There is never a good time for businesses to experience IT downtime. Businesses expect IT to be up when needed and any unexpected downtime will be blamed on IT. As such, to experience IT downtime during a recession year could be the worst time to have one.
Businesses are bracing themselves for a possible recession with bleak economic outlook for 2016 and are already trimming budgets to stay in the black. IT budgets are often one of the first to be cut, but IT still need to run to support the business.
This will put more pressure on IT teams to deliver more with reduced resources and manpower. Any IT downtime will only increase the pressure on IT, especially when deals that could help the business in many ways are affected drastically.
So how can you do more with less?
1: Identify Key and Critical IT Devices
Every device in an IT infrastructure are considered to be important. However, it is important for IT teams to identify key and critical IT devices that could severely impact the business if it went down today.
Other important but none critical devices can also be identified accordingly.
Once these devices have been identified and group, IT teams could set up procedures and processes to prevent these devices from experiencing IT downtime or examine ways to prevent downtime for these devices.
2: Monitor Key and Critical IT Devices
IT devices are not immune to their “wear and tear” and a recession year could make replacing them beyond the means of the IT budget.
More than often, when these IT devices go down, it would have crossed a certain critical threshold before “all hell breaks loose”.
For example, a server’s memory or CPU should not have more than 80% utilisation at any one time, or ping should not be longer than 100ms, or hard disk is at 99% capacity.
It is important for IT teams to determine thresholds for their key and critical IT devices during an uptime before it goes down, especially for older IT devices.
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3: Assign one person to a set of device instead to a group
There is a tendency for IT teams to inform everyone if an alert went out. The intention may be great but it actually encourages recipients to adopt more of a wait and see for another to response to the alert.
If you do have a monitoring solution in place, it is recommended that you keep the alerts limited to two – one to the supervisor and one to the person responsible for fixing the issue.
This will ensure that when the alert comes, there is one person responsible for it to fix the issue.
If you need to inform a group, it is from experience that this be done by sending a summary report of critical issues at the end of the day to the group.
4: Automate Processes
During a recession year, it is most important to show that you are a value add to the business instead of being a cost centre. One way of doing so is to show productivity in your line of work.
Productivity is about the measure of efficiency of a person in converting his time and resources into a valuable business output to the business. While it is vague, it is often described as how to more with less.
IT teams might want to look at automating certain processes so it frees up their time to do something more valuable for business. One example of how NetGain Systems has helped several online remisier house is to automate the reporting of a very important FTP file transfer every morning to the Singapore Stock Exchange.
This helped to free up valuable human resource in the morning and allow the IT team to assign the resource to other areas to improve the IT team’s deliverables.