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Why IT Causes You Headaches, pt. 6

You Are Not Addressing the Root of the Problem!

There are several common issues that we see as a Managed IT Services Provider. 

At times we identify issues within our processes and use it as an opportunity to improve. Often we will find a new and better tool solution via a webinar, conference, or vendor product demo. But the most common issues we see relate to pain points we hear by talking to prospective customers—and we hear many of the same things repeatedly. Through this series of blog posts, we will examine some of these common items and talk about how you can deal with them. 

We’re all familiar with the term “band-aid fix” as it applies to anything other than first aid for a small scrape or cut. This generally refers to a problem that has not been completely fixed, but rather covered up for a temporary workaround. In these cases, especially when discussing technical issues, this “band-aid” is likely to fall off and reveal the original problem. Depending on the nature, it may reveal something much worse. 

I’ll avoid continuing to use this analogy, as most are familiar with the term (and, frankly, I’d rather not delve into the more grotesque aspects of worsening wounds). All the same, temporary fixes can lead to worsening behavior from a machine and, at the risk of sounding too doom-and-gloom, can literally lead to its destruction or complete inability to function. 

As IT professionals, team members for a Managed Services Provider must have a deep understanding of IT systems and the processes therein. With this knowledge, issues can be properly diagnosed in order to eliminate lingering issues or, indeed, prevent larger issues. Ideally, this involves building systems from the ground up with redundancy and visibility regarding the general IT health of a system in mind. 

For example, a failing hard drive may not show obvious signs as performance deteriorates. A missing file, slight slowness, or an irregular crash may seem innocuous to an end user, even one somewhat familiar with tech. Under normal circumstances, one might not regularly check the Windows Event Viewer (or MacOS Console) which may reveal a larger or looming problem: abnormalities in the hard drive. For the sake of argument, let’s take this scenario a step further and assume that we’ve determined the hard drive is overheating. One may need to get a particular project complete, and so a decision is made to “push through” the issue by elevating the laptop or placing it on a cooling pad to allow for more airflow underneath. And then, with problem alleviated, one may simply move on. This may indeed allow the HD to cool down sufficiently to no longer produce error messages, but it does not fix the underlying issue.

Unfortunately, then, too often the problem gets forgotten or unreported. Because a malfunction has a pesky habit of not fixing itself, the next malfunction could likely be more severe and result in severe data loss. 

This bad decision/bad result cycle could easily be avoided with proper monitoring. Even when purchasing quality products and treating equipment well, there is a chance of a product malfunctioning or breaking. However, a responsible Managed Services Provider will likely have an automated solution in place to alert technicians of the error. For example, at Certified CIO, our monitoring software will create a ticket for review which would both alert the business and our engineers of the issue and begin a process for replacement of the hard drive (and examination of warranty, etc).

Another level of this issue at the end user level is simply failure to understand a problem. Quite simply, not everyone is inclined to diagnose IT issues. It may be as simple as improper drivers or poor network configuration that, for example, requires a printer to be consistently detached and re-attached to the network to function. While this and similar peripheral problems do not lead to data loss, it indeed can lead to frustration and loss of productivity.

We’d love to help you get your IT in order and working for you rather than against you. We are happy to provide a consultation and follow-on project for your needed fixes, but we’d love to discuss bringing you on board with our monitoring services and provide the key piece of IT productivity that your SMB needs! Contact Us or give us a call RIGHT NOW!

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