Some IT Support Professionals may have been able to stand at the fray and realize that these were the key ingredients to a perfect storm, without even laying finger one on the keyboard. Being the eternal optimist and having done as much due diligence as could be realized with the information afforded to me, though, I felt like I stood a better than average chance of a successful software installation within the allotted time window. I mean c’mon, this isn’t rocket science, it’s just a software update. Right?
Let me provide a little background for you. A small to midsized IT client requests a software update on their company’s accounting software. Prior to the install, I contacted the software’s technical support to clear up and confirm answers to a few general questions that I had regarding the update. I had reviewed the hardware requirements and the OS requirements, and confirmed that the server environment was ripe for the plucking – commence the install – wait - input a big red X – wings clipped before I even got off the ground. This was going take a while, and for some strange reason I craved a Snickers bar.
I did forget to mention that the network that I was installing this update on never had, and was never going to have, an active internet connection. As a result of the client wanting to protect the integrity of their data, and make it available to only those inside the network, they were missing one key factor that meant the difference between success and failure for the IT professional that was completing the installation – the very valuable, but often overlooked, Windows Updates. I have never wanted to access the Microsoft Windows Update site so badly in my life and blindly apply all of the available updates. With the ability to automate updates to your environment, or control them through methods such as WSUS or Kaseya Monitoring, it is hard to fathom a PC not having the most up to date updates running. But here it was, tapping me on the forehead like a rambunctious child trying to wake their sleeping parent. So you're asking yourself – Self – ‘What is this kid going to do??’. While the thought of letting the client know that the install would need to be postponed to a later date did cross my mind, I persevered. I went the extra mile. I used the expertise of colleagues and I used the Microsoft.com/downloads website to get all of the necessary downloads so that I could continue with the install and put this baby to bed! One stop shopping was never so appreciated. I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to have an IT partner, Microsoft, have their updates available for download any time you want. I know that many manufacturers offer this but the ease of locating the download, the information provided on the site, the FAQ sheets available to inform you of know issues with the download is a breath of fresh air. I am sure that you would run out of fingers and toes on your own person counting how many times you went creeping through Google (next time try Bing) to try and find a solution to an issue and come up either blind or no further along then when you started the search (BTW – your coke bottle bottom tri-focals look great!). The bottom line is that though the client did not have all of the updates needed to do perform the software update, the solution was no more than a few clicks away. I was able to download the necessary updates to an external drive and load them on to the server with relative ease – c’mon you know I can’t say that it was completely seamless - even with a robust T1 connection a 231MB file still takes a little while to download! While in a perfect world, there would be no fear of losing data or networks being hacked and we would all be connected to the internet singing Kum-ba-ya and living in harmony, it is reassuring to know that for those cautious few who like to limit their vulnerability have IT options and IT resources available to them.