Unexpected incidents drives cost and frustration
Managing your IT is complex, but in the era of cloud computing, the work has changed as we no longer need to pay attention to physical datacenters or hardware. Challenges in IT infrastructure management are handled by cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon or Google. The cloud computing cost efficiency is unparalleled which motivates migrations to the cloud. In our previous blog article, The Hosting Evolution that led to the Cloud, we wrote about how we ended up in the cloud.
But even in the best of worlds, or best of clouds, unexpected incidents sometimes arise with little warning. A well-kept environment with people that knows what they’re dealing with will of course drastically decrease the number of unexpected incidents. Having a proper cloud incident management process that follows best practices for incident response in the cloud is crucial so that you bring systems up and running again as quickly as possible. IT infrastructure issues are always a hassle and should be as few possible.
The true cost of incidents is not revenue lost, but it’s also a matter of demoralizing employees and brand trustworthiness where your organization having to deal with problems that in most cases could have been avoided. Too many incidents are costly in so many ways and if you don’t pay attention, you might even lose some of your best people.
Never let incidents be repeated
It’s embarrassing when the same type of incidents occurs more than once, then it’s not unexpected anymore and the core reason is often that nobody learned from the first incident. Imagine if you were an airline and your planes were crashing – you would be out of business in a jiffy!
In the past, IT departments sometimes forgot to keep system updated – or decided that it was better to update them less often because there was a risk when implementing the updates. The same was thought around operating systems and database engines where legacy versions were kept too long – and sometimes even outside the manufacturer’s support.
That was a bad strategy then, and even worse today as there are often security bearings on forgetting to implement updates. And villains sadly have both the tools and the methodology to discover security weaknesses and to exploit them. You want to be in the news for better and more pleasant reasons!
The best incidents are the ones that never happen. Easy to say and perhaps harder to live by, but with the right mindset you will seldom be caught by surprise. That’s why all IT operations needs to heavily lean on being proactive so that your daily work will follow proper processes and standard operational procedures (SOPs) in order to avoid surprises. IT operations should be no drama when you have a way of managing IT infrastructure and applications proactively.
Proactiveness is the way to go
Our way of thinking, or our approach to proper management of IT resources you might say, is to invest in proactive IT management. Monitoring systems don’t just alert when something is wrong, they also help us to understand negative trends which can help us preventing future incidents. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) we can analyze large amounts of data points and make better decisions. Speaking of AI and ML, there are many tasks that can be automated thanks to robotization and that both saves cost and increases quality in daily tasks. Traditional break and fix IT operations were often manual, without processes and undocumented– both the proactive part and the incident part contained lots of manual work. It was not only time consuming, but it also led to inconsistencies which increases the likeliness of new problems down the road.
The need for proper Configuration Management
With the cloud you can save money by rightsizing, that means that you don’t need to overcommit with surplus computing power and storage because it can easily be added as needed. But when you’re only paying for what’s needed, you need to proactively monitor so that you don’t miss out on increasing capacity just before it’s actually needed. This is part of proper Configuration Management which is an art in itself and sadly often forgotten. Another crucial component is to have a software configuration management plan so that you plan ahead.
We’re taking a holistic 360 view of our customers’ IT operations because we understand that no chain is stronger than its weakest link. There are so many components that needs to play together in order for any system to deliver at its best. It’s not just about uptime, it’s also about optimizing performance so that your users, internal and external, are getting a delightful experience when using your systems. Nobody ever said no to enjoying a speedy system or website!
Managing IT has always been a challenge but today it’s easier than ever before to make it right.
With a proactive maintenance approach, you will better serve your company, employees and customers because you reduce the drama of IT and you will increase the likeliness of your systems being up and continuously being able to deliver the agreed services!
Think like an airline and address problems on the ground so that your planes are not being caught in an incident. Simple as that!
What can you do if you don’t engage with Idenxt and instead do IT management on your own?
- Strive to incorporate Proactive IT Management and take care of IT infrastructure maintenance
- Make sure that your documentation exists – and is regularly updated
- Follow a Change Management Process
- Make sure that you do Configuration Management, including having a software configuration management plan
- Automate as much as you can
- Learn how to do Incident Management in Cloud environment so that you do proper incident response in the age of cloud
- Always keep systems updated from the operating system and up to the application layer
- Learn from Incidents and make sure that the knowledge translates into your daily operations so that you avoid the same type of incidents to be repeated
- Reduce the number of vendors you’re using as it helps you when it comes to reducing training and makes it easier to operate 24/7 365 with an optimized number of people