Today, almost every company depends on IT systems to make their business work. When system problems do occur, it is important therefore to be able to communicate quickly with stakeholders to ensure that work can return to normal as soon as possible. This article takes a closer look at what it takes to keep your communications chain intact during an ongoing IT incident.
High risk of financial loss in the event of an IT incident
There are often may different ways of defining an IT incident. This can include everything from the failure of business-critical systems and servers, to impacts on systems that don't interfere with day-to-day business operations. The potential ramifications and consequences of these incidents mean that flexible and reliable systems are required to handle multiple scenarios.
In larger companies, there is almost always some form of monitoring system that flags up malfunctions. The matter is then classified according to the type of system and the importance of the operation. In other words, a system that is critical to the functioning of your business is classified with a higher priority than those systems that may be internal and have no direct impact on your business. For different classifications, different levels of preparedness apply and the actions taken should be handled according to standard procedures. These actions are intended to ensure that the system or service is back up and running within a specific time frame.
It may sound obvious that it is important for the right persons to get the right information at the right time. Despite this, there are many who do not realise this until it’s too late and the damage is already done. All companies have systems that can be considered business-critical to a greater or lesser extent. If they do not work, and especially if the problems persist, there is by definition a risk of monetary losses.
Rapid communication is vital
To resolve an IT incident quickly and efficiently, the right resources must be deployed directly. This may mean contacting and mobilising a technician with a specific skillset. In addition, in parallel with troubleshooting and actioning, a number of stakeholders must be informed that the problem has arisen and updated on an ongoing basis. These may include system owners or people who are highly dependent on the system's operation. This type of information dissemination can occur in a variety of ways. It can be published on a website, sent by email or communicated by phone calls or SMS.
A well-functioning communication solution to quickly reach out with information is therefore an important prerequisite for solving any problems that arise. It also makes it easier for technicians to focus on actually finding and fixing the problem rather than spending time contacting other resources.
Attempts to contact these people by phone and email can take a lot of time and therefore also resources. It is therefore beneficial to use a communication tool that frees up time and minimises the risk of key information being missed.
Communication in the event of critical incidents requires the right tools
Regular status updates can often be replaced by SMS communications. In this way, the person leading the work to resolve the problem can focus on identifying the right resources and coordinating their efforts, instead of manually working to inform others about what is happening.
Today SMS messages are already often the preferred method of communication, but they sometimes use outdated tools which make them less able to reach out to the right people. For example, there may not be options to filter recipients in the different distribution groups or contact records may not be kept up to date. If the wrong people are entered into the different groups, this may mean that the right people do not even receive the information or that the wrong people receive classified or confidential information.