Information technology is an integral component to modern business. Your e-mail, financial records, customer data, and other critical aspects of your business all depend on the technical knowledge from the IT department. All the hard work, sacrifice, time, and money invested could be wasted if that knowledge is ever lost or unavailable.
For many SMBs, critical technical knowledge often is held by very few people in the IT department or even by a single individual. This may be by design due to security requirements or just a byproduct of your organization’s growth over time. Either way, having a single point of failure for something this critical should keep you awake at night.
While we hope no one is hit by a bus, change is inevitable and employees will come and go over time. When you have personnel holding critical information, it’s important to document things so that the knowledge doesn’t walk out of the door when they do.
Here’s some IT knowledge that every CEO should have readily available access to:
o Administrative Credentials – Closely guarded and frequently changed due to security requirements, the domain administrator credentials for your network are absolutely critical. You cannot operate for long without them and will spend significant time and money rebuilding from scratch if you don’t have access to them. IT staff don’t like to share this information and it will have to be kept secured under lock and key.
o Network Diagrams – You may not know how to fully interpret the diagrams and related information, but you definitely need to have them available. If there’s a system failure and you’re working without your IT director, this is going to be the roadmap for whomever is providing assistance. The better documented your network is, the quicker service can be restored in an outage.
o Vendor POCs – Often overlooked, vendor information can be a lifesaver. Not only can vendors often provide additional support when you need it most, they likely have significant knowledge of your network and can provide context around their products. You should always have both sales and technical contacts stored for future use.
Business Continuity obviously goes well beyond these three areas, but having the building blocks available means you can quickly restore service and continue operations with or without your IT guy if you’re ever forced to do so.
Don’t wait to get hit by a bus. SAI’s IT Strategy and Operations practice can not only identify and capture critical information for you, but can also work with your team to develop robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans to ensure your continued success. Reach out and let us know that you’re ready to move forward.