Your IT department is up and running. You have the latest software and all of the resources you think you could ever need. But did you remember to include maintenance in your overall IT structure? The truth is, many businesses neglect this critical component until it creates a bigger fire that needs to be put out. With that in mind, today we will discuss the importance of regular IT maintenance for your own business.
Many IT departments in small and mid-sized companies run into resource challenges. These resource challenges take on many faces. But regardless of where the IT department is constrained this week, the level of detail internal staff can get to and have a life outside of work is often minimal.
I have seen only a few talented IT generalists keep many balls from falling on the floor. But eventually, the juggler gets sick or tired, or both. Then, a ball or two ends up on the floor and often in a very dramatic and painful way.
Attention to detail is a necessary quality an IT department needs to have. With all of the various fires that need to be put out on a day-in and day-out basis, simple maintenance and documentation tasks fall to the wayside.
(Speaking of IT departments, click here to read about hiring IT employees for your own)
What happens without IT maintenance?
Here is an actual example.
The IT department in a mid-sized company helps architect new financial management IT systems for their company.
PeopleSoft (now Oracle) is the chosen vendor. The IT department takes the hardware requirements from PeopleSoft and implements them to the letter. Everything functions fine. Until three years later…The system has a major crash due to a power outage with lost data. Then, the already resource-constrained IT department works around the clock for weeks to recover from it.
The root cause was not the design or the system itself. It was the lack of IT maintenance and attention to detail.
(Are you familiar with the three most common cybersecurity attacks on small businesses? Read about them here.)
There were several issues that arose from this lack of attention to detail and routine IT maintenance tasks. A few of the key issues included an over-subscribed UPS and unsupported versions of software and hardware.
With the UPS, regular tests were not performed and checking the battery viability did not happen. Additionally, over time, other servers were plugged into the device that was designed to only support the financial system. This resulted in 30-45 seconds of battery life and when that time was up, all the servers crashed hard.
After several of the other issues were addressed after the crash, the team needed to restore data from backup tapes. Because the backup process was not monitored well and restoration tests were never performed, the team didn’t discover that the version of backup software was no longer supported by the manufacturer of the tape drive until they needed to restore critical data.
Mature IT processes and the discipline to make sure that the processes are followed is the key difference between what CloudNexus offers and what IT departments can usually provide. It is not the IT departments’ fault either. Fires take precedence, followed by project work and when that takes up more than 50 hours a week for each IT employee, they opt to let this IT maintenance lapse.
But just like the boiled frog, when the water slowly reaches that critical boiling point, an IT department ends up on the bad side of a crisis. CloudNexus pays attention to the little things so that your IT department doesn’t have to.
Did you learn a lot about IT maintenance in this post?
Here are three to read next:
- How Common are Cyberattacks on Business in the United States?
- Why IT Managed Services? Six Key Benefits
- 5 Top Cybersecurity Trends of 2021
This post was first published in 2010, but it was updated in 2021 just for you.