COMPUTER BUSINESS REVIEW

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Issue Date: March 2004 (es)

IT solutions that prevent unplanned downtime

1 March 2004

Corporate networks are mission-critical tools for most organisations and unplanned downtime is an unwelcome and expensive waste of time that nobody enjoys.
The complexity of dispersed IT infrastructures today and the expense of hiring skilled IT staff means it is near impossible for organisations to maintain a constant watch over their technology installations to ensure 24x7 operations without spending vast sums of money.
Moreover, to add to the complexity conundrum, companies also have to deal with additional problems not directly related to IT. In one instance, physical constraints such as ageing buildings, faulty environmental controls, outdated equipment and housing equipment in non-optimal environments can cause as much or more concern for maintenance personnel as technology itself. And these can be further hampered by physical security.
Buildings that are open for long hours each day, or even for the entire day are subject to serious security issues as numerous people come and go. Whether by accident or on purpose, these wanderers can cause serious damage to IT systems and the overall functioning of the extended enterprise itself if IT facilities are not under constant surveillance - and only the most well-off companies can afford 24-hour staff.
Fleishman-Hillard Research bears this out in a survey in which almost two-thirds of IT professionals polled state they are unable to consistently monitor environmental conditions and the condition of their IT equipment distributed across their networks. As much as 74% of these professionals add that equipment room security and proper heating and humidity controls are a serious concern.
Proactive downtime prevention
Structured Connectivity Solutions (SCS) is a full solutions IT company dedicated to the effective monitoring of technology and other factors that affect the performance of IT facilities. The company also specialises in voice and data communications across distributed enterprises.
The SCS management team: Gareth Botha (left) and  David Braine
The SCS management team: Gareth Botha (left) and David Braine
For example, the proven SCS Monitoring and Protection System offers corporations infrastructure monitoring, protection and notification services that serve to increase the scope of IT staff operations, taking over many costly, but mundane jobs so that IT skills can be applied where most needed - and most profitable. Pre-emptive notification of future problems reduces the amount of downtime, while staff sitting behind an Internet browser can handle troubleshooting remotely.
The services offered by SCS are not conventional IT equipment monitors, but span the scope of the company's IT facilities, from the environmental controls up to unauthorised human interference. SCS's appliances are equipped with sensors that detect changes in environmental conditions to pre-warn staff of any conditions that may damage or prevent IT equipment from functioning effectively.
Human protection in the form of cameras with motion detectors, also included in the SCS equipment, enables the company to identify any unauthorised access to its IT facilities, whether accidental or not. Fleishman-Hillard noted that as many as 47% of its respondents said intentional or accidental human intervention contributed mostly to unplanned network downtime - highlighting the seriousness of the 'human factor'.
Business solutions and application integration
Keeping your IT systems running smoothly is not only a matter of ensuring the systems are up and running, but also of starting out on the right footing with carefully designed solutions targeted at delivering what the business needs. SCS assists customers in and beyond the borders of South Africa with a comprehensive IT service covering all the implementation phases.
Starting with consulting and systems design, through to project management and the actual implementation, SCS provides a range of specialised skills to ensure every step of a client's IT implementation is handled quickly, professionally and with as few comebacks as possible. Delivering functioning IT solutions that assist businesses in the pursuit of their corporate goals is the only acceptable result for SCS and those in its employ. To achieve this constant level of excellence, SCS is continually focused on training and broadening the skills-base of its staff. It also partners with similarly driven companies to deliver premium solutions to its customers. Part of this drive includes partnering with black-owned SMEs and PDIs to empower and engage in skills transfer programmes in an effort to build long-term relationships.
Amidst all the current hype about service delivery that rarely translates into reality, SCS has quietly been going about its business of providing comprehensive, workable IT solutions that take care of customer implementations from the design stage to the continual proactive monitoring of IT facilities. SCS customers can rely on the company to ensure their facilities are functioning at their peak and that any potential problems are quickly identified and dealt with.
For more information contact Structured Connectivity Solutions (SCS), 011 886 8093.


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