Always Have A Wing Man

Are you prepared for the sudden departure of the primary administrator for any and all of your critical business functions? Even if you have a very small staff, always have a backup plan.

We’ve talked about having a disaster recovery plan in place for hardware failures, but what if a key member of your administrative staff suddenly becomes unavailable long term? Ideally, for each application used by your business, you should have at least two administrators familiar with how to support it. Whether or not you are able to accomplish that type of support structure, here are some questions to which you should have the answers:

  • Where are all of the server side application components installed?
  • What user-side components need to be installed and what are the prerequisites?
  • What automated services need to be running, where, and what permissions do they need?
  • Are there any folder shares involved? If so, what permissions do they need?
  • Is there a specific order in which certain things need to be done (restarting services, etc.)?
  • What are the service account logins and passwords?
  • What are the administrative account logins and passwords?
  • What are the consequences of changing any of these passwords?
  • What are the critical business functions of the application and how are they supported?
  • What are other applications impacted by this application?
  • What other applications does this application impact?
  • Where is the detailed documentation on supporting the application specific to our use (customizations, etc.)?
  • What are my other avenues of support (vendor support, etc.) and how to I contact them?

About Jennifer Siegel

Jennifer (aka Pixie), OCI, OCWE, OCWV, has over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field, which includes 13 years of Systems Administration, 15 years of developing and implementing technical documentation and training, and 10 years supporting OnBase deployments. She has extensive experience with SQL and a firm foundation in computer science. Despite this, she considers herself a well-adjusted nerd with hobbies including archery and knitting in public.

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