Have you tried turning it off and on again?
A line that every tech person has said and every person using a computer has heard. Amazingly, it actually tends to fix a lot of problems!
But what happens when you have to turn your computer or server on and off every week or even every day? Sometimes, turning it off and on again can completely fix the problem. Other times, the problem comes back again and again. At one point or another, the source of the problem needs to be addressed.
Fixing a problem takes time
We wish every problem we ran into had a very simple, quick, non-invasive solution. Sadly, that is not generally the case. Problems take time to fix and, occasionally, that means taking a workstation or an entire server offline. As a business, you are relying on your server having a 100% up-time with zero hiccups. It can be difficult to decided to halt work in progress so that the server can be looked at more thoroughly. In most instances, a lot of research comes before the request to bring something as major as a server offline. It should really only be a last ditch effort. It absolutely is not a decision to be taken lightly as bringing it offline will almost definitely affect multiple employees.
Find the source
Let’s say you experience a problem where every time you open Outlook, it brings up an error. You find that you can work around the error if you boot your desktop in Safe Mode. The application now works, but the source was not addressed. If Outlook was bringing up an error because it was out-of-date, then bringing it up-to-date would more directly address the source of the problem. As often as possible, when a recurring problem exists, the source must be addressed or at the very least known.
How to help your IT
When you have a problem, try to think what you were doing right before the error or issue happened – such as if you were checking email or working in a specific program. It can sometimes lead to solutions that may not have been thought of otherwise. If you can remember what kind of applications were open at the time of the issue, this can also be incredibly helpful. Sometimes, small details can make a massive difference in how quickly the problem is resolved.
As often as possible, you should treat the problem rather than the symptom. While temporary solutions are key in running a business, plugging in the hole is only fine as long as a more permanent solution is being worked on. If you have a pot hole in the road, you would not put a sheet of plywood over it and call it fixed; you might use a temporary fix until the hole can be filled in, but until you address the source, the hole will always be there.
(Image Source: iCLIPART)