In many small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), when an IT emergency is experienced, the decision makers call in the troops to fix the issue and expend many hours and dollars to get back up and running. When the crisis has passed, the emergency is soon forgotten, and business gets back to normal. These environments tend to coast from emergency to emergency, have an unclear budget in mind, and generally have high frustration levels when the unexpected happens.
In some IT environments, everything seems to be running fine, there are no emergencies, and everything is perceived to be working. Unfortunately, in some cases, and usually below the surface, outdated, mismanaged, slow systems, broken technology is observed. The technology decisions in some circumstances have been delegated to end users or untrained employees who “make it work” in order to fit within a budget. These types of environments are incurring unknown IT debt that will be repaid when the inevitable systems crash happens.
Both types of scenarios described are various forms of the “break-fix” cycle. Something breaks, a decision is made, and business continues to run. Most of the time a root cause is identified, but what happens to that finding is equally important. Traditionally companies use this as a driver to purchase a new piece of equipment, upgrade software, or implement a project. Unfortunately, this is a short-term solution that does not address long-term needs. Many businesses find themselves in the same position at some point in the future and make the same mistakes all over again.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this series next week…..“IT as a Strategic Asset to the Organization”