Modern IT systems need to be monitored 24/7, but if that means you as the manager are getting no sleep, something has gone badly awry. Here are five signs you need to radically rethink your technology strategy.
Sleeping picture from Shutterstock
These points came up in a presentation by consultant Walter Eikenboom at TechEd North America 2013 today. Whatever the size and range of your technology, they all provide clear warnings that you're not working efficiently, and raise the risk that you won't get enough sleep, with all the health challenges that entails.
Every incident is ranked as equally important. Not all problems have the same urgency. If you don't have techniques to distinguish crucial fixes from issues that can wait for attention, you'll quickly go crazy.
You race from incident to incident Even if you can identify which issues are critical, you need a game plan for how you will manage your time. Otherwise, warns Eikenboom: "You're not actually looking at what's happening — you're just running and running."
You wish the IT administrator could be cloned. Experienced IT pros can be tough to come by, and the budget to hire them is even rarer. Wishing for more staff is rarely going to get the desired results, unfortunately.
There's no time for infrastructure improvement planning. If all your time is spent worrying about how to fix minor issues, planning improvements will be a low priority — which makes it even more likely those minor issues will balloon into major problems.
Seeing system knowledge as 'knowing who knows'. Project experts will invariably arise in any IT organisation, but it shouldn't stay that way. Documenting procedures ensures that systems will work when that expert resigns or becomes ill or takes a holiday.
Documentation feels tedious but makes life easier in the long run. "You need to make it part of your DNA," Eikenboom said. "You need time to write down how to fix a problem or it will never get done properly."