Although there is still some time left until we must “fall back” and change our clocks there is something about being on-time in the world of technology that we bet you didn’t know about! We recently had a client who could not log into their computers, at all, no matter what they tried. After so many failed attempts they reached out for us for help, only to find out that time was not on their side. Once we arrived on-site to diagnose the problem, we realized that time was the reason they could not log in to their computers. Time on your screen can affect both your network and your personal agenda for the day in ways you may not have realized, so let’s explain!
When a system is not correctly synced with time across the network there are a few things that could happen:
Failed Logins! The difference in time on the server vs. the time that is showing on your desktop essentially muffles communication from your PC to the server when trying to log in and until the time syncs back up this will repeatedly happen.
Low Battery Warning! When the battery on your motherboard starts to drain it will no longer store the correct time information on your computer, this can cause a lot of chaos. The time on your computer will be near impossible to keep accurate because it is always lagging.
Now, you may think that this time issue will only affect your network and its computers, but what about the toll it takes on your employees? Imagine coming into work and being unable to work, without the use of computers in some aspect, most companies would not be able to function, neither can their employees. Here are a few things that could affect your clients and employees:
Throw Productivity Out the Window! When the network stops communicating with the computers connected to it then your employees can not access any software, files, stored information, internets sites and more. This ultimately leaves them unable to complete any tasks until that communication is restored. Additionally, any scheduled tasks critical to the success of your business such as uploading content, confirming customer purchasing information and running diagnostics or reports cannot be performed.
Unhappy Customers and Clients! As any business owner knows, keeping your clients happy is always at the top of your list. Many businesses build their mission around high-quality customer satisfaction, but what if you couldn’t help your customers? You can not log into your computer, so ultimately you can’t access any client and customer information, which may lead to difficulty in communication with your customers.
Losing Information and Files! When you save anything to your computer the file receives a date and time stamp. Additionally, your e-mails and many other applications time stamp your work, which would be become inaccurate. If your business relies on time-sensitive or chronological information this could cause even more issues.
As you can see there are a variety of different issues that can be affected when the times across your network are not syncing up, so many in fact that there are now protocols and guidelines in place to protect businesses against server time changes.
In 2002 the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standardized a protocol for servers to use synchronized clocks on a network, which helped to support a critical part of daily business operations. It is very important for us to adhere to this protocol for our clients to protect them and their network from the risks of ‘not being on time’.
So, when you are getting ready to “fall back” and change your clocks, think about the effect that time can have on your daily routine both in and out of the office. If you are curious to see if your business is following these time protocols, you can schedule an on-site technology health audit for your system and network. This service is completely free and allows us to provide you and your business with the knowledge of care that it needs to not only avoid time-related shutdowns but also to function at its best day-to-day!
Michael is the President and owner of tech42 LLC. He has more than 20 years of cross-discipline experience in the information technology industry, and has worked both as a network engineer and software developer. He is a passionate student of the interaction between technology and business and leveraging that knowledge to help tech42’s clients achieve both technology and business success.