A Disturbing Trend – Exhausted IT Staff Impact Availability and DR

In our work at many of the nation’s largest organizations, we are continuing to see a disturbing trend that is impacting IT availability and disaster recovery planning.  Today’s IT staff are plain and flat out physically and mentally exhausted from having to do too much with no resources.

The short and long-term impacts from this exhaustion are being felt in unplanned outages, sick personnel, disgruntled staff, missed project deadlines, poorly planned changes, etc.  It is not uncommon to see IT staff working 60 to 80 hours a week and covering multiple job roles.

The impact to DR planning is clear, you have to forcefully push to get plans documented, implemented or updated.  Trying to get staff focused on testing is difficult when you ask them to take a couple of days off and their task lists grow longer.  How can DR not get ignored when I am being asked to focus 60 to 80 hours a week on daily production efforts.  The work life balance concept of a few years ago is “dead”.

The decisions to reduce numbers of people has reached the point in many organizations where staff depths are a thing of the past. A loss of a key person and their intellectual assets has critical impacts on the organization versus the days when staff depth was much deeper.  Day to day production support is critically impacted in many organizations.  To make matters worse, IT project queues are not properly managed or prioritized, requiring IT staff to work on many projects that bring little value to the organization.

We have seen this trend continue to increase but 2010 has been a banner year.  Even in this economy, colleagues with solid positions in IT organizations are looking for new jobs that give back “work – life” balance.  It’s time we took notice of our IT staff and the need for a form of “work-life” balance.

About MHA: MHA Consulting, with its decade-long track record, is a proven leader in business continuity planning, disaster recovery planning, IT best practices and data center moves and relocations. Every day, MHA helps protect trillions of dollars of global-market assets and top companies around the world rely on MHA services for the continuity of their business. For more information on MHA, contact Michael Herrera at herrera at mha-it dot com or visit www.mha-it.com.

Michael Herrera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MHA. In his role, Michael provides global leadership to the entire set of industry practices and horizontal capabilities within MHA. Under his leadership, MHA has become a leading provider of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services to organizations on a global level. He is also the founder of BCMMETRICS, a leading cloud based tool designed to assess business continuity compliance and residual risk. Michael is a well-known and sought after speaker on Business Continuity issues at local and national contingency planner chapter meetings and conferences. Prior to founding MHA, he was a Regional VP for Bank of America, where he was responsible for Business Continuity across the southwest region.


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