We all have a pretty good idea of what is in our home at this moment. Perhaps not the turtle that your son may have befriended or a kitten that stole your daughter’s heart, but you know how many beds there are how many sofas you have and how many chairs there are in the kitchen. It’s a good bet you also know how many plates you have.
But none of that information is critical to your business. What IS critical to a smooth-running operation is knowing what you have in the office. But alas, it is rare to find an organization that is fully knowledgeable of what they currently have.
There are many times we meet a new client because a server, or a function within such as email, has failed unexpectedly. During the initial conversations with these clients, it is usually a stressful time when other vendors have been contacted but refuse to get involved unless there is already a service contract in place. So, at the point when we arrive time is of the essence.
The first thing we must know is where is your software? Where are the associated license keys? What were the settings for the device or software that has failed? For a server, what were the IP addresses assigned? For a firewall, we need to know what rules were in place and what traffic was being allowed. Not trying to get too technical here, but I think you get my point. If you want normal operations resumed quickly, you need to know what you have. Solutions can be obtained without that information, but it makes the process much lengthier and therefore costlier.
These may also seem like some easy questions, but it is rare that businesses have this information readily available, with or without an internal IT Team. Yet knowing what you have can make the difference of a critical failure or a hiccup in operations. Businesses with an internal IT Team just know that so-and-so has all of that taken care of.
It pains me to use this example as it is so close to home, but recently an IT Manager was involved in an accident. We are praying for them and their family for a recovery, but at the current time, they are unable to communicate. Unfortunately for the organization, there were critical passwords that were not documented.
How this potential for disaster can be addressed is by creating a living document that contains the data for your organization. It should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. There should be no single point of failure in maintaining the document. No one person should know what the information is or where it is located. It should not be stored on one computer, nor in one physical location. It should be encrypted and a password assigned as this is sensitive information to the security of your organization.
This is all easy stuff my friends, it just takes a little bit of reoccurring time on your calendar. We offer assistance in assisting you and your organization to perform a review to ensure that the most critical data is in your documentation. It is not a lengthy process, and having a second set of eyes on your plan is never a bad thing. We don’t need to review any sensitive data, just help you to review your memory to make sure you know what is in your office, short of any turtles or kittens your employees brought to work.
For assistance, call Advanced Systems Solutions at 407.414.6626 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org