6 Reasons Not to Self-Diagnose Your Software Problems

6 Reasons Not to Self-Diagnose Your Software Problems

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Author: Sarah Pultorak

Encountering an issue in your software system is incredibly frustrating. You may need to use the solution to get your job done, in which case functional glitches can create workflow problems—leaving you with a backlog of tasks. 

This situation is untenable, and your initial reaction may be to ask for a quick fix through internal channels, circumnavigating your managed service provider to regain functionality as quickly as possible. But this approach can exacerbate issues within your solution.

At Canidium, we provide ongoing support to our clients after implementing and configuring their new solutions. We help them optimize, fix, and maintain their solution after it goes live to ensure the software can be used to its full potential to generate maximum returns. 

Based on this in-depth understanding of how to best manage solutions, this guide explains the following:


6 Problems With DIY Software Diagnoses

The allure of solving issues in-house without external help can be strong, particularly if your company wants to keep tight control over its projects or is concerned about budget constraints. However, this approach can be fraught with pitfalls from a lack of deep technical expertise, inadequate diagnostic tools, and an incomplete understanding of the issues.

Suppose you handle software issues internally without contacting your managed service provider. In that case, you may face various challenges that complicate operations and affect your bottom line. While appealing for its perceived immediacy and cost savings, DIY software diagnosis often leads to problems that can escalate if not managed properly.

To fully leverage your software implementation (SI) partner you will need to rely on their expertise. Your partner is highly attuned to the particularities of the solution they designed, configured, and implemented for you, allowing them to accurately diagnose and repair any issues after the system goes live. On the other hand, your internal team may not have the hyper-specific expertise in the solution you are trying to repair, resulting in problematic fixes. 

To give you a complete picture of why DIY software diagnoses and repairs can be problematic, here are the six most common issues they can cause:

6 problems with DIY software diagnoses


1. Troubleshooting Issues

When you attempt to troubleshoot software issues internally, the main challenge you often face is the lack of specialized knowledge necessary to identify and effectively resolve complex problems. Without a deep understanding of the software's underlying architecture and dependencies, your team might address only the symptoms, not the root causes. This approach wastes valuable time and may cause the issues to recur, escalating into more significant problems that are harder and more costly to solve as time progresses. 

Ensuring your team is well-versed in diagnostic techniques and problem-solving can mitigate this risk. However, this often requires training and experience that your team may not have.


2. Lackluster Reporting

If you handle software diagnostics in-house, you might find that your tools and reporting capabilities fall short of what you need for thorough and accurate analysis. Inadequate reporting can result in incomplete or inaccurate information that may hinder your ability to understand essential details or correctly interpret data fully. 

This lack of proper tools and reporting can lead to incomplete or misinterpreted reports, making it challenging to comprehend the full extent of the issue. Without accurate reports, it becomes harder to make informed decisions, potentially resulting in delays in implementing practical solutions and prolonging system downtime or inefficiencies.


3. Limited Experience With Solution Features

Your internal teams might not understand your software's features and capabilities, preventing you from achieving optimal results. Without a deep familiarity with the software, internal teams may struggle to pinpoint the source of problems accurately, leading to misdiagnoses or superficial fixes that only address surface-level symptoms rather than underlying issues. This scenario can result in recurring problems, where the same issue resurfaces because it was never adequately resolved, increasing downtime and user frustration.

An incomplete understanding of the software can cause teams to overlook advanced diagnostic tools or built-in analytics features that could expedite problem-solving. These tools are often designed to provide critical insights into system performance and help identify anomalies before they escalate into more severe problems. By not leveraging these capabilities, your team might take longer to resolve issues, reducing productivity and potentially leading to more significant disruptions in service delivery.

A lack of experience can also strain resources. Team members might spend excessive time troubleshooting issues that your managed service provider could resolve quickly with the right expertise or tools, or they implement workarounds that compromise the software's efficiency or security.

The easiest way to address this challenge is to contact your managed service provider.

They possess specialized knowledge and experience in your software. They can help you unlock the total value of your software investments by providing guidance and support on fully leveraging its features and capabilities. This approach can be beneficial if you have a limited IT staff or need to ramp up your operations quickly without sacrificing quality or performance.


4. Investment Losses

Diagnosing and fixing software issues alone can lead to significant financial losses. These include direct costs, such as those associated with prolonged downtimes and repetitive troubleshooting efforts, and indirect costs, like diverted resources and delayed projects. Initially, avoiding external consultancy fees might seem cost-effective. Still, the cumulative financial impact of internal fixes, especially if they fail to resolve the issues permanently, can quickly deplete your budget.

