What Lurks in the Dark

When we consult with CxO’s, business and technology leaders, what keeps them up at night is really fear of the unknown.

It’s October! My favorite time of year. Football is in full swing and the World Series of baseball looms. The leaves are changing to all kinds of bright colors as the days get cooler. Bonfires, S’mores, and hot apple cider cap off the week. The kids start to pick out their costumes for Halloween, while replays and remakes of every horror film ever made can be found on streaming services. To watch or not to watch? I’m the guy who used to jump out from behind doors in the dark to scare my children after they watched a horror flick. Now I’m likely to have nightmares if I see a scary movie trailer during a Wheel of Fortune commercial break. I’m probably kidding about that, but there really are things that keep me up at night.

Anyone who has been responsible for a mission critical system has experienced what I’m about to describe. You wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, but there is no way you’re falling back asleep until you’ve checked on the system. You keep your smart phone and possibly a tablet next to the bed so you can check quickly if you happen to wake up…which you always seem to do. Sometimes, the future of your company depends on the stability of your platform. Sometimes, human lives are in the balance. In either case, the stakes are incredibly high. You spot something that seems off and your heart starts to race a little. Turns out it is something that can wait until the light of day, so you manage to fall back asleep…sometimes just in time for the alarm to go off.

When we consult with CxO’s, business and technology leaders, what keeps them up at night is really fear of the unknown. There are hundreds of things that could cause a service disruption on their mission critical systems – something as deliberate as a cyber-attack or as accidental as an operating system update that triggered a server reboot. Either of them can have a lingering negative impact. But what are some of the other things that lurk in the dark? And how can you be prepared to deal with them?

All disruptions are not created equal. At the system or platform level, you might deal with hardware failures, power outages, network failures, resource exhaustion, or even environmental factors. But there are application-level disruptors to consider as well, such as: software bugs, user errors, scalability problems, licensing issues, third party integrations, and configuration errors. Some of them might take minutes to recover from; others might take weeks. And as Ben Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

As Ben Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Keller Schroeder is uniquely qualified in helping CxO’s get a good night’s rest. Our experienced infrastructure engineers cover your mission critical platform concerns while our equally experienced software team help alleviate your application-level concerns. We start by identifying the key components of your mission critical systems and eliminating the single points of failure. We can help create preventative maintenance plans, active monitoring and alerting of known issues, capturing and alerting of unanticipated issues, and runbooks to respond to any of the above. They say you can’t think of everything, but we like to think with enough experience you can anticipate most things.

When was the last time you had a risk assessment that covered both your platforms and your applications? Even custom code? Are you really aware of all the things that lurk in the dark pertaining to your applications? How do you spot new risk factors? How do you respond when you discover one? How do you know when everything is working as it should, and more importantly not as it should? Reach out to our team today to get started on an assessment.

Written By:

Rob Wilson Keller Schroeder Leadership

Rob Wilson
Principal Consultant, Southeast Region
Applications Solutions Group


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