If it’s been said before, I’ll say it again, we live in crazy times. In fact, it’s almost like we live in the future—the amount of technology that has permeated our collective global existence is nothing short of miraculous. However, with all of the convenience that comes with technology running every aspect of our daily lives, so does the realization that the dependance on said technology has become something that we can’t allow to break down … ever.
Think of the scope of today’s technological reliance: How we pay for goods and services, how we connect to people, how we access information, and how we manage our work lives—everything we do is based on technology. Therefore, the demand that we place on all service providers to “live up to our always-on expectations” is higher than ever before.
So what does this mean for those companies that supply goods and services? The approach that one must take to ensure constant uptime is far different from past approaches. The idea that services may sometimes be down, is no longer an acceptable standard for end-users—the maintenance or upgrade excuse is gone. More so, the tolerance for occasional business continuity issues due to malfunctions or otherwise has also gone the way of the Dodo.
For instance, just a few weeks ago Wells Fargo—America’s fourth largest bank—experienced unplanned downtime, locking customers out of their accounts for the better part of a day. And though this was due to an issue far outside of the control of the bank, the damage was far reaching.
In a quote from the bank, “The system issues were caused by an automatic power shutdown at one of Wells Fargo’s main data-center facilities, triggered by a smoke condition created by routine maintenance activities in the building.”
So, what was the outcome on the “future,” stopping for just a day? Needless to say, the internet was ablaze with angry comments directed at the bank. However, beyond the inconvenience, there were more serious outcomes such as fees being charged and needing to be reversed by the bank, pay checks not showing as deposited—the ripple effect grew as the day went on.
And what does Wells Fargo’s issue have to do with any other company? Simply put, the issues caused by a single day outage created a ripple effect that hurt brand, reputation, and the bottom line—something that every company tries to avoid. It’s the “how” that becomes the riddle.
For us, we see it all the time. As a company that specializes in IT Hardware Maintenance and Support services, our livelihood is spent ensuring that others’ livelihood is in good working order. And, like all service companies, the horror stories we have seen know no bounds.
It never ceases to amaze me how many companies ignore the inevitable until it happens—a cataclysmic event that causes all sorts of damage that then must be addressed, all while simultaneously trying to figure out a new approach going forward to mitigate risk of anything happening again. This is usually where we are called in for the first time as the new insurance policy.
Being able to take care of network hardware in real time that fails is one of the most important things a company can do. Having a third-party maintenance provider with parts in stock goes further than anyone can imagine. Additionally, the ability to report issues and monitor scenarios through a portal gives an entirely new and modern approach to keeping data centers up and running.
In the end, failures happen—regardless of how diligent IT people are at keeping a close eye on infrastructure. But when failures do occur, having a preplanned back-up in place ensures that the future remains bright—for customers and the business. Because, like the title says, The future isn’t allowed break down … ever.