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Human errors are one of the sources of failure that are most difficult to identify in your network configuration, and they can significantly undermine your company's operational efficiency. Just a wrongly placed decimal point or an error while changing setting can have severe consequences.
As such, it is essential that you take effective measures to minimize human errors in your network configuration.
Inevitability of Human Errors
As long as you are using human beings to manage your IT system, human errors will occur.
Even if you have the most advanced system management tools, you cannot eliminate human errors completely. A human error can happen because of many reasons, but it is almost always the result of a mismatch between a human being's perception of the IT environment and the actual state of the environment. This mismatch is inevitable because of the fast-changing environments that are characteristic of IT systems.
Other factors that can cause human errors in network configuration include cognitive quirks, poor concentration and lack of experience.
How to Reduce Human Errors in Your Network Configuration?
Since human error is inevitable, the best thing you can do is to learn how to minimize the risk of human error to your network configuration.
Other than reducing the frequency of human errors, you should also know how to fix the problems that result from the errors.
Minimizing Human Errors
In order to prevent human errors from affecting your IT system, you can either keep your IT professionals from making mistakes or intercept the errors before they reach the system.
Both of these methods will be more effective if you can identify all the different types of errors that can potentially occur.
Error avoidance is usually accomplished through training or user interface.
The IT professionals in your company should undergo training to develop an appropriate mental model of your IT system, so that mismatches between perception and actual state of the IT environment can be prevented.
The training should focus on both procedures and concepts to ensure that they will have broader mental models that can evolve with the system. The user interface of your computing system can be modified to block potential human errors.
For instance, you can eliminate the need for human input through automation or use wizards to guide users through predefined tasks.
Buffering-based strategies have been proven to be effective in preventing human errors from reaching an IT system, because they enable human operators to self-detect errors.
One example of these strategies is the way some email clients are configured to batch and delay outgoing mail to enable users to recall, edit or discard erroneously sent messages.
Develop a Recovery Plan
Since human errors cannot be completely prevented, you have to be prepared to deal with the problems that arise from them.
Human errors can result in data loss and system outage, and you need to have a good disaster recovery strategy in place to minimize damage.
Conduct mock drills to test the effectiveness of the strategy, identify weaknesses and prepare your IT staff for potential problems.
Minimizing human errors can significantly reduce the amount of time, effort and money you need to spend on fixing IT-related problems.
It can boost business continuity and help prevent financial losses.