ERP System Crash – Root Cause # 1

SYSTEM AVAILABILITY

Your system crashed this morning and you are having difficulty locating and acquiring hardware and software needed to get it back up…

It is no secret that as technology ages, production quantities are reduced and less frequently produced. Over years of working with aging legacy systems I have had power supplies, hard drives, disk controllers and mother boards among others fail without warning.

To compound the problem, one particular system that I was working with was not only old, it was built on proprietary technology and on more than one occasion, it took me more than 24 hours to locate the part and get my enterprise system back up and running!

Can you say “NO job security”…?

Hardware Availability

If key pieces of your system hardware are either no longer available or difficult to find and your system goes down, you are going to lose valuable production time. In extreme cases you might be forced to shut down operations for a prolonged period of time, you might have to send people home …

• Do you run hardware components that would be difficult to source and purchase quickly?
• How long would it take you get them in house?

Software Availability

While software does not usually pose the same challenge as hardware does, if your system is old enough, and you cannot put your hands on that special utilities disk, it can pose a real and present threat to your company.

The older the system is, the more difficult a particular application might be to locate.
• Do you have critical software components that if reinstallation were necessary you might find difficult to locate?

I have had the experience where as system administrator; I was not licensed to have certain utilities, so I would have to wait for a technician to arrive.

Here is another one…
• Have you ever lost the “dongle” or hardware key for a piece of critical, vertical market software?
• How long would it take to locate one?

While the days of the “serial port” dongle are gone, there are still USB based dongles.

If hardware and software are difficult to find for your existing system, it is not going to get any better…

Could the situations posed above start a conversation about system alternatives?

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