Beyond the immediate financial expenditures, the potential value lost from your implemented software solution can be substantial. Suppose your internal teams are not fully equipped to handle complex software issues. In that case, there's a risk that your organization will never utilize software to its full potential. This underutilization means that your organization might not realize the expected returns on investment from the technology. Features that could automate tasks, streamline processes, or enhance data analysis might remain underused or incorrectly applied, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for business improvement and growth.

Persistent software issues can also erode the tool's confidence from users and management, which may deter further investment in necessary upgrades or complementary technologies. This uncertainty can stifle innovation and lag your business behind competitors who leverage their tools more effectively.


5. Technical Fallout

DIY solutions to software problems often involve temporary or incomplete fixes that might not adhere to industry best practices. Such makeshift solutions can jeopardize the stability and security of your entire software system. Mishandling these issues can lead to severe data losses, security breaches, and even total system failures, each carrying hefty operational, reputational, and regulatory penalties. The consequences of such technical fallout can be dire, often resulting in lost customer trust and potential legal challenges.

When software issues are not resolved with solid, enduring solutions, the integrity and reliability of your software systems are compromised. This can result in unpredictable behavior, including crashes and unresponsiveness that disrupt daily operations. Over time, these issues can accumulate, leading to a fundamentally unstable system prone to frequent failures. Each failure disrupts business continuity and requires additional resources, diverting attention from core business activities and strategic initiatives.

Temporary fixes often bypass necessary security protocols or fail to consider all security implications, leaving your systems vulnerable to attacks. These issues can also lead to regulatory non-compliance, especially for businesses in heavily regulated finance, healthcare, or telecommunications industries. Regulations in these sectors often require strict data integrity and availability standards, and failure to meet these can result in regulatory actions, fines, and even litigation.


6. Long-Term Costs

The apparent cost savings from handling software troubleshooting yourself can indeed be misleading. Initially, it might seem financially prudent to avoid the fees associated with hiring external experts. However, over time, the long-term costs associated with frequent malfunctions, inefficient software utilization, and the inevitable need for professional intervention can accumulate, making the total cost of ownership significantly higher than anticipated. One report estimates that the costs of poor software quality will reach at least $2.41 trillion in 2022. 

When software issues are addressed in-house without the necessary depth of expertise, the solutions are often temporary and fail to address the root causes of the problems. This can lead to recurring malfunctions that require repeated attention and increase the risk of more significant failures that are disruptive and costly to fix. Each incident can compound into higher operational costs due to downtime, decreased productivity, and the diversion of resources from primary business activities to crisis management.

Delaying external support can exacerbate a situation over time, leading to a point where the cost and effort of remediation far exceed what would have been required for routine maintenance or early professional intervention. When professionals are finally called in, they often have to undo the makeshift fixes and solve the deeper issues, increasing the time and expense required.


Reach out to Your Managed Service Provider

Contacting your managed service provider (MSP) is the quickest way to avoid the issues that result from DIY software fixes. 

Your MSP provides continuous support and can offer recommendations regarding issues as they arise. Engaging with your MSP addresses immediate technical problems and supports long-term strategic benefits. This ensures your software aligns with and effectively supports your business objectives.

Understanding the value of simply initiating a conversation with your managed service provider is essential. A quick discussion can illuminate the issue and offer a perspective you might not have considered. Managed service providers encounter a wide range of topics across different clients. They are likely to have seen your particular problem before. This familiarity allows them to diagnose the issue and suggest practical solutions quickly.

Do not hesitate to reach out; it can be as straightforward as calling. In practice, these initial conversations can provide critical insights and lead to resolutions without necessarily advancing to a formal engagement. Your service providers are there to be your sounding board—they're prepared to listen to your concerns and offer professional advice based on their extensive experience. This proactive communication can save you considerable time and resources, helping to ensure that your software investment continues to yield value and support your business effectively.


Avoiding Problems Associated With Software Self-Diagnoses

Managing software systems in-house may seem appealing to companies that want to maintain tight control over their projects or watch their budget constraints. However, this approach can often lead to more significant challenges that complicate operations and affect the bottom line.

When trying to troubleshoot software issues on your own, you may end up in a cycle of recurring problems where you apply patches instead of solving the root cause of the issue. This can lead to long-term inefficiencies and potential security risks. Lack of specialized knowledge, inadequate diagnostic tools, and a superficial understanding of the software's capabilities can all hinder your ability to address underlying problems effectively. This not only wastes valuable time and resources but can also escalate into more significant issues that are more costly to resolve.

Addressing software problems internally without the necessary depth can lead to significant investment losses and missed opportunities to leverage your software's potential fully. This underutilization can stunt your business's growth and innovation, keeping you behind competitors who optimize their tools more effectively.

Given these points, reaching out to your MSP at the first sign of trouble is wise. Your MSP can provide immediate technical assistance and ongoing support to prevent future issues.

In the meantime, you can learn more about mastering Xactly for in-house management in order to avoid problems in the future.