CIOs and IT leaders have a tough job. They need to deliver results, hire the right talent, make sure they have the right connectivity technology in place, and be relevant to the business. One of the most frustrating experiences for an IT organization is when precious time is spent using key resources to deal with connectivity technology issues that dramatically impact their business.
Telecom is not perfect, and often can be chaotic. Most IT leaders don’t like dealing with telecom and dread sending out messages like: “Our network is currently experiencing service disruptions affecting customers and internal employees globally…..”. Unfortunately, telecom problems will happen, issues will arise, and your business will be impacted. But we CAN plan for those that have the most significant impact.
Let’s look at 5 Connectivity Nightmares That Keep IT Leaders Up at Night:
1. Carrier Service Outages
2. Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices
3. Fiber or Line Cut
4. Data Security Breach
5. Carrier Implantation
#1: Carrier Service Outages
Outages cause major disruption. It impacts customers, results in lost business, and may lead to poor reputation. Service outages also result in critical IT resources spending valuable time trying to resolve these issues. Whether handling help desk calls or working with the carriers to get the issue resolved quickly, IT professionals are not spending time on more important IT initiatives.
Unfortunately, these issues are not going away anytime soon - in fact, global internet outages continue to climb. Since January 2021, outages have increased 142% and 47% occurred during local business hours, immediately cutting revenue and function. As a preventative measure, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place or a backup connection. It is imperative to find the right provider who has a proven track record for uptime and getting issues resolved quickly.
#2: Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices
The growth of mobility has spurred great opportunity for businesses, but it has also created potential nightmares for IT leaders. Critical customer data or company data can easily be lost if a mobile device is misplaced or stolen. BYOD has created many risks for companies who allow employees to bring their own mobile device (iPads, iPhones, tablets, etc).
Not having the right security policy or mobile device management platform in place creates risks to your organization, and is a nightmare for IT leaders. Only 7% of the lost 70 million smartphones are recovered each year, and with the trend increasing towards remote working (22% of the American workforce will work remote through 2025, 36.2 million employees), it is of utmost importance to take this into consideration to protect critical customer and company data.
#3: Fiber or Line Cut
While it is important to prepare as much as possible for any foreseeable issues, there are some things that are beyond our control. When a backhoe goes through your fiber line, the only thing you can do is hope the problem is solved quickly and efficiently with little impact to the business (if that is even possible). Just as a carrier service outage causes a major disruption, so does a fiber line cut. Most companies have a plan in place to deal with this type of situation. Some companies do not, and they will pay a high price.
It is no surprise that with technician shortages and potential issues with scheduling availability, restoring service can take days or even longer. As an IT leader, forethought in this area will increase your company’s faith in your competence and pay off well in the long run.
#4: Data Security Breach
Imagine this scenario: an employee is let go or leaves your company, and in the process takes critical company data with them. Whether an employee steals data, your network is attacked by a virus or malware, or someone hacks into your system – the nightmare is made real for the IT leader. Having a secure network and the right platforms and processes in place to protect your company data will mitigate (not eliminate) the risk of your data being breached.
Since March 2020, cybercrime is up 600% as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The average ransomware payment in 2021 increased 82% year over year to $570,000. While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of a data breach, this is an area that requires significant thought, care, and planning. The potential catastrophic repercussions require thoughtful strategy.
#5: Carrier Implementation
Perhaps you are confident about the three-year contract you just signed with your carrier. You have been convinced into confidence in their ability to deliver and they reassure you time and time again that everything will be “fine”.
Now it is implementation time. You may feel that you did your due diligence in selecting the right carrier and technology, but if you 1) don’t have the right resources and plan in place to manage the implementation process and 2) have not identified the risks involved in the implementation, you are setting yourself and your company up for failure.
Dealing with carriers is not fun and implementations may go poorly. Having the right plan in place, a team who knows how to work with carriers, escalate issues, and have the resources needed to solve problems when they arise will help mitigate implementation nightmares.
The need to switch carriers due to very poor customer service is not a rarity. We often see enterprises in the industry make that jump due to the business impacts of a poor client and employee experience.
Preventative Measures and Expert Partners Help IT Leaders Sleep Soundly
The fallout from these types of real-life nightmares result in lost customers, poor reputations, lost revenues, lost confidence, and sometimes… lost jobs.
Having the right disaster recovery plan in place, the right connectivity technology to protect and secure data and mobile devices, and a plan to implement carrier services will help mitigate these risks in the future, and more importantly – you will get more sleep at night!
Not sure where to start with preventative action? No need to procrastinate or to feel overwhelmed by these nightmares. Enlist the help of a trusted partner to get you started in the right direction.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Spivey, CTO, Renodis
With over 20+ years in business/IT consulting, Matt brings strong enterprise technology leadership experience to the table along with his passion for solving complex problems with a strategic business mindset. Prior to joining Renodis, Matt held several Executive IT leadership positions with firms in the upper Midwest including health care, animal healthcare, and IT Managed Services. Most recently, Matt led the IT organization, at a large network of animal hospitals, to where his department boasted a 97% approval rating from the 160 animal hospitals they supported during a period of rapid growth and change. In 2020, Matt was honored to be a finalist for the Michigan Orbie Awards - CIO of the Year, a premiere technology executive recognition program commending excellence in IT.