Missing an upgrade deadline may seem innocuous and in fact there is a popular saying about if it’s not broken don’t fix it. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Citrix Solutions and by extension underlying Microsoft components as a popular orthopedic clinic in Midwest USA with 5 locations found out.
The clinic was running Citrix LTSR 7.6 on Windows 2008 R2 and had been on it for 6 years, 1 year past the requisite 5 years. As the environment was solid and had not had any issues over that period no maintenance was done and in fact all was well until one of their main EMR application was upgraded in the back end.
After the backend was upgraded, the single sign-on application Imprivata stopped working. Opening a call with Imprivata the clinic was advised that Imprivata would only be able to help troubleshoot if they were on a supported Citrix environment since their client works in concert with the Citrix Receiver and they did not meet the minimum requirements for support.
Meanwhile the business was stressed since Nurses and Doctors had to now manually log on when they were used to tap in and tap out. This seems trivial to a naked eye however in reality when we looked at the issue and observed the impact it was real and troublesome. It normally took 10 seconds to log on and now it was taking 1-2 minutes. If a doctor normally spends 5-8 minutes with a patient by the end of the day, they saw about 3-5 less patients. Talk about loss of production and revenue.
The IT department was caught off guard and now had to essentially upgrade their whole Citrix Environment very quickly with the business breathing down their necks. It was ugly to put it mildly. They reached to us for assistance, and we had to work about 14 hours a day for 2 weeks straight including weekends to get the whole environment quickly upgraded. Testing and pilot were compromised, and they had to deal with minor issues for a month cleaning up the mess.
All this could have been avoided if they had paid attention to the upgrade and maintenance cadence. The cost to the business was immense in terms of dollars but it was even greater in human terms due to long hours, stress, and demoralization. The IT manager barely kept his job.