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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

IT Emergencies are Ice-Breakers

IT emergencies provide excellent opportunities for consultants that can lead to future business. The first thing a client will feel when an emergency crops up is the dire consequences of neglecting IT issues. Something like a deadly computer virus can make the customer realize he forgot to renew his anti-virus license, or that he had no procedures in place for updating viruses at all. Because of a now desperate situation, the customers’ important clients might not be able to get online access to their account; or perhaps the customer has to put an important project aside to handle the immediate issues. Suddenly, your customer desperately needs you, and this is your chance to gain access to their business and credibility for the future.


When you respond to an emergency, you have to keep in mind that your customer is trying to gain peace of mind that the pain of the emergency is going to go away immediately. You have to be prepared to control the issue quickly.

Clients in IT emergencies want you to be able to explain their problem and show them you understand why it is important to their business needs within an hour or two of arriving on site. They expect you will know both where to go for solutions and how to take initiative to get them implemented.


Like any hospital emergency room, a lot of IT emergencies are about triage. Triage involves knowing what can be quickly done in order to produce tangible results. Handling IT emergencies well does not always mean fixing the hardest problem first, and often actually is about providing a workaround that will get systems operational.

Technical issues that are critical to the operation of an entire company are first priority, and those affecting one person typically (though not always) go beneath those in the hierarchy of importance.

Sometimes part of a company’s technical issues might surround a single computer, but one that is critical for important tasks such as submitting payroll or others that are a top priority for the company. In this case, you need to address this as a critical situation and come up with solutions that will allow important functions to continue even if it takes a few days to fix the larger problem.

Created By: Joshua Feinberg