It’s the technology that usually shoulders the blame for failures but the reality is that most technology problems have their roots in poor management by people.
Have you ever noticed how the printer runs out of toner five minutes before you absolutely have to have those documents for a meeting?
Even though the machine was alerting users for the last three weeks, there is a tendency to ignore the looming problems until it interrupts the flow of business – and when that happens, it usually has unpleasant consequences.
The printer serves as a perfect example of why proactive management of all aspects of IT infrastructure and services is necessary, says Ray Delany Chief Executive of New Zealand IT consulting and software development company Designertech.
“Printers are simple, commodity items, yet when they stop working, it has a real impact on business processes. When it is enterprise software or services that are interrupted, the magnitude of the impact is often considerably higher.”
“Unquestionably the growing complexity of the technology environment will no doubt result in a higher rate of failures because of the reactive nature of many managers.”
It is not uncommon to read headlines such as ‘power failure blamed for crash’, ‘freight train derailment blamed on equipment’ and ‘equipment failure triggers emergency callout’, but increasingly these problems can be traced back to people not doing the right thing somewhere along the line.
Reactive management of problems means it’s too late to avoid the hassle and cost of a failure.
“Given the complexity of IT environments today, the things that can and do affect their smooth operation are legion. Software updates to any one of the hundreds of programmes used in a typical business environment can have unexpected interactions on the others.
“Hardware components can fail, network links can be interrupted. If the normal operation of any one of these or many other aspects of the technology stack is affected, work can stop.”
A reactive approach to dealing with problems means exposing your business to unnecessary risk, says Delany.
“Reactive support also incentives your service provider to find the quickest and easiest solution to a problem to get the system working as soon as possible, rather than to find the root cause and a permanent fix that prevents the problem from reoccurring,” he adds.
Instead, he says a proactive approach, using advanced software tools for monitoring and management, provides for the anticipation of failures and the ability to address them before something goes wrong.
“Predicting and preventing most issues before they impact your business means improving the productivity of your personnel. The result is better value from your IT infrastructure and a stabilised cost of support.”