The end of the year approaches, and you have spent way too much time on Facebook and Twitter and worrying about little things like keeping your company in business in 2009. However, despite a once-gloomy economy now showing some sun around the edges and an interest in social media bordering on fixation, the technology world has continued to move forward. Here are 10 steps you should take between now and the end of the year to get your business in technology shape for 2010.
Build a Business Intelligence Strategy
Survey after survey show that business intelligence is at the top of every CIO's priority list for 2010 projects. Why is that? Business intelligence is just a fancy term for accomplishing what all that technology investment is supposed to do in the first place: provide an accurate picture of your company, your competitors and the marketplace. Too often, business intelligence has been the province of a separate group of "BI experts" and programmers. In 2010, you should be able to play "what-if" scenarios based on real data from your company.
Build a Virtualization Strategy Around Your Entire IT Infrastructure
Sure, you can reduce the number of servers in the data center by virtualization. But you know what happens to items like I/O and storage when you focus on one area of virtualization and forget the others? Right, you only start moving around inefficiency from one area to another if you think point products. Lean on your vendors and IT staff to come up with a virtualization model for your whole company. There are big benefits here in 2010.
Windows 7: Upgrade? Downgrade?
Server-side refresh at the same time as you get your creaky clients in shape? Try something new altogether? Whatever you decide, make it a top to bottom review of where you want to take your aging infrastructure.
Stop Thinking of Mobility as an Add-on
Your company's work force will soon see mobility as the norm rather than a nifty set of applications when they happen to be on the road. The dispersed work force and the end of the commuting to a cubicle era will soon be upon us, and you should build out the IT plan to accommodate mobility as the rule rather than the exception.
Right off, I'll tell you the cloud is not the answer to every computing problem the world has ever seen. But cloud computing is quickly moving from a curiosity to the real thing. You really need to get some experience moving some apps to cloud-based providers and evaluate what the cloud can offer in terms of uptime, security and disaster recovery.