Welcome » IT Booklets » Operations » Risk Mitigation and Control Implementation » Controls Implementation » Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance on equipment minimizes equipment failure
and can lead to early detection of potential problems. This
includes minor maintenance such as cleaning peripheral equipment as
well as more extensive maintenance provided by the manufacturer,
vendor, or maintenance contractor. Preventive maintenance also
includes general housekeeping to keep the operations center clean
Unless specifically authorized by management, computer operators
should not repair equipment or perform other than the most routine
maintenance. Even if they have the requisite knowledge and
experience, many hardware and software warranties disclaim
liability for unauthorized maintenance or alteration. Maintenance
by computer operators should be performed according to
manufacturers' recommendations. As a general rule, these duties
Maintenance schedules may vary considerably depending on the
number and variety of technology systems and the volume of work
processed. All maintenance should follow a predetermined schedule.
Employees should document maintenance in logs or other records.
Management review of these records will aid in monitoring employee
and vendor performance.
The manufacturer or vendor will usually perform maintenance
under contract. For leased equipment, maintenance may be part of
the lease arrangement. When equipment is owned or leased from a
third party, management should obtain a separate maintenance or
service agreement between the operations center and the equipment
manufacturer. The service or maintenance agreement should provide
repair services, detail the preventive maintenance, and include a
schedule for both. When an operations center uses hardware from
more than one manufacturer, it may be desirable to enter into an
arrangement whereby one vendor takes responsibility for all repair
maintenance. Under this arrangement, the operations center would
contact the designated vendor to determine the source of the
problem and to make all the necessary repairs. In any event,
management should ensure maintenance contracts guarantee timely
Management should schedule time and resources for preventive
maintenance and coordinate that schedule with production. During
scheduled maintenance, the computer operators should dismount all
program and data files and work packs, leaving only the minimum
software required for the specific maintenance task on the system.
If this is impractical, management should review system activity
logs to monitor access to programs or data during maintenance.
Also, at least one computer operator should be present at all times
when the service representative is in the computer room.
Some vendors can perform computer maintenance online. Operators
should be aware of the online maintenance schedule so that it does
not interfere with normal operations and processing. Operators and
information security personnel should adhere to established
security procedures to ensure they grant remote access only to
authorized maintenance personnel at predetermined times to perform
Operators should maintain a written log of all hardware problems
and downtime encountered between maintenance sessions. A periodic
report on the nature and frequency of those problems is a necessary
management tool, and can be valuable for vendor selection,
equipment benchmarking, replacement decisions, or planning
increased equipment capacity.