Who’s Responsible For My System?

Who’s Responsible For My System?

Over the years I have seen conflicts arise within organizations about who specifically should be responsible for certain computer software and data related functions.   Often, people make certain assumptions that a software manufacturer, software supplier, or support vendor should be doing something automatically, when in fact they have not been either asked or contracted to do so. This could also involve  such issues as enforcement of internal policies and procedures, to which only  selective end-users were aware of or were accountable to.

Here are some fairly standard examples of things that are most often NOT automatic:

1. Operating System and Security

  • Installation of Windows Security Service Packs.
  • Installation of Anti-Virus And Anti-Malware Software Updates.

By internal mandate, these items may not be configured to auto-download, auto-install, or auto-notify of success or failure. If something in this area is either only partially  automated or fully automated, one needs to take care that these processes are not going on while end-users  are on the system and using applications that would be affected, especially if a server  or workstation reboot was required.

2. Application Software – Application Software Security Service Packs

  • MS Office
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player]
  • Java

There are regular updates for the above applications that should be installed.  Failure to do so, could result in security holes being present with these applications.

3.  Application Software Data/Usage issues

  • Point of Sale –  Sales Tax Rates, which are typically by state, or by Taxing Jurisdictions. The rates should be updated regularly so that the proper sales tax is withheld.
  • Customers – Taxable Status.   If Tax Exempt, the Tax ID number and expiration dates may need  to be updated as the expire.   Doing this protects you in future tax audit situations.
  • Items – Taxable Flags, Item Based Tax Categories, sizing information – If tax flags and item based Tax Categories  are not properly assigned, the  result could be incorrect tax amounts being withheld, and some nasty tax audits down the line.
  • Payroll – Federal Tax Tables – This includes such things and Social Security  and Medicare tax rates, and FUI, 401K Maximums; State Tax Codes – This includes  SUI rates; Workers Compensation Rates. 

4. Data Purging

Without doing this on a regular basis, you run the risk of having your system bog down when doing data queries and extensive historical reporting.

If you have some specific issues or questions about these sorts of things, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

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