When IT Panic Puts You Over the Edge

A few months ago I woke up at 5:37 a.m. to the sound of a text message from a client that read:

“We’re down. I’m screwed. Peace out.”

I’m sure many of us who’ve been through this scenario remember that gut wrenching feeling: I really can’t go through this again. Then after a few minutes of self-pity, the technical engineer in all of us gathers his/her wit and starts analyzing the situation and figuring out the game plan. Throughout the process I remember the client saying, “Is it worth it? Should I really be subjecting myself to these situations?” I can save you the debate we’ve all had internally: It is not worth it. It is not a good careerand the worst part –  this is trading career for life expectancy.

But if you were hoping that my “grand exit” is coming up next, you’re going to be disappointed. I’m a firm believer that we as IT professionals need to make a change in our work environment and establish better processes so we can thrive and prosper. No more looking for passwords, IP addresses, or running through a list of friends in the industry that might have the solution.

We, as business professionals, have to support our IT personnel in creating a manageable work environment in which we are jointly responsible for the risk and rewards.

The solution is not just technological; it also requires a commitment from the business to minimize the risk that IT personnel have to manage on a day-to-day basis.

It’s time to plan!!!

Business leaders:

  • Create a business impact assessment to identify areas of risk
  • Support your employees by providing the necessary resources/budgets to implement business continuity plans

IT Leaders:

  • Create and test your disaster recovery processes
  • Build and practice your communication plans

Rolling the dice is silly, and I know that as professionals we do that every day. Maybe that’s why we’re here, and it’s time for change.