10 Tips to Avoid Sweating About IT This Summer

1 - 10 Tips to Avoid Sweating About IT This Summer
2 - Align Strategy With Key Executives
3 - Train Your Staff Well
4 - Redundancy, Redundancy and Backup
5 - Reduce Disruption With a Clear Change-Management Plan
6 - Be Proficient With Multiple Platforms, Devices, Operating Systems
7 - Respond Quickly and Analyze Data
8 - Automate
9 - IT Providers Know That Security Is King
10 - Ensure Coverage
11 - Track Inventory
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10 Tips to Avoid Sweating About IT This Summer

by Chris Preimesberger

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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