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The Real Cost of Spin Up/Spin Down Support

August 24, 2015

Is your IT department losing time and money performing spin up/spin down support? Spin up/spin down support naturally occurs when resources need to be allocated dynamically on a task-by-task basis rather than focused in a single area of technology. Though it may initially appear to be a useful method of keeping IT engineering staff constantly on task, it is usually a waste of both resources and talent. IT management must determine better and more stable staff allocations and IT processes if their engineering team is to remain productive.

 
The Curse of Lost Momentum

 

 

Many studies have shown multi-tasking is almost never the most efficient way to complete tasks. Even those who pride themselves on their multi-tasking ability will find productivity briefly grinding to a halt as they switch gears to focus on a new project.

 

IT engineers performing spin up/spin down support are constantly pulled away from larger, more important projects, and required to perform disparate, smaller tasks, such as trouble tickets and routine maintenance. Not only does this cause lost momentum and lead to projects and tasks taking much longer than they should, but it can also lead to mistakes and problems long-term. Multi-tasking introduces errors that should not exist and overly complicates what could be very simple procedures. In spin up/spin down support, engineers must not only perform their functions in an environment of constant interruption, but also keep the status of each individual task at the forefront of their minds.

 
The User Cost of Spin Up/Spin Down Support

 

 

Many enterprises defend their use of spin up/spin down support as a way to address a user’s issues quickly and effectively. In truth, spin up/spin down support has a negative impact on user support.

 

Engineers are constantly moving and always on task, making it impossible to estimate when an issue will be completed. IT functions cannot be properly scheduled because the work load is continuously changing and dynamic. Organizational support falls apart because IT engineers are constantly processing and re-prioritizing, and all processes take longer as engineers struggle to focus.

 
Moving Support Processes Away from the Engineer

 

 

Non-critical support processes and mundane support processes can be moved to an external managed service provider rather than remaining in the hands of the internal IT team. This vastly reduces their spin up/spin down requirements and boosts productivity without sacrificing customer support. 

 

In one example, a client logged 120 unique events a month. Each of these events required an average of three interactions and lasted between five to 30 minutes per interaction. These events were randomly distributed throughout the month and the interactions themselves occurred semi-randomly throughout different groups. Had these events been directed toward the client's engineering team, each event would have marked a significant interruption in the engineer's workflow. Instead, these support tasks were handled through managed services and they were able to complete critical projects, such as a major feature rollout.

 

Seventy percent of IT projects today fail to meet scope, budget, and schedule expectations. The distractions related to spin up/spin down support can mean the difference between project success and project failure.

 

 

 

 

 

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