Out of hours support can be a painful necessity of modern working, as systems need function around the clock. But there are a number of things you can do to minimise inconvenience:
- Ensure appropriate levels of resilience are in place for key systems so automatic recovery is possible or a degraded service is offered.
- Make sure that all systems are running the current vendor recommended patches as many problems are already fixed before you need an unplanned outage.
- Check disk space regularly to ensure there is enough free space for any tasks that occur on the system.
- Have your IT staff check log files for errors that need fixing before they become an outage.
- Write a document stating what is covered in the out of hours support (this will form part of the SLA).
- Ensure both you and your suppliers understand the differences between types of work e.g. changes to systems need to be planned and managed therefore are not out of hours support. If your suppliers are only going to support system failures then user queries won’t be addressed out of hours.