Tech Harmony: Navigating Technology Stress Through Proactive Practices

Four teammates discussing proactive processes for technology

Tech Harmony: Navigating Technology Stress Through Proactive Practices

We are all heavily reliant on technology to speed up the way we work. Whether you are a solopreneur, lead a large organization, or somewhere in between, work would immediately or eventually halt without technology.

Technology doesn’t often stop working on a large scale simultaneously for most of us. When it does, it is quite an event. Just look at the recent issue AT&T had with their service going down for a few hours on a weekend. Wow! Did that create a firestorm of frustration and alarm!

Hopefully, you aren’t in a position where your technology is a stressor. An essential element may be missing if it is a consistent point of frustration.

Author, investor, and lifestyle guru Tim Ferriss says, “I think that whenever you feel reactive or are being reactive as opposed to proactive, that inherently – consciously or subconsciously – creates a lot of stress.” While I’m sure Mr. Ferriss was not thinking of technology when he said this, it is a broadly applicable truth.

In this case, if your technology is regularly a cause of stress to you or your team, there may be an element missing in your technology management. To limit technology stress, there needs to be technology proactivity. Technology people talk about proactivity, but it takes real discipline to establish and maintain it. Every day-to-day technology occurrence calls the IT professional away from it, and with process, procedure, and even division of roles, it is possible to be proactive.

Part of the discipline of proactivity is keeping your technology in alignment with IT best practices. At CTaccess, we call this area of IT management Security & Alignment Services. This discipline contributes heavily to de-stressing technology.

Here are some of the Stress-Reducing Tenants of Well-Aligned IT.

Have Standards and Stick to Them! You can only create alignment if you have something to align against, and if you are constantly making exceptions, it isn’t alignment. For example, a recommended IT standard is NOT to allow home users to access your network with full VPN access from their personal computers. This standard isn’t convenient, especially when an executive wants this type of access and wants the company to avoid incurring the expense of supplying a company-owned computer. However, providing a company computer will significantly reduce the stress of that home computer potentially infecting your network. Your IT team should have a list of standards and should assess your network against them regularly.

Stay Fit and in Shape! Optimizing IT means keeping it from growing old and tired. Having a process for evaluating old hardware, software, services, and security tools is critical. It is easy to let this slip due to budgetary concerns or because it does not seem to matter much. The reduction in downtime is dramatic when you manage things correctly and don’t stretch your technology cycle. Managing this correctly dramatically reduces the stress of a work-crippling down type event.

Be Vigilant and Adapt! IT security is constantly changing, and the pace is more rapid than nearly any other field. Most security events in the news are related to needing appropriate controls or people failing to follow best practices. To keep security in alignment, useability and security must be balanced. Security controls can’t create significant roadblocks to productivity. And yet, security controls must exist, and they should differ from the same controls used 10 or even 2 years ago. To be in alignment and cut IT stress out, new tools should be vetted, tested, and implemented. There is an explosion of these new tools, so finding the right “security stack” at the right price point is not easy. In addition, policies must be implemented and enforced on your network to control passwords, logouts, locks, and so much more. A multi-pronged approach of policy, user training, proper configuration, and the right toolset is critical to staying secure and de-stress your IT.

Get Help from the Right People! A big part of optimizing your IT is having the right people to manage and address the issues that arise. This involves an IT team skilled at multiple IT disciplines and an Alignment Engineer who can address the techy security issues and still see the big picture. The person in this role must be adept at relating security and alignment needs to your overall goals. Their expertise must go beyond solving the immediate problem and be able to relate technology needs to overall company goals. Having a strong Alignment Engineer will significantly reduce the stress of uncertainty about your security level.

Give Your Wellness Some Attention! Keeping things aligned is hard without ever spending time checking, measuring, and improving. This means having time to look at IT from a non-fixing perspective. So often, the reactive takes over, and we are looking at how to solve a problem at every moment. Good alignment dictates reserving time for a talented technologist to look at things from a best practices perspective. What is falling short of best practices? What adjustments should be made? Where are the loopholes? Does the IT setup meet the company’s goals? How could we innovate and create greater operational efficiency? How can we improve people’s lives with technology?


Creating a proactive discipline around security and alignment of your technology is a great way to quiet technology down to a well-running hum and reduce IT stress. We have a great group of individuals at CTaccess who are dedicated to this IT service delivery area. They serve on our Security & Alignment team. I want to give them a shout-out for de-stressing our customers’ technology with proactive IT action!