where you need a specific person who is on vacation to authorize a support task, change or problem resolution. You may need somebody to step in to provide expertise during an emergency. Either of these situations are easier to handle if your workers have remote access to the system. You don't want to tie them down to the service desk, even when they are on vacation, but having remote access there as an option if an emergency arises is critical.
5. Update your knowledge base
Make sure that all of the common incidents you have to deal with are documented in the knowledge base. You don't want an employee to run into a basic problem and need to call somebody who is on vacation for help because the knowledge center hasn't been updated. The issue here is similar to that of the self-service portal; taking some time to prep for the holiday can make life easier for everybody when people start going away on vacation.
Bonus: Get ready to have some fun!
Don't get so stressed about the holiday season that you forget to enjoy it. Happy holidays from SunView Software. We hope that our solutions help you have an easier holiday this year.