IT Services – What to do if you have a problem

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Here are a few things to think about when you have an IT problem. They’re based on Server Sentry’s extensive experience and presume you have a support contract with a provider of IT services.

Stay calm. The problem is unlikely to be as disastrous as it might at first appear to someone without IT skills. Contact your services provider immediately to report the problem. That will get them moving to diagnose what’s happening and to put you in touch with an appropriate expert. Don’t worry, they won’t get upset if you subsequently cancel the call because you’ve solved it and you won’t look daft.

If it’s humanly possible, stop your colleagues working on those parts of their system that might be transaction-based. There might be no point updating files and the like if there actually is a major problem.  Try to note down exactly what happened, in what sequence and when. If you don’t have on-line real-time IT services support, make a note of any error messages that have been displayed anywhere.

Don’t give in to the siren-like advice of the ‘switch it off and on’ brigade that always magically appears in an IT crisis– unless your specialist support providers recommend it. That’s because an ‘as it was’ system is far more useful to a diagnostician that one which has been rebooted many times and which, as a result, no longer has error status reports and messages visible. In other words, you might be destroying evidence.

Think about disabling external access to your systems. It might be better for customers to see a ‘temporarily unavailable’ sign than to be getting incorrect information or seeing for themselves that your systems are falling over in use.

Avoid ‘hacking around’ in your system in an effort to sort things out yourself.

Some components of your system might be suitable for end-user maintenance (your support provider will highlight what they are and how to use them) but others should be left for the professionals. Well-intentioned dabbling could make things much worse.

Hopefully, your IT services support people will be in touch very quickly and help you to resolve the problem. That will certainly be the case if you’re using Server Sentry!

Call your IT network support providers and they’ll do it for you.

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