Gurdeep Pandher / Manager, Data Application and Support Requisition #11890

in General

Question 1

1. Communication Plan

Find out the reasons why the financial system was crashing. Gather all the crash logs to analyze them for your memo. Make a request to your immediate team to document reports indicating why the data was crashing. Request the Corporate Financial System vendor for full system crash report. Compile all the components of key information together! Pick up the reasonable points from all the sources to develop an actual memo or e-mail. Create a draft which you would send to stakeholders (financial group).

Draft of the actual memo or e-mail:-

Good afternoon, (Name of the group or key-person)!

Thank you very much for your patience! It has been a privilege to work with your esteemed group. We are proud of the support our team provided has been provided in past. But at this time, we need your further cooperation. Ever since the issue was reported to me that corporate Financial system was crashing, my team has been working tirelessly to come up with a solid solution. We have been regularly in touch with the system vendor. My team spoke to them several times. The vendor also took action. Finally, the vendor have provided us a patch which is a great news. But at this point we require your further support. The fix requires changes to the system’s database indexing on all rows of data. Unfortunately, this change is time consuming. As a result, it will require several hours of downtime and the system still be unavailable for a couple of hours while we work on it. I understand that this could be frustrating. But we are working hard to resolve the issue. Once the issue has been fully resolved, I will send you an update.

Looking forward to fixing it soon!

Sincerely yours,
Gurdeep Pandher
Manager of Data and Application Support
Government of Yukon


2. Tactical Plan

Step 1.
Identify the team:- Identify from your team who would be the best professionals to resolve the issues in the financial system. Check from database administrators, systems specialists, including operational areas such as network, data centre services and service desk support who could offer the best possible solutions or tips to resolve the issue. If possible, hold a meeting with key people in your team.

Step 2.
Build the team:- Analyze all the feedback you receive from people in your unit. Also, keep all the resources available to you into account to find a best remedy of the problem.

Step 3.
Assign tasks:- On the basic of your conclusion from the provided information, assign the tasks to your team. Find one or two of them who can communicate to the system vendor about the fix. Assign someone from the team to talk to the corporate financial system vendor.

Step 4.
Patch deployment:- Assess who is the best in your team for the deployment of the patch. Monitor the deployment. Request the progress report and communicate it with the financial team.

Step 5.
When the full remediation of this issue is worked out, inform the financial team and also apologize for the delay. Most importantly, say thanks to everyone in your team who worked for you. Be a leader, not boss!

3 Briefing Note for Deputy Minister and Minister

Dear sir or madam,

Hope you are doing great! I would like to take an opportunity to send you details about the issue related to corporate Financial system which had been crashing every day during peak usage times.

Immediately I received very first report, I took action and planned a comprehensive strategy to resolve it. I held a meeting with my team, identified ones who would be best to attack the issue.

First, we tried everything we could do at our end. We checked the logs of the corporate Financial system, we checked if anything from the database was causing the crash, we also checked if there is any network issue, we also checked if there is system cache or some bad scripts which were triggering the crash. Unfortunately, none of these were causing the system to crash. Everything was working fine. Moreover, I personally ran the system settings checkup and found that all the settings were correct and working fine. My team and I started feeling that the issue was really beyond our control.

As we pay to the financial system vendor for an extensive support, so on behalf of my team, I reached the vendor and reported the issues. My team provided all the information like logs and other crash reports to the vendor. Then the vendor sent us the patch. Immediately, my team started working on the deployment of the patch. But as the fix required changes to the system’s database indexing on all rows of data, so it also required several hours of downtime. We understand this was highly disruptive to financial users and other government program area managers who rely on this system to do their year-end forecasting and close-out.  We also understand that there were many frustrated clients and senior management was expressing a high degree of concern over this issue, but the fix of this issue required ample time to analyze, plans and deployment of the patch.

But, now great news is that the system is all fixed and running up normally. The patch worked really well. We tested the post-patch scenario, and all the functions in the system are working.

We apologize for the delay, but we are also proud of what we achieved with the small team we have.

Recommendations on any decision points or speaking notes they might require to handle communications on the issue for inquiries from other senior management team members, the media or the public:- The vendor pointed that the issue happened due to outdated official software. The patch updated the system. So now the system will be able to process timely payments to vendors, social assistance recipients and payroll.

Sincerely,
Gurdeep Pandher

Question 2

Challenges the Yukon Government can expect to face in adopting cloud based end-user productivity technology.

Moving forward, ICT proposes that Yukon Government should adopt cloud based technology. Cloud-based means that applications, services or resources made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers. With cloud based services, productivity will be enhanced. More people will be able to join and more will be able to adept. Cloud services offer many advantages like flexibility, disaster recovery, automatic software updates, increased collaboration, work from anywhere, scalability, security, etc. Great thing related to the cloud services is that you can work from anywhere and collaborate with anyone in the team.

But implementing the cloud services in the Yukon Government is not without challenges. I would like to highlight some of the challenges which YG could expect:-

  1. Slow adaptation to new technology:- If we look at the previous examples of how Government workforce adapted to new technologies, the results were not that optimum. Yukon Government employees are not very technological savvy. Also, there are limited training opportunities for those who are willing to learn. Cloud services require high-end IT and computer skills. So, slow adaptation to new technology can become a hurdle to change.
  2. Reliability on new technology:- At YG, most of information is stored internally. Deployment of cloud services means that there would be a third party who will have access to our data. As a Government organization, it increases the risk of data being stolen or misused. So, when it comes to the security of sensitive Government data, there should be big no-no.
  3. Hacking:- Although these kinds of attacks are rare, but still cloud services are sometimes vulnerable to attacks by professional hackers. Although these kinds of services are very secure, but occasionally we hear stories in media even big brands being hacked. Professional hackers are sometimes able to break strong firewalls and other security checkpoints. This can make the whole Government data into malicious hands.
  4. Training:- Cloud services requires advanced computer knowledge and skills. Yukon Government does have enough training tools to provide training to the other staff. This puts the Government’s migration to cloud services in a spotlight.

Proposal for deployment strategy for mitigating these risks so that YG can begin taking advantage of the cloud service that they are licensed for:-

  1. Awareness:- Raising awareness about cloud services is key to create ground for smooth deployment. Most of Yukon Government workforce may be resistant if they do not have enough awareness about the cloud services. For example, many people have presumption that cloud services steal data or complex to handle. However, most of cloud service providers are respected names in the industry.
  2. Training:- Smooth deployment can only be possible if adequate training is provided to the staff so that they feel confident to take on. Without proper hands on the cloud services, the YG workforce may not take full advantage of the cloud services that they are licensed for.
  3. Identifying the most respected service providers:- To reduce the risk of data theft, only those service providers who match with YG privacy policies should be engaged. That will enhance the overall confidence of the staff in the cloud services. Also, YG should make efforts to learn where the data is stored if it is not stored internally. And if they share the data with third parties.
  4. Using online courses:- Nowadays, there are many online courses like Lynda.com or Linkedin Learning which can be useful to learn proper deployment and use of the cloud services.