I wrote a lengthy bit about communications as a key to surviving an IT disaster, which in many ways was a written version of the session I delivered at the MacIT conference at Macworld Expo last month. I tackle the stereotype of geeks as poor communicators, and lay out a strategy for getting IT departments into the communication habit. The stunning revelation that lead me down this road is a conclusion I came to when discussing an outage with a “layperson”… that is a user of technology rather than a maintainer of it. To him awareness was more important than downtime. Downtime didn’t bother him so much, so long as he was kept informed of what was going on, why, and when things would be back up. Forewarning would be even better. His downtime came about during a datacenter migration. A light bulb went off over my head, as I had successfully pulled off more than one datacenter migration within the past few years. Did everything go perfectly? Of course not, but the difference was that I put a huge emphasis on communication with our customers way before, before, during, and after the moves. I’m not some IT genius by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m not the first to use this tool effectively. It just seems that most IT professionals forget this critical part of their management strategy.
Anyway, for the terminally curious, the series is linked below. My editor wisely split it into two parts.