4 signs your business is at threat of a system meltdown

Can you trust all the information circulating your business system?

Often we’re tempted to take information on the cloud as the truth, but is this always the case? In business, many sources of information are collected and presented to users – and often this data is used to make critical decision. The more sources of information which are funnelled into a system leads to an increase in its failure points.

Ultimately, there is a trade-off between leveraging the power of complex system to make business decisions, and obtaining visibility over the condition of each information source.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

When a single point of a complex system fails, how do you know it fails, and how will your system react? The worse thing your system can do is carry on operating without addressing that a failure has occurred.

One of the best examples of this is the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island:

This accident began with failures in the non-nuclear secondary system which led to an issue with a relief valve in the primary system. This caused large amounts of coolant to escape the reactor. All of this went mostly unrecognised due to a hidden indicator light which led the operators to believe there was too much coolant present in the reactor – when in fact the reactor required coolant!

The rest is history – but you can see the serious impact a failure to obtain complete visibility of your system can have.

A simple problem can lead to a domino effect of complex systems and their various systems - ultimately leading to a meltdown.

avoid-a-meltdownAvoid a meltdown in your organisation

What are the signs we’re in trouble?

There are a few indicators that your organisation may be facing an immediate threat of system failure. These include:

1. The source of information to your system is not clearly understood by the users.

2. Nobody really understands the communication protocols used.

3. The system is old and when it was initially developed there was little formal documentation provided.

4. Your system hasn’t been maintained in many years, nor has it been reviewed – this is a disaster waiting to happen!

If you recognise any of these four points in your business it’s time for a review of your business system. The last thing you want is to go through a critical failure because of something small you overlooked.

How can I protect my organisation?

If a single component in your organisations system doesn’t have a reporting mechanism it needs one.

We’ve already explored how a simple error can lead to major issues and in our experience these issues are avoidable with rigorous testing and reporting.

For more than 30 years Mintec has helped clients gain visibility and control over their complex business systems.

An investment in a review of your complex systems will pay dividends in the future and peace of mind in the present.

Call +61 3 9660 5500 or message us to take the first steps towards protecting your business.

Copyright © 2017 Mintec Systems, Melbourne Australia.