Your business needs your technology to operate efficiently and effectively. Competing in today’s digitally-driven economy require systems which perform at optimum levels and provide the functionality demanded by your users. The reliance your business has on technology has increased as new solutions have broken down barriers, improved efficiencies, and enhanced productivity. However, this reliance is a double-edged sword. When your technology fails, it has a detrimental impact on your ability to function, and excuses are of little value when you are not able to operate. Due to the critical role technology plays in your business, it is crucial to understand the reasons behind technology failure and what measures you can implement to mitigate this risk.
5 Reasons Why Technology Fails
Uncovering the general causes of technology failure can go a long way toward ensuring your systems remain stable and provide the performance you need. A productive enterprise I.T. ecosystem requires a successful combination of people, process, and technology. Attributing the cause of an I.T. failure can be difficult. However, it is usually a flaw in one of these components which has caused the system to fail.
1 – Poor Implementation
A poorly implemented technical solution has the potential to cause complex repercussions affecting an organization’s I.T. environment. Due to the interconnected and integrated nature of modern system architectures, an issue in one system can adversely affect other applications which depend on it. As such, organizations need to pay particular attention to the impact and dependency a system has on other applications when implementing a specific service. Often the cause is a misalignment between the technology and the business requirement. An impact study should therefore not only be limited to the technical specifications of integrations between systems but should also include an assessment of the people and I.T. processes affected.
2 – Poor Maintenance
Neglecting the maintenance of the I.T. applications and services which run your business could not only lead to poor systems performance but could ultimately result in your entire environment failing. Performing daily, weekly, and even monthly maintenance tasks are essential to ensuring your I.T environment operates as it should. It is therefore vital to carry out I.T. management and maintenance activities such as backing up data, performing system updates, and responding to any system-generated alerts or incidents on a regular ongoing basis. Again, failing to maintain an I.T. environment is not a technological issue, but one that involves failure in the people and process components of the I.T. ecosystem.
3 – Overutilization
Due to the magnitude of modern technology environments, overutilized internal I.T. teams are often too busy maintaining existing infrastructure and responding to support incidents to attend to every task effectively. This lack of capacity could result in your technology not performing as it should, ultimately impacting your company’s ability to operate. As your reliance on technology grows, and other systems come online to meet the needs of your business, investing time and money into supplementing your I.T. team with additional resources is essential. Your business needs these specialized skills to ensure your I.T. environment continues to operate at peak performance and optimum efficiency.
4 – Complexity
The pace at which technology is not only innovating but also transforming both society and commerce is having a profound impact on businesses. Cloud services and mobility have been a part of the business mainstream for some time, but emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence have the potential to disrupt enterprises even further. To ensure your business solutions remain technically relevant, you need to invest in skills which can implement these technologies as well as re-engineer your I.T. processes. Failing to either leverage the potential of these new solution platforms or commit the necessary resources to deploy them properly could lead to a situation where your technology does not provide the functionality and performance your business needs.
5 – Misalignment
One of the fundamental errors organizations make when implementing technology is not aligning the solution to their specific business requirements. If this misalignment occurs, I.T. systems fail to deliver on the business prerequisites. It is therefore imperative that the execution of any technology implementation observe the stipulations agreed upon in a proper business requirement specification. In this way, the creation of the functional specification and the actual solution deployment will meet the expectations set, and deliver the results anticipated by the business.
How to Fix Your Technology Problem
As mentioned, a successful technical implementation involves a mix of people, process, and technology. When your systems do not work as they should, the failure is generally due to the poor implementation of one or more of these factors. However, taking a strategic approach can help you mitigate the risks of your technology failing as well as unlock the potential benefits inherent in your existing I.T. systems.
The creation of any I.T. strategic plan starts with an initial assessment of the current state of your technology environment. This opening evaluation of the condition of your I.T. systems should include an appraisal of the maturity level which exists in each of your I.T. services. For example, if you run manual processes and find your I.T. team consistently being reactive to incidents, your I.T. maturity level for that specific service would be low. On the other hand, if your assessment reveals your tightly integrated systems possess a high level of automation, then your maturity level would be deemed high. It is, however, important to remember that each I.T. service needs to be assessed individually in addition to judging your environment as a whole. You may discover for example that your identity and access management may rate very low, but on the other hand, your disaster recovery may rank on the top end of the scale. Unpacking your environment into these individual components can help you isolate pockets of weakness and address these accordingly.
Once you have completed your assessment and identified areas within your I.T. environment which need redress, the next step is to formulate a technical program to implement the necessary changes required in your people, processes, and technologies. It is important to remember that when implementing technology, the plan needs to have enough detail describing the intended design to ensure a successful implementation. It should also take note of any impact the planned change will have on your entire I.T. environment, including any effects on people and processes.
After completing the planning stage, the implementation of the proposed plan needs to take place. Executing this phase should only occur on the completion of the assessment and preparation of the proposed design. As stated previously, poorly implemented solutions are often the cause of technology failing to deliver the expected business results. However, if the necessary due diligence has taken place, the risk lies in the execution. It is therefore essential that you invest in obtaining the right skills to help you implement the technology or process change to your environment.
How Partnering With an MSP Can Help
There are many reasons your technology may not deliver the performance or functionality you require. Poor implementation, inadequate maintenance, a lack of I.T. resource capacity, the complexity of modern solutions, and misaligning systems to business requirements are just some of the causes. Rectifying this situation requires a strategic approach where an assessment of your current people, processes, and technology can help you identify the underlying issues. Once that is completed, you can then formulate a plan to resolve any problems and execute accordingly. It is always a good idea to get an outside opinion when it comes to internal I.T., and that is where a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can help. Obtaining the advice and guidance of a specialized MSP can help you achieve the objectivity your initial assessment needs. The right MSP can also help you plan and implement new solutions, augment your I.T. team with specialized skills, and assist with the management and maintenance of your I.T. environment.
JMARK has been helping businesses increase their success with the help of innovative I.T. solutions for thirty years. The driving force behind everything we do is to help our clients move their business forward and achieve their goals. To learn more about how we can help you take charge of your technology and make it work for your organization, contact us today.