When IT Attacks

March 7, 2007
Fictional account provides tips on how to avoid IT disasters.

With his disheveled bed hair and outdated glasses highlighted by oversized tortoise-shell frames, Bill Marbach seems to resemble Jimmy Fallon's nerdy Nick Burns "company computer guy" role on "Saturday Night Live." But unlike Burns, Marbach's situation is more serious than humorous.

As the IT manager for the fictional Byler Filter Products, Marbach is faced with the challenge of his career when a virus strikes the company's computer system. Marbach and Byler Filter Products are the brainchild of author Wes Herschberger. They appear in his new book, When IT Hits The Fan (2006, Jawh Publishing).

Herschberger, CEO of Goshen, Ind.-based network solutions provider MapleTronics Computers, takes the reader through a suspenseful day-by-day account of Marbach's struggles to troubleshoot the problem and appease his frustrated supervisor, who is the company's CFO.

With the help of a consulting firm, Marbach eventually pinpoints the problem, and in typical mystery-novel whodunit fashion reveals the most unlikely source of the virus.

The meat of the story, however, occurs after the revelation during a sit-down with the consulting firm's president. This starts with the "Day 7 - Wednesday - 2:00 p.m." subchapter in which it's discovered that communication problems between Marbach and the CFO have played a significant role in the company's IT struggles.

Herschberger offers more direct advice at the end of the book in "The Executive Summary" section.

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About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Former Managing Editor

Former Managing Editor Jon Katz covered leadership and strategy, tackling subjects such as lean manufacturing leadership, strategy development and deployment, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and growth strategies. As well, he provided news and analysis of successful companies in the chemical and energy industries, including oil and gas, renewable and alternative.

Jon worked as an intern for IndustryWeek before serving as a reporter for The Morning Journal and then as an associate editor for Penton Media’s Supply Chain Technology News.

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kent State University and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

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