July 23, 2020

Avoid system outages, public harm

What happens when the computer system that supports your agency’s work experiences an outage?

Officials in Maryland could tell you.

In late June, what has been described as a “catastrophic hardware failure” to a state data system compromised the ability of the state police department’s licensing division to complete background checks for firearm purchase applications. The delay, The Baltimore Sun reported, threatened the seven-day waiting period for firearm purchases, upon the expiration of which dealers may transfer guns without background checks.

As a result of the failure, a local CBS affiliate reported, at least seven guns were delivered to buyers despite the fact that background checks had not been completed.

Your agency depends on the stability and reliability of your system to protect the public and to maintain staff productivity. When your system fails, important communications such as renewal notices can go unsent. Worse, weapons can end up in the hands of people who have not been fully vetted.

Choose a stable and reliable system

​Avoid system outages and failures by choosing safe hosting, whether on the Azure cloud or on a company’s protected servers. Look for a system that allows virtually uninterrupted access to network and application resources. Company equipment should be located at a Tier III certified hosting center, featuring security features.

To monitor the performance of the application, make sure the system offers users access to a range of notifications. For example, the system could let staff know whether a notification job ran successfully. Users could also have access to a comprehensive performance monitoring business processes that creates and monitors Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs and Business Intelligence reporting in an application help to identify trends within your agency’s performance data and identify root causes to recurring problems.

Using a reliable system and secure hosting helps your agency:

  • Save time and money.
  • Preserve morale.
  • Improve KPIs.
  • Receive notifications.

​Some features to look for:

Some key features to look for in a system include:

  • Tier III certified colocation facility
  • Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure that guarantees nearly constant availability
  • High-speed state-of-the-art servers, updated regularly to ensure fast application performance
  • Multiple, independent power and cooling distribution paths serving the IT equipment
  • Compliance with leading IT security standards, including NIST, HIPPA, and PCI-DSS
  • Incident response and management

GL Suite at work: How one client uses outage notifications

The North Carolina Medical Board uses the automatic site outage service to notify GL Solutions immediately about service interruptions.

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