Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cogs in the wheel

In engineering, it is imperative that all cogs of the wheel come together, so that the wheel rolls smoothly. Similarly, it is imperative that all key IT processes in an organization gel together and work as one.

Imagine the nightmare that enterprises, small and large, would have to go through should this did not happen!

The first basic IT asset is your company's network, or the intranet. We have seen several times that a company's network's down for some reason and mails can't be sent or received.

In such cases, the organizations or the enterprises who are 'stuck' with this situation, are literally crippled. Mails can't be received, mails can't be sent out, important mails are missed, business-critical processes are waylaid, and so on and so forth. I've been part of this nightmare several times.

Once, the undersea cable snapped during my stay in a company. I don't need to add the problem we had to face for at least half a day, as service providers worked furiously to rectify the cable and restore normal service.

Some advocate satellite as the best medium for managing data transmission. Maybe! Some others cite wireless. Perhaps!! Then, I hear from many that there are issues related with security and storage. However, those would only come into play once your basic network is operational smoothly.

In telecom, they have something called five nines, or 99.9999, which means the network is up and running for this percentage of time! You've noticed how people go beserk and start cursing their phones or the network, should they fail to receive a network, or are unable to connect to the network!

What they don't know or realize is the hard work that's involved in setting up, maintaining and operating a network! It's similar to what sometimes happens in offices when the network breaks down and we are unable to send/receive mails.

Maybe, it would be prudent to first manage the internal network as best as possible, before moving on to bigger, better things. The cogs in the wheel got to move smoothly.