HELP – My IT system needs to see a doctor!

Just like a car needs to undergo an MOT to ensure everything is running efficiently, IT System Health Checks are essential if you want to ensure your IT processes and systems are working to their full potential. You may have deployed a system that was configured to your companies’ specific needs, but it is important to remember that every IT infrastructure is subject to degradation over time. You may not even realise that there are improvements available to you, or that you are not effectively mitigating potential risks that could harm you operationally and financially.

An IT System Health Check can help your organisation’s network to operate more efficiently, by identifying inconsistencies and irregularities in your IT processes that are hindering stability and infrastructure performance.

 There are a number of reasons why your IT system may not be working optimally, from the overutilization of resources, to out of specification hardware. The two most likely culprits, however, are usually outages caused by the over application of manual intervention and data breaches.

OUTAGES – Reduce the amount of manual intervention, don’t increase it

In the last decade, there has been a huge shift from building applications in a monolithic architecture on a server to today’s microservices that are packaged in containers and hosted in a cloud environment. Developers are under pressure with the increase in complexity. According to Ars Technica, there are 100 times more code being managed in the 2020s compared to 2010s which unfortunately elicits 100 to 150 errors for every thousand lines of code written. Lehman’s laws of software predicted this inevitability, where the quality of our software systems would decrease, despite massive improvements, because of our inability to rigorously maintain and adapt. It stands to reason if you consider how many hacks, shortcuts, and workarounds are applied over a computer’s life. The main issue is not only the “quick fixes” we apply to avoid outages, but that we rarely revisit these band aid solutions to find the underlying causes and apply a long-term solution. Inevitably, these “quick fixes” cause issues in other areas of the computer’s performance, which slows our systems down even further. This leads to more unplanned outages that are costly to our business, customers, and suppliers.

Automating your IT processes makes your data more accurate, transparent, and accessible, removing the potential for errors, delays, and unexpected costs. 

Automating your IT processes makes your data more accurate, transparent, and accessible, removing the potential for errors, delays, and unexpected costs.

Data breaches can destroy your company

IBM recently carried out their 17th Cost of Data Breaches report where 550 organisations were studied for the impact that data breaches have on their organisations. They discovered that 83% of organisations surveyed had more than one data breach in the last year, of which 60% led to increases in prices, which were passed onto customers. In almost all the cases studied, the proper application of basic security fundamentals could have prevented these breaches, such as the updating of software on a regular basis to ensure strong ciphers are applied, and password authentication methodologies are strengthened.

Companies can save millions incurred from data breaches, just by automating their cybersecurity posture to prepare for these attacks with software-based monitoring, detection, and containment.

An IT Systems Health Check can help discover opportunities to increase computing efficiencies and reduce costs. These are conducted by experts in the particular systems that the customer is concerned about. Coliance conducts many IT System Health Checks on IBM Secure File Transfer, EDI, and Application Integration systems such as IBM Sterling B2Bi, SFG, Connect: Direct or IBM App Connect Enterprise. We use our expertise to perform analysis and conduct an audit in the following key areas:

  • Establish a reporting structure: Who within the organisation is going to be involved in the reporting, from senior managers to architects, developers, and testers.

  • Assessment of overall architecture, including environments.

  • Identification of key bottlenecks and risks to prioritize the recommended resolution orders.

  • Detection of major system level configuration issues, such as gaps in technology stack, versions, compatibility.

  • Monitor active performance in a deployed solution – a non-intrusive activity in an environment that matches production capacity where possible.

  • Analyze how well the existing implementation meets the requirements.

  • Review system maintenance records and business processes to ensure best practice is followed for maintenance.

  • Perform a code/product asset review for top bottlenecks identified and additional problematic items.

Coliance’s highly experienced team will provide a consolidated report that includes a set of recommendations and follow-up activities with innovative solutions to counteract your vulnerabilities.

The benefits of undergoing an IT Systems Health Check cannot be denied. Coliance recently assisted a large US manufacturer who was experiencing regular outages that impacted their reputation and resulted in a loss of revenue. Despite having a robust in-house IT team, they could not identify the root cause of their outages. Coliance’s IT Systems Health Check revealed an issue with high memory utilization, along with several contributing bad practices:

By making a few environmental and code changes, Coliance was able to stabilise their system, reducing outages from four per month to zero in the period of observance. The company’s reputation for reliability was restored and their revenue growth re-established.

With technology continually evolving and legacy systems being affected with new vulnerabilities, it is important for every organisation to review their existing IT solutions and undertake an IT Systems Health Check. Coliance can help you re-assess your baseline, remediate any potential risks, and keep your IT systems healthy.

If you are interested in improving your operational efficiency and rolling out defensive and proactive IT security measures, then consider using Coliance’s experience to implement a thorough Health-check, call us today, it could save your reputation.

Andrew Mahy
Senior Consultant

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