Too many of us in Enterprise IT ignore this one critical thing about infrastructure management:
We update all our cool technology without ever thinking about whether or not it will all stay compatible or not.
Why is that?
Users: we have huge egos. “My infrastructure is mine. I’ll do whatever I want with it. If your tech can’t keep up, too bad and screw you. I’ll buy something from someone else who “gets it”. I’ll post all over social media about how much you suck.”
Vendors: we’re slow and sniveling. “I can’t ever make demands of my customers. I can’t call them out when they mess up. They’re the smart ones. I’m just slinging tech. I’ll drop everything and get right on this.”
Admins: Do not update your infrastructure without first making sure nothing will break compatibility or interrupt continued operations.
Unless you’re new to the field, you know better. The IT environment is not your toy. Your title? Who cares. Are you the Founder? It’s still not yours, it belongs to the business. Period.
Vendors: Monitor your tech stack constantly. Monitor your tech ecosystem constantly. Update your documentation constantly. To top it all off, notify your customers proactively.
Unless not a single person on the team has ever done this before, you know better. Your tech doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’re a user, too, and you know you ignore the warnings yourself. Congratulations, you’re human! But the reality is you’re a vendor now and you need to know and act better.
One more time:
- Admins: check release notes, check any docs, make sure updating one thing won’t break anything (or everything) else.
- Vendors: write clear release notes and tell your customers about any known compatibility issues in advance.
Yes, this all takes a little more time up-front. It also avoids countless hours, days, or even worse – lost business – after-the-fact. Alternatively: do it right or don’t do it at all!