21 January, 2012
If we drove our trusty Aussie Ute without any maintenance and never removed all of the junk we threw in the back how do you think it would perform? It is not much different if we don’t properly maintain our PC and also remove the rubbish software & files that accumulate. Are your computers getting looked after?
Whether you run just the one home PC/laptop or an entire business network your computers are still not smart enough to look after themselves. It is for this reason we see many large organisations allocating a permanent IT employee for every 50 to 100 users on average. This ratio varies considerably with the complexity of software used as well as the companies’ IT lifecycle plan. So when it comes to even a simple home PC there is always some maintenance to do to keep things running smoothly. The individual has to decide whether to try to do this as scheduled maintenance or just get it fixed when it is broken, what we refer to as ‘break fix’.
When a business is looking at computer maintenance they also have to weigh in how much a breakdown costs them in terms of lost productivity or even lost sales. Another problem with break fix is that the PC may not be broken but may be performing at way below its optimal speed which again has an impact on productivity, especially if you are paying wages to the person trying to use it. The good thing is that even though computers are not yet smart enough to fix themselves they are smart enough to provide us with logs about most of the things that are going wrong. Having a technician go through these logs and doing scheduled preventive maintenance will often prevent slow performance, unscheduled breakdowns or worse still – data loss.
Most of the business networks that we look after have scheduled monitoring/maintenance in place which often works out to around the same annual cost as break fix – but without the costly downtime. Network servers in particular need monitoring and scheduled maintenance to prevent outages that can bring the entire organisation to its knees. Businesses should also have an IT lifecycle plan that allows for replacement before an item starts costing money through bad performance or breakdown.
Unlike the old style business tools of a cash register, paper, pen and a ledger which have been the same for years, computers are a constantly evolving technology with the constant challenges of obscurity, data integrity and security from Internet threats. As we become more reliant on computers and as they are becoming a more complex technology, more thought needs to go into their procurement, setup and maintenance or the IT experience will always be less than pleasant.
Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.