It’s a well-worn phrase that is used, perhaps overused, as an excuse for procrastination. Sometimes it is because business managers have other priorities and only think about their IT systems when something has already gone wrong or when they get an inkling that something is not quite right.
The cost of fixing a problem after it has already happened can often be much higher than preventing it in the first place. To quote Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The longer a problem is allowed to continue or a risk is not addressed, the more difficult (and expensive) it becomes to resolve. Like the untreated stone chip in the windscreen that eventually shatters, a minor annoyance that is easily resolved can quickly become a catastrophe. The chances are that if a computer is running slow or producing the occasional error message, you have already missed the opportunity to prevent the problem, or at least mitigate it.
So what should you do?
The most important thing to do is act in a timely manner. An independent health check will help you to identify potential issues in time to enable corrective or, better preventative, actions to be taken. Those actions may need to be implemented quickly and efficiently, so be honest about your own capabilities and availability – if you need help, get it!
Even if there are no major problems uncovered by the exercise, there is almost always a payback in terms of opportunities for improvement. This is where the external perspective can really help.
Finally, let me leave you with this thought: the 1980's portable computer in the image worked fine at the time...
About the Author:
John Sanderson is the Chief engineer at the IT Department, a division of Clantec Solutions Limited,
helping individuals and small businesses with their IT challenges.