Solving problem? Fixing Symptom?

It may sound obvious!  But most of us are actually fixing symptom rather than solving problem.  I met a nice gentleman in a networking event and he complained about the high IT maintenance cost.  He said he had over 10 PCs but over time, the PCs became so slow.  His IT consultant could fix the problem but the problem came back every 4 – 6 months.

I couldn’t hold my smile because this is not the first time that I heard about similar story and I don’t think it would be my last time as well.  Well, I went to his office a few days later and confirmed what the problem was.  I looked at one of his slowest machines and discovered during startup, there were over 100 applications launched and the machine only has 1 GB memory.

His IT consultant fixed the problem by rebuilding the machines, i.e. installed Windows, Office and other software that came with the PC.

So what is the problem?  Too many applications installed?  No, this is just another symptom!  The root cause is leak of IT management!  After spending couple hours talking to a few people including the accountant; I discovered more issues:

  • Everyone is administrator on their own computer, so they can do whatever they want without any control.
  • They don’t have file server for central storage; so everyone stores their own documents on their own PC.
  • There is no central backup policy; the accountant has 2 USB memory sticks to backup all critical documents.

I can go on and on but the bottom line is all these are only symptoms.  The real problem is that they do not have any PR0PER IT MANAGEMENT! I have to tell the gentleman that he was very lucky that the only problem he experienced was poor performance of his machines.

He is not alone; most SMB and entrepreneurs do not have any IT strategy.  They are reactive; i.e. they call their IT consultant whenever there is any IT problem; they are looking for simple tactical fix; even if it means similar problems would come back every 3 – 6 months.  This can be expensive in long run.

Do you want to find a solution that can permanently solve your problem?  or do you just want a quick fix?  Discuss with your IT consultant to understand where the real problem is; especially if the same problem occurred only 3 months ago!

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

About Andrew Chan
Andrew Chan is an Business Consultant who gives you accurate, consistent and timely information so that you can make better and faster decisions. He is an Associate of Society of Actuaries with over 20 years of IT experience. Apart from strong analytical skills and proven technical background, he was also a former system director at Manulife who had extensive project management experience. If you are looking for someone to gather, consolidate, validate, visualize and analyze data, look no further! Andrew can provide the most cost effective business analytics solution so that you can explore, optimize, predict and visualize your business. Don’t guess on any decision, no matter it is finance, operation, marketing or sales! Always ask for evidence!

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