You have IT pain, and it comes in many forms. It can look like several independent technologies that carry different warranties, require different patches and updates, and do not always work together. It can also look like your data as a target of a smarter, more cunning IT criminal who spends their days figuring out how to hack your network and your data.
To the IT director, IT pain might look like having to spend most of your IT budget to replace outdated equipment or a “must-have” expensive upgrade. IT pain may also come in the form of reacting to IT emergencies instead of putting time and effort into a long-term, cohesive IT plan.
Whatever the case, every business experiences IT pain. Often these types of scenarios go from bad to worse over time, making it difficult for any IT team to build an IT plan and budget that proactively avoids IT pain.
This blog will detail a story about an unfortunate technology chain of events that led a (future) client to our doorstep and list specific qualities to look for when you decide to find and hire an outside IT expert to partner with your IT efforts.
Bad to Worse
This is a scenario of a former IT Director leaving this company for a new position at a new company. As is often the case, warranty updates and license renewals are challenging to manage, resulting in a chain of events that took the network entirely off the grid.
When remote employees can’t gain access to the network, they call IT. And this is the chain of events that ensued:
- The firewall license had expired. This was preventing remote employees from gaining access to the network.
- Update the firewall. Can’t do that? The cables and devices in the server room were connected, so that it caused several network loops. The traffic in the loop overloaded the network connections on the host that housed the servers.
- The host server became overloaded with corrupt network traffic, and the host crashed. The host crashing caused the Virtual Servers (located on that host) to crash, affecting the host’s stability upon restart.
- When the Virtual servers crashed, performance and stability problems made it difficult for remote workers to authenticate and connect to the network resources.
- When the virtual servers went down, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (which automatically provides the host with your IP) prevented users from getting proper IP addresses to access the network.
- When all was said and done, the old core network switch could not handle what was happening on the network, and it too crashed.
From bad to worse, this business felt the full IT pain of an expired firewall license.
Worse to Better
IT pain is not unique to any business, but the type of IT partner with the determination, grit, and expertise to get to the root cause of an issue is not as easy to find. Going from Bad to Better is a process, and it does not happen overnight. However, if you hold your IT partner to the following criteria, you will see IT pain become the exception and not the norm.
How to Discern the Right IT Partner:
- Work with practitioners, not technicians. The difference is simple. Practitioners both practice and hold certifications in their areas of practice. They are experts. Technicians have skills to fix limited technology issues but lack the planning and big picture expertise that ties IT to the business goals, not the technology.
- Don’t work with an IT partner that makes claims they can’t support. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If it seems much cheaper than any other provider, you better read the fine print for add-on pricing. Technology should not feel like voodoo science, and fixing problems takes analysis and expertise. Don’t fall for lofty claims.
- The partner will gladly inherit other IT companies’ problems. Face it; any new IT partner is going to inherit a set of IT issues. If your IT company does not willingly embrace the problem as their own, you may be left with finger-pointing or “well, we did not do it, so that will cost you extra.”
BONUS: Your IT Partner must be willing to do these 3 things:
- Willing to jump into the problem, even problems they did not create. They should ask hard questions and develop preventative options, not just a quick fix option.
- Work their butts off to figure out and fix the problems. This translates into troubleshooting IT issues and creating standards that can be measured and improved upon.
- Work with business leaders to identify business goals and tie IT to an IT Roadmap that plans for budget and IT upgrades over time.
The only bad to better IT story occurs because your IT partner is willing to do the hard work upfront and keep IT pain from going worse.
“We Work Harder” IT Practitioner
At Blue Fox Group, we work harder to help business leaders find more time to focus on high-priority tasks, reduce costs over time and work from an IT Roadmap that increases margins, plans for IT spend and reduces error in a very systematic way.
If IT pain is something you want to manage and reduce, have a conversation with a team that will work harder and finds preventative solutions to take your IT pain from bad to better.