Importance of uptime for mission-critical Government computers and tips to maximize it

The proliferation of technology has enabled government organizations to harness digital advancements for enhancing public services and other governmental functions. Federal bodies have incorporated computing devices and digital endpoints into their operations across departments. Mobile workforce, which operates largely with portable devices such as laptops, tablets, notebooks and mobile data systems, is also gaining increasing prevalence in the government sector. Infrastructure has been redesigned to enhance on-field collaboration among employees, resulting in improved productivity.

The presence of innumerable endpoints in the government network renders the infrastructure vulnerable to a wide range of issues that affect device performance and lower the productivity. Disruptions in mission-critical government functions due to system downtime can cause delays in responding to emergency situations. To maintain maximum system availability and uptime, federal IT teams have to grapple with multiple daunting obstacles.

Government computers and tips

The necessity of uptime for government endpoints

Computers deployed in government organizations are often used for time-bound and mission-critical functions. For on-field employees, who heavily depend on portable devices to accomplish tasks that typically require an immediate response, uptime and optimum performance of their equipment is imperative. For example, law enforcement officers constantly receive information about the locations of potentially illegal activities on their GPS-enabled computers embedded in their patrol cars. These equipment are used by different officers every day due to rotational shift hours, which leaves such devices vulnerable to undesirable changes. Alteration of system settings and unauthorized downloads, among others are a lurking possibility. These changes severely affect device functionality over time and can be the cause of an abrupt system crash.

The above-mentioned predicament holds true for in-house devices as well. Compromised system integrity causes a chain effect of operational disruptions across departments. Service delays in government-run organizations — be they bank, law enforcement bodies, healthcare centers, or diplomatic affairs office — can turn out to be detrimental to the well-being of the citizens. In most cases, on-site IT support is not promptly available, especially in the case of field operations that are conducted at various locations away from headquarters. Even issues with on-premises devices cannot be immediately attended to since the sheer number of endpoints outnumber the IT personnel employed.

The process of problem diagnosis, troubleshooting, or system upgrade is time-consuming. The downtime is typically prolonged especially when there are multiple crashed or malfunctioning devices. The resulting suspension in operations is highly unfeasible, leading to lower productivity and delay in mission-critical government processes.
IT teams in government organizations need to implement preventive measures to enhance availability and reliability of every mission-critical device operating within the office premises or on the field.

Tips to maximize uptime for Government computers

Rigorous monitoring of devices: In order to keep devices operational and free of downtime, IT teams need to conduct regular inspections of the devices deployed across federal departments. All elements of hardware and software need to be closely monitored in order to keep a tab on the potential vulnerabilities. Monitoring critical system elements help in detecting issues before they can turn into major technological anomalies causing downtime. As the symptoms of potential disruptions are resolved preemptively, both on-site and in-house devices remain available to employees with minimal possibility of interruption or performance gaps.

Maintaining stringent usage protocols: Formalising strict guidelines for the use of devices deployed in government organizations is pivotal to maintaining systems integrity and, thereby, ensuring consistent and optimized systems performance. Considering the confidentiality expectation in most government functions, there is no scope for losing focus from the protocols and policies for technology usage.

In particular, devices operated by multiple users tend to be at risk of infiltration by harmful elements, external or otherwise. For instance, exchange of files — some of which could be corrupt or even malicious in nature — is also a dangerous prospect in the absence of stringent security protocols. These protocols are imperative to establish remote monitoring of devices that process sensitive information, ensuring that lapses in proper operability are immediately identified and addressed. When users operate their devices in strict compliance with the usage policies, the instances of configurational drifts will decrease. This will consequently reduce the involvement of IT personnel in managing and troubleshooting trivial issues.

Effective backup strategies: Given the astronomical amount of data processed by computing devices in a government organization, loss of locally saved data is a perpetual risk. Unexpected device malfunctions often lead to loss of valuable information if data could not be saved on time. This not only interferes with essential functions and services but also leaves a far-reaching ripple effect across related departments.

In order to avoid such predicaments, IT teams should devise and deploy a robust data backup mechanism. In this regard, investment should be made only on solutions that have been tried and tested for backing up and recovering data at the industrial scale. The preferred practice is to opt for both on-premises and cloud storage to have a double layer of protection. Data backups should be scheduled at regular intervals and outside the operational hours. This ensures that the process is completed without any interruption in the workflow.

Prioritise system maintenance: Optimal productivity of government employees depends on upgraded and well-maintained devices. Regular system maintenance is undeniably a tedious and overwhelming task but necessary nonetheless. Installing OS upgrades and software patches, which is a crucial aspect of systems maintenance, can be significantly simplified using technological solutions that can schedule and run upgrades automatically. Timely maintenance of devices keeps them functional in optimal condition for longer, thereby experiencing minimal downtime. This relieves the burden on IT personnel, allowing them to spend more time and resources on activities that are conducive to innovation and delivery of quality services.

Restorative Remediation Measures: Despite preventive measures being in place, it cannot be guaranteed that unexpected downtime will not occur. Restoring federal systems into a functional state is of utmost priority. Having effective technological solutions that help to accomplish the same improve the resilience and dependability of the IT infrastructure at government organizations.

Reboot to Restore technology is a particularly robust option to system restoration. Solutions leveraging this technology can help IT staff combat degrading device performance and other system issues occurring due to configurational drifts. Such System Restore solutions allow IT admins to determine and preserve a baseline system configuration per the operational requirement. Henceforth, reboot to restore software reverts systems to their respectively defined baseline configuration with every restart. All user-made changes such as altered system settings and unauthorized downloads and installations are completely removed. As a result, all causes of systems malfunction or failure are eliminated instantly.

The overarching nature of the government sector makes it imperative to have streamlined functions across its organizations. To make this possible, maximum uptime and optimal performance of the IT systems is essential.