Where is the sense in that?


Photo courtesy: Dan4th

As I came to the office this morning and tried to log in, I had the nice surprise that nothing works. No messaging, no SAP, no Internet. Early morning so no employees either. I throw a quick call to a friend in admin and asked her to check the SAP servers. Few minutes later everyone is on the move. Something is clearly very wrong.

During yesterday’s storm (which is not that much of a storm if you ask me) there has been a quick electricity outage.  It was quick enough to break down the air conditioning system in the Data Center. This morning the center was so heated that you could feel it through the glass. A data center bathing in tropical weather is bad news, really really bad news.

Now let me get this straight, we have blackberries in the hand of every head of department and yet no one thought it would be pertinent for us to monitor the temperature of our data Center? No one considered backing up our air conditioning system a priority?

I’m puzzled, really. We spend Big money on virtualization, ERPs, network monitoring systems, Business Intelligence platforms etc. and yet we take the ABCs of IT systems so lightly…

Funny thing is it’s very similar to an access system I once been acquainted to. No one comes in or out the offices without having to go through lengthy procedures, but no one asks you what you’re doing walking around sensitive areas. They give the illusion of high security when in fact they’re vulnerable from the inside to a grand extent. We live in the appearacnce of a state of the art IT system when in fact our bases are shaky. Where is the sense in that?

Many organizations seem to be falling in this trap. They follow the latest trends, buy the edgiest gadgets, implement the latest sensational platforms but forget the ultimate aim behind the whole IT system itself. And as we’re in December, holy month of strategies, wrapping ups, prediction and can’t-afford-to-ignore lists; I urge IT folks to take a moment and prioritize, ask themselves these questions (among others): Do we “really” need that upgrade? Is implementing the new shiny system our competition acquired that necessary? Does vendors claiming a system to be obsolete means it for your organisation? Are we building up a multiple floors tower on shaky grounds?  

Maybe 2011 shouldn’t be a year for implementing new technologies; maybe it’s a year for going back to basics…

Lamia Ben.