Proactive IT Problem Management: Obstacles and Solutions

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A previous post discussed “The Problems With Your Problem Management” and some of the obstacles standing between your organization and true, proactive problem management. This post delves a bit deeper into some of those obstacles, and offers some recommendations to help you address them.

Proactive Problem Management: What’s Stopping You?

Aside from confusion over incident versus problem management, a primary obstacle to proactive problem management at many organizations is an overwhelming need for reactive incident resolution. When your team is consumed by incidents that need resolution now if not yesterday, there’s too little bandwidth to get to the level of proactive management that can address incidents before they become problems.

Even if your organization has incident management more or less under control, there are other hurdles in your way. To achieve proactive problem management, you need information about your environment and what’s happening in it that is accurate, complete, and up to date. However, your incumbent processes and technologies may be unable to deliver the information your team needs when and how they need it. And every cycle your team spends trying to identify, localize, and react to incidents and problems means fewer available resources to attempt to address those incidents and problems before they escalate.

Another potential impediment to success with proactive problem management is a lack of enforcement. The ITIL guidelines and other resources provide solid guidance and specific recommendations. However, most organizations lack the people and processes needed to ensure those guidelines and recommendations are followed consistently. Without such enforcement, there is little chance an organization can achieve or sustain proactive solutions, especially as its IT estate evolves.

There are other potential hindrances of your proactive efforts as well. Examples include a lack of leadership awareness and support, and too many separate, disparate islands of problem and/or incident management across your organization. Inertia – “we’ve always done it this way” – can also slow your progress.

Proactive Problem Management: What You Need to Succeed

The numerous challenges to success with proactive management of problems can be daunting to any organization. Fortunately, the elements you need to succeed are a subset of the resources you and your team are already employing to manage your organization’s IT estate generally – people, processes, and technology.

You and your team must determine if you have enough of the right people in the right places to move forward effectively toward proactive solutions to managing problems. You must also assess relevant incumbent processes, to identify those that can help and those that must be changed or replaced. And you must determine if the technologies in place are up to the task, and what to do about those that are not.

None of this is necessarily simple or easy. But all if it is possible, and eminently worth doing. The closer your organization can get to achieving and sustaining proactive problem management, the more valuable to your business its IT investments will be. And you and your team will get to spend less time fighting fires, and more time on tasks that are more interesting and valuable, personally and professionally.

Virima participated in a webinar titled “The Problems with Your IT Problem Management – And How to Solve Them” where this topic was discussed in more detail. Follow the link to the webinar and learn how to ensure your IT people, processes, and technologies are adequately prepared to deliver proactive solutions to managing problems.

Virima: Your Partner for Comprehensive, Effective IT Management

Virima can help to improve IT incident and problem management, as well as IT asset management (ITAM), IT service management (ITSM), and IT operations management (ITOM), across your organization’s entire IT estate. Virima solutions can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users. They also produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment, reports that can help you identify and resolve incidents before they become disruptive problems. Learn more about Virima’s solutions online, or contact Virima today.

IT problem management

Summary:

Proactive IT Problem Management

Aside from confusion over incident versus problem management, a primary obstacle to proactive problem management at many organizations is an overwhelming need for reactive incident resolution. When your team is consumed by incidents that need resolution now if not yesterday, there’s too little bandwidth to get to the level of proactive management that can address incidents before they become problems. To achieve proactive problem management, you need information about your environment and what’s happening in it that is accurate, complete, and up to date. However, your incumbent processes and technologies may be unable to deliver the information your team needs when and how they need it. And every cycle your team spends trying to identify, localize, and react to incidents and problems means fewer available resources to attempt to address those incidents and problems before they escalate. To achieve proactive problem management, you need information about your environment and what’s happening in it that is accurate, complete, and up to date. However, your incumbent processes and technologies may be unable to deliver the information your team needs when and how they need it. And every cycle your team spends trying to identify, localize, and react to incidents and problems means fewer available resources to attempt to address those incidents and problems before they escalate.

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