44 Common IT Problems

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IT problems are persistent technology issues that cause risks and costs. By contrast, an incident is a single event that causes business disruption. Where incidents are usually resolved in minutes or hours, problems can last years or decades. The following are common types of IT problems.

IT Problem 1: Architectural Complexity

A large number of systems or an architectural landscape that is too complex for the business functions it addresses. Complexity tends to result in cost and a higher rate of incidents.

Audit Trail

A lack of logs and information to aid audits and investigations.

Authentication And Authorization

Weakness in basic security controls that authenticate users and authorize information access and transactions.

Availability

A technology service with too much downtime. In many cases, any system that is available less than four nines is a problem.

Backup And Restore

Data that isn’t sufficiently backed up or that lacks established restore procedures. Precise Business Solutions partners with MSP360 to backup and restore files.

IT Problem 5: Brittleness

Technology that easily breaks such as upgrades that always seem to fail.

Business Technology Alignment

Technology that the business doesn’t need or that fails to support business functions.

Capacity

Capacity limitations such as data storage or bandwidth.

IT Problem 8: Change Control

Changes that are made to code, configurations or infrastructure outside of a properly controlled process. For example, ad hoc maintenance without approvals or notifications.

Compliance

Technology functions and conditions that fail to comply with laws and regulations.

IT Problem 10: Configuration Management

Configuration management is the practice of controlling and recording the configuration of hardware and software including code changes. It is used to analyze the impact of change and troubleshoot incidents. Operating a technology platform without configuration management tends to be a problem. For example, it can be difficult to determine which update caused a new issue.

Data Integration

Data that is needed by multiple processes and systems that isn’t properly integrated. Precise Business Solutions offers software development to help with this common IT problem

Data Proliferation

Data that is maintained in multiple systems and documents, typically resulting in inconsistencies.

Data Quality

Data that is missing, wrong, poorly formatted or difficult to access to support business processes.

Defects

Software and hardware bugs can be considered problems if they are a persistent issue.

IT Problem 15: Design Debt

A design debt is a poor software design that causes future costs. In many cases, projects are rushed and design shortcuts are taken. Such savings in short term costs tend to result in future maintenance, incidents and additional costs to projects that rely on the design.

Disaster Recovery

A technology platform that is vulnerable to disasters. For example, a platform that runs from a single physical location or that relies on a single resource such as a particular telecom provider.

Enterprise Architecture

An IT organization that lacks a consistent structure such as shared services, platforms, standards, practices and designs.

Fault Tolerance

Services that easily crash when they encounter an error.

Information Security Vulnerabilites

Vulnerabilities that allow threats to compromise information security.

IT Problem 20: Interoperability

Components and platforms that don’t work together seamlessly.

Knowledge Management

Missing knowledge related to your IT platform. In some cases, organizations have systems with millions of lines of code that have no design documentation or maintenance procedures.

Legacy Technology

Technology that has aged to the point that it is expensive to support, difficult to extend and at risk of failing.

Maintainability

Components of information technology that are expensive and high risk to maintain.

Mean Time To Repair

A common measure of the average time to fix an incident when it occurs. A high mean time to repair (MTTR)is indicative of problems such as missing knowledge, skill gaps and poor designs.

IT Problem 25: Operations Processes

A lack of mature IT operations processes for support, maintenance and improvement.

Ownership

Applications or services that have no identifiable owner in your organization.

Performance

Services that are generally slow or that fail when business volumes peak.

Privacy

Insufficient privacy controls that represent compliance, liability and reputation risks.

Process Integration

Problems related to process integration such as event processing limitations and failures.

IT Problem 30: Reliability

A tool or component that doesn’t perform consistently such as errors that appear to be erratic.

Retention Policy

Unclear or insufficient procedures and policies for data retention.

Scalability

Services and systems that fail to support increased business volume in an efficient way.

Service Desk

A single point of contact for support of information technology. Service desk problems range from a complete lack of support to the need to further optimize support performance.

Service Management

Service management is a broad term for the comprehensive set of processes that deliver information technology to business. Problems in this area include financial, design, implementation, deployment and operations management issues.

IT Problem 35: Software Bloat

Software that is far too complex for its function.

Software Entropy

The tendency for software to age quickly due to its overall complexity and the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, software becomes less reliable with time.

Software Quality

Software that fails to function or behave as documented in specifications such as business requirements.

Structural Integrity

A poorly designed technology stack that is difficult to maintain, improve and extend.

Subject Matter Experts

A lack of highly skilled experts in areas such as architecture, security, infrastructure, design and programming.

IT Problem 40: Technology Silos

The tendency for organizational units such as departments and teams to create their own technology platforms and data repositories. Can result in an extremely complex, duplicative and expensive architecture that is poorly understood, brittle and vulnerable.

Testability

An inability to regression test changes due to poor documentation of existing functionality.

Transactional Integrity

Transactional integrity refers to the atomicity of business functions. For example, a financial transaction such as a stock trade should either succeed or fail with nothing inbetween. Transactions that partially succeed result in data issues that have negative business impacts such as a stock trade that purchases shares but fails to debit the client’s account for the cost.

Usability

Interfaces that are difficult to use resulting in low employee engagement, productivity issues and human error.

IT Problem 44: Vendor Lock In

A dependency on a vendor specific tool or service that would be expensive and high risk to change. In such cases, vendors may hold strong negotiating power and be unresponsive to your business needs or may escalate fees.

 

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