How to overcome infrastructure firefighting and other distractions

As an IT professional, you were hired for a certain, specialized job. But why can’t you seem to get it done? Maybe you’ve been busy “fighting fires.” For anyone responsible for network infrastructure, that’s a leading culprit. But there are others.

On the theory that to solve a problem first you need to identify it, we’ve listed a number of obstacles that may be keeping you and your team from the mission-critical parts of your jobs. Taking note of these distractions can be a first step toward fashioning solutions that lead to better outcomes for you and your organization.

Infrastructure firefighting

When things don’t go according to plan and you have to trade your strategic IT roadmap for tactical reactionary decisions – that’s infrastructure firefighting. The network may not be working as intended; capacity planning may be off mark; production issues could be causing outages, requiring in-depth explanation and research to mitigate repeat outages in the future. Outages may require special actions, as we discuss in this article. You may not have signed on to extinguish unwanted fires, but like it or not, that has become part of your job.

Your management want their systems to work, the application teams swear it is the network, and the vendor blames your lack of capacity. Meanwhile, you’re tackling issues daily, delaying your improvement projects. Your business wants you to transform and update, but as long as you’re firefighting, the chances of staying on that path diminish.

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