IT Can Happen to You

This past weekend I had a good, old-fashioned, technology panic moment. Arriving home, after catching up with some friends, I followed my typical routine; I emptied my pockets on to the counter. As my iPhone X failed to recognize my face the screen lit up, there it was an insidious exclamation alert – “No Sim card Detected.” As a former Apple retail employee my emergency instincts kicked in. “Ok this can be fixed I can do this, let me just update my network settings,” I thought to myself… No change. Ok, let’s turn it off and on again… Nothing.

Ok, maybe it’s just a hard reset… Nope. Nada. It then became apparent I would have to go to the Genius Bar for support and immediately booked my appointment for the next day.

The next morning I woke up with a cold of epic proportions, so like a good Italian boy I called my mother. Oh wait, this was not an option, so I had to use FaceTime because my Wi-Fi still worked. Luckily, my Mom answered although she is barely on her cell. Although it wasn’t big deal, it still made me feel powerless at the hands of my impaired iPhone.

After the call I began my pilgrimage to the West 14th Apple Store. As I walked down the street and into the subway it hit me – I am off the grid, albeit not fully but for all intent and purposes of existing in NYC, no cell equals off the grid. I couldn’t check anything until I was back in the safety of a Wi-Fi network, which is basically the subway and the apple store on said journey.

I made it to the Apple Store, slightly stressed and sweaty with fever, and after a few diagnostic tests the Genius confirmed it was a hardware failure and an easy swap under Applecare. Moments later I had a new phone. I then proceeded home to restore my information from a backup and within an hour my device was back to its normal self.

It had been a while since I had a device; or anything fail for that matter. The feeling of helplessness and despair is something I rarely feel but I understand it, it used to be my everyday on the sales floor.

Then my brain started jumping to scenarios. Like for instance, what if my phone was my business’ internet? What would happen if I had an outage during a work day? What does that panic look like and what’s the impact to your productivity, not to mention the bottom line?

Working in IT, we realize the importance of redundant options for Internet access and other vital services. For example, if your Internet goes down what does your plan B look like? Do you have a redundant line or Fixed Wireless solution? How can you best prevent being slowed down in the wake of this? Or what if you’re a restaurant and your network fails and you can’t run your POS? You can’t just sit there.

Luckily, there are few ways to create redundancy in your network so you don’t miss a beat. Fixed Wireless or a Fiber line are the fast and strong reliable solutions for offices and small businesses. While they work for the hospitality industries, you may need a smaller solution. There are redundancy options using LTE hot spots that can cover your night of service until your IT or ISP can service your system. If you haven’t thought about them perhaps it’s time (it’s always the time,) let’s have that conversation. Don’t be the equivalent to me not being able to call my Mom.

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