10 Tips to Avoid Sweating About IT This Summer

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-07-17 Print this article Print

Just because the sun is out, vacations are thinning out your staff and production demand may be increasing doesn't mean your temperature needs to rise as a result of IT. It may or may not impact you immediately at this time, but the fact is that demand for global IT is heating up faster than the weather in the Northern Hemisphere. IT is more in-demand now than ever, with Gartner projecting worldwide IT spending—for hardware, software and services—to reach an astounding $3.8 trillion this year. More than ever, businesses are relying on IT as they fight to compete within their industries without sacrificing security. The proof is in the numbers; more than 95 percent of the 1,300 IT services vendors surveyed recently by Autotask and research firm Decision Tree Labs reported that they are actively hiring. Clearly, the IT world is riding a heat wave. This slide show, put together with eWEEK reporting and the research, offers 10 ways to keep cool this summer when it comes to IT. These tips range from improving communications guidelines to backing up data to cross-training staff.

  • 10 Tips to Avoid Sweating About IT This Summer

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - 10 Tips to Avoid Sweating About IT This Summer
  • Align Strategy With Key Executives

    Outlining and executing IT goals and initiatives is impossible without establishing clear lines of communication with your company's CIO and other major business unit leaders. Work together to identify top business priorities and the role IT can play in supporting and realizing them. Once these goals are established, follow up regularly to make sure the strategy is on track.
    2 - Align Strategy With Key Executives
  • Train Your Staff Well

    It may seem obvious, but ensuring that staff members receive adequate training to keep current on new technology developments is paramount and should be a year-round priority.
    3 - Train Your Staff Well
  • Redundancy, Redundancy and Backup

    The summer heat brings violent storms that can cut power and kill systems. Make sure you have redundancy where you need it and that you not only have backups but test them frequently to ensure they can be restored if you need them.
    4 - Redundancy, Redundancy and Backup
  • Reduce Disruption With a Clear Change-Management Plan

    Organizational change is never easy, but it's necessary and can lead to positive business results in the long run. In the meantime, whether your business is undergoing a routine system upgrade or a full-scale IT system change, managing the process with efficiency and transparency is key. Create a plan of action that clearly outlines the maintenance to be performed, along with associated costs and approvals that will come into play. Be transparent about this activity and the client-facing impact it will have.
    5 - Reduce Disruption With a Clear Change-Management Plan
  • Be Proficient With Multiple Platforms, Devices, Operating Systems

    Your IT department ought to be agile enough to adapt and support emerging technologies. Business leaders deserve effective solutions that aren't constrained by legacy or obsolete systems.
    6 - Be Proficient With Multiple Platforms, Devices, Operating Systems
  • Respond Quickly and Analyze Data

    When it comes to an IT issue response, every minute matters. Make communication a priority throughout the process to ensure that the problem is solved as quickly as possible. Do the same types of issues seem to recur within particular departments? Make a habit of reviewing each department's history and needs to find ways to fix problems, even before they arise.
    7 - Respond Quickly and Analyze Data
  • Automate

    Aim for the IT department to set an example for other departments as to the transformative power technology can play. Integrating technology into your systems, combined with the expertise of you and your staff, can make everything run more smoothly.
    8 - Automate
  • IT Providers Know That Security Is King

    Security is a necessity in today's business world, requiring more than the antivirus and anti-spam solutions that were typical in years past. IT vendors are aware that security is a major priority. Respondents to Autotask's "Metrics That Matter" survey considered it the top priority among their clients this year, even out-ranking mobile-device management. Laying out clear concerns and expectations with your vendor will ensure that security be less of a headache for you in the summer months and beyond.
    9 - IT Providers Know That Security Is King
  • Ensure Coverage

    As staff members take their summer holidays, make sure that you maintain coverage. Cross-train where necessary and stagger vacations so that you don't lose access to critical domain expertise that you might urgently need.
    10 - Ensure Coverage
  • Track Inventory

    Every IT professional should be tracking inventory, even if servers, workstations and other equipment ship directly to clients and never come through your doors. Inventory tracking reduces risk and errors, improves customer service and helps you accurately bill and report profitability.
    11 - Track Inventory

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