Whether you’re a large or small busi­ness, the role of the IT de­part­ment should never be taken for granted.

Business First - - IT -

The IT team find them­selves at the fore­front of busi­ness suc­cess, pre­vent­ing is­sues, such as web­site down­time, from be­com­ing crit­i­cal prob­lems. The IT land­scape is evolv­ing and suc­cess no longer means en­sur­ing a sys­tem is prob­lem free, but adapt­ing to the chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment. In par­tic­u­lar small busi­ness should never un­der­es­ti­mate the role of IT, par­tic­u­larly the sys­tem ad­min­is­tra­tor (SysAd­min), and con­tin­u­ally look at re­sourc­ing to keep things run­ning smoothly and nav­i­gate is­sues be­fore and af­ter they ap­pear.

By fol­low­ing these three steps a SysAd­min can en­sure any small busi­ness is get­ting the most out of its IT sys­tem.


One of the most im­por­tant tasks of a SysAd­min is en­sur­ing the IT de­part­ment has a plan out­lined and ready to be ac­tioned dur­ing a net­work out­age, but long pe­ri­ods of smooth run­ning should not be taken for granted – as this time is crit­i­cal to en­sure a swift re­ac­tion when things go wrong.

Vi­su­al­is­ing po­ten­tial is­sues and coun­ter­mea­sures en­sure IT ac­tion plans are al­ways up-to-date and ready for when some­thing does go awry. Be­ing ready for down­time is more than a mat­ter of men­tal prepa­ra­tion; go­ing through trou­bleshoot­ing steps may re­veal gaps in ei­ther knowl­edge, avail­abil­ity of ref­er­ence ma­te­ri­als, or even nec­es­sary equip­ment and re­place­ment com­po­nents.

Mak­ing trou­bleshoot­ing a daily prac­tice will not only fill gaps dur­ing quiet times but also en­hance an IT de­part­ments pre­pared­ness for in­evitable out­ages that ev­ery sys­tem even­tu­ally faces.


Whether a SysAd­min has one year or twenty years of ex­pe­ri­ence, there is al­ways some­thing new to learn. IT sys­tems de­velop at an ac­cel­er­at­ing scale and be­ing an ab­so­lute ex­pert in the field as it was five years ago, may not be as im­pres­sive as it looks on pa­per. SysAd­mins now need to con­tin­u­ally evolve with the in­dus­try or risk be­ing un­pre­pared. The only way to do this is through ed­u­ca­tion, whether it’s at­tend­ing for­mal classes dur­ing off hours or keep­ing up with in­no­va­tions in the trade mag­a­zines. There will al­ways be ad­vance­ments that could di­rectly im­pact net­work out­ages, and the only way to stop this is through a com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion.


While pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures are the ba­sis of any plan, some­times it’s im­por­tant to step out­side the box and be­come imag­i­na­tive. Vi­su­al­i­sa­tion can also be ap­plied when look­ing for ways to im­prove user ex­pe­ri­ence and in­crease sys­tem avail­abil­ity. Even if a sys­tem is suf­fi­cient to a task that it is ap­plied to, imag­ine how it could do it bet­ter. It is eas­ier to struc­ture a process for an ac­tual im­prove­ment by us­ing this method. It may be that a scal­able sys­tem is needed to in­crease re­sources to meet de­mand, or per­haps a new and im­proved op­er­at­ing sys­tem that has be­come the in­dus­try stan­dard is nei­ther new nor im­proved. The pos­si­bil­i­ties for im­prove­ment are lim­ited only by imag­i­na­tion.

IT suc­cess is crit­i­cal for small busi­ness well-be­ing, and with­out plans and pro­ce­dures in place it can be daunt­ing to nav­i­gate is­sues. How­ever, a SysAd­min is the key to IT suc­cess. Ge­orge Wil­son, Di­rec­tor of Sales Op­er­a­tions, APAC at Paessler AG – PRTG Net­work Mon­i­tor

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