[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Welcome to “Do IT Right,” a 9-part series on how to succeed in the most important areas of IT management. In this series we introduce you to Simmons & Hawking, a fictional law firm that is scaling up its outdated IT infrastructure, and the relatable challenges faced by their IT stakeholders. In part 4, we were introduced to Natalie, an IT Support Engineer at Simmons & Hawkings, who recently took over the day-to-day operations of their newly implemented IT environment. While Natalie is highly skilled and experienced, she is quickly discovering how launching a new IT infrastructure has its unexpected issues.
When we last left Natalie, she was ensuring that everything was being properly delivered and installed thanks to implementing a comprehensive order management strategy. Now it’s time to flip the “on” switch.
With new systems and products installed and deployed at Simmons & Hawking, the reality of the new IT infrastructure is setting in. While for the most part everything is performing well and the benefits of the new systems are beginning to become apparent, there are some complications that have arisen.
That’s to be expected. During the planning and procurement stage and the final steps before everything launches, the assumption is that everything will work as it’s supposed to. Every step up to this point was necessary to make for a near flawless implementation, but nothing is perfect.
The truth is, problems arise. A flood of users are accessing new infrastructure for the first time and the ability to troubleshoot can get bogged down by limited support bandwidth. Couple that with a fire-breathing boss asking why his expensive new environment isn’t working properly, and the stress can quickly build up–and Natalie is feeling it.
The solution, however, is not to avoid these problems–that’s impossible. Natalie and her predecessor, Ethan, did their due diligence, shepherding this project along like seasoned IT pros and minimizing potential issues as much as possible along the way. No, the trick to being able to counter unexpected hiccups–both at launch and throughout an IT lifecycle–is being prepared to immediately resolve the problems when they happen. Having failsafes, backup protocols, and monitoring that allows Natalie the ability to fix an issue as it happens and have it resolved before any negative effect takes place, is the best case scenario for any trouble spot.
Achieving this level of superhero-esque ability isn’t impossible. It requires having a good asset management workflow in place from the very beginning.
Asset management enables businesses to track each area of IT operations at the inventory item level, from carrier services, devices, hardware, and custom technical attributes. Tied to inventory are all orders, charges, contracts, and cost center assignments. On hardware you can track warranties, depreciation schedules, and more. With all of this information at your fingertips, identifying and solving problems becomes quicker. Deep understanding of your inventory enables the ability to see where services need to be scaled up or down, expose expensive solutions that are underutilized, and leveraging usage data for smarter decisions regarding on how to best adjust an IT environment and avoid potential pitfalls.
Natalie knows there is always a learning curve when a new system is first deployed in an actual business setting, but this stress testing shouldn’t be frightening. In fact, it’s a good thing. These immediate problems help Natalie understand the system’s idiosyncrasies, learn the nuances of navigating them successfully, and ensure that problems are solved in the most efficient way with the least possible disruption to users.
Without good asset management in place, this process can be frustrating, and often defeating. With good asset management, this can be the step that solidifies the reliability and functioning of your IT environment for years to come.
Natalie knows that to be truly responsive to her clients, she needs to have the tools and expertise in hand to help her develop and maintain a comprehensive overview of the assets that make up her new IT environment–and continue down the path of a successful IT infrastructure launch.
Order Management is one of the 9 modules of vCom Solutions’ vManager platform. Fill out the form below to download our extended eBook on the topic!