Providing better service and greater control through Proactive IT Management

Comvision were approached by a rapidly growing organisation to assess their current IT practises and Network configuration and develop a plan to assist them with the next stage of their business development. The organisation wished to address the following areas of concern in their existing IT support;

  • Lack of structured support schedules and inconsistent response times
  • No processes in place to allow management to prioritise and approve IT support and upgrade requests
  • No reporting to management on work conducted, projects completed or monthly IT spend
  • No assistance to management with IT related budgeting, long term plans or upgrade paths
  • Little to no documentation on work performed
  • Jobs often left for months at a time without resolution
  • Support costs that were spiralling out of control

Comvision met with the organisation to determine their business needs and it was quickly determined that they were suffering from directing their IT budget toward a break/fix style of support. This had led to increased costs and lower productivity as the organisation was perpetually ‘chasing its tail’ applying band-aid fixes to old and failing systems with no thought to their overall IT strategy and how this matched their business needs.

This ad-hoc method of IT support had left the organisation with an irregularly configured Network that was suffering from extended periods of downtime and the business managers without a clear picture of how their IT systems operated, what their realistic IT budget should be and what areas of their current IT setup might pose a risk to the business.

The first step that Comvision took was to conduct a thorough IT Audit and assessment of their IT Network and practises. All areas of the IT system were analysed and reported upon including backup and disaster readiness, security, systemisation and procedures and the overall health of the Network. A detailed report was prepared that presented the organisation with a full picture on all facets of their IT system.

The report clearly highlighted the problems that are commonly faced from a disjointed and ad-hoc method of support, with no structured naming conventions applied to user accounts, Email addresses and computer names, little documentation of setups and a lack of security for sensitive data. Of most concern was that although they were paying more money month of month for support they were not aware that they had not had a successful backup of their critical business database program for over 3 months.

Furthermore, no one within the organisation was aware that the database Server was running on aging desktop grade hardware, well past its optimal schedules retirement age. The organisation was faced with a situation where the failure of a single aging PC could potentially halt its growth or lead to its total collapse if the data was unable to be recovered.

A plan was immediately put into place that would address the most critical issues, being the graceful replacement of the aging Server infrastructure and the implementation of a working Disaster Recovery model.

Comvision gracefully migrated both the aging database Server and a second file Server that was also on desktop grade hardware to a new Virtualised hardware platform running on Dell Enterprise grade hardware. A fully tested ‘Image’ based backup and Disaster Recovery solution was implemented including offsite retention of backups and daily backup success/failure reports being sent to both onsite management and Comvision.

Upon the completion of this initial project Comvision continued to work with the organisation, providing them with scheduled onsite maintenance times, centralised IT support request logging and job tracking systems and short, medium and long term IT planning and budgeting models, giving the organisation all of the information that they needed to successfully manage their business.

Further plans were made to address the remaining deficiencies in the IT system that had been highlighted in the IT Audit report and by the organisation themselves. These were again planned in full consultation between Comvision and the organisations management to ensure that the most urgent items were prioritised and so that the organisation could gain both greater understanding and control of their IT budget.

It was immediately apparent that the structured and planned method of Comvision’s Proactive IT Management model was reducing problems and saving the organisation money as the scope for potential problems was steadily reduced and issues were able to be more easily identified and resolved. Through the IT Audit process and the transition to a Proactive model of IT support, Comvision has been able to provide the organisation with;

  • Steadily reducing IT support costs, with fewer hours being spent on recurring problems
  • Full reporting to management of IT expenditure and where it is directed
  • Full documentation of all work performed
  • Centralised job logging and tracking
  • Creation of IT procedures and policies
  • Assistance with IT budget and project planning
  • An IT ‘roadmap’ detailing all of the outstanding and upcoming projects over the next 3 years
  • Faster initial response times, faster time to problem resolution and reduced emergency callouts
  • Structured onsite Proactive management times, giving staff peace of mind that any questions or minor issues will be addressed in a timely manner