The Dangers of an Unstable IT Infrastructure

Do you ever wonder how the same software can perform exceptionally at one location and create chaos at another? Does your vendor ever claim that no one else is having the same technical problems like yours? Do you feel frustrated when the software vendor, the hardware vendor, and the support vendor start pointing fingers at each other—or at you? Realistically, there are only four possible causes (or a combination of all four) that will make an information technology (IT) ecosystem perform poorly, and the blame game typically goes in this order.

  1. Improper training of the end-users
  2. Software is defective
  3. Software is improperly installed
  4. The IT infrastructure is unstable (viruses, low capacity, low resources, connectivity, etc.)

What would you guess is the most common of the four possible IT offenders? If you guessed number four, you are correct. Surprisingly, this factor is often the last place people look when investigating performance problems. One reason is that the people who set up the IT infrastructure are usually the same people investigating the issue. It can be challenging to grade your own paper and even more difficult to admit costly mistakes.One of the underlying aspects of any successful IT ecosystem is the infrastructure. Some call the structure the “backbone” as it is what holds up the entire operations of any medical practice/hospital. Any major service interruption affects the whole IT ecosystem and all the links in the chain of operations, including cash flow. In some cases, a breakdown can create liability and exposure to serious security risk. The resolution to these problems is not always black and white and may require calling on resources at all levels to address the problem. Addressing these issues can also take extensive time and effort and is distracting. Time can needlessly be consumed by fixing things that are not broken rather than addressing the actual issues. For example, upgrading a wireless access point will garner little improvements if the connectivity is unstable.

A stable IT infrastructure delivers enormous benefits to the leadership of business-critical applications because it keeps the provider productive and the complaints to a minimum. The IT infrastructure is a delicate ecosystem that depends on many systems to perform correctly. Therefore, any assessment must consider all facets of the environment.

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