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.
Social Nets for Business, Marketing
Social Nets for Business
Consumer social networks are not ready to operate inside a business where items such as security, compliance and monitoring are required. Sorry, but that is the truth. However, there are lots of interesting vendors coming to the rescue with social networking products designed for business. Try out a few.
Social Net Monitoring for Marketing
Your marketing department needs help big time. A lot of the conversation about your company is taking place beyond the reaches of traditional marketing research capabilities. If you gain some knowledge about social network monitoring, you can finally get that promotion you’ve been looking for.
IT Infrastructure Financing
How does your company buy, lease or license its products and services? Don’t leave that discussion to your CFO and associated bean-counters. A crunched economy means you have a lot more negotiating leverage than you realize.
IT Infrastructure Disposal
And while you are leaning on your vendors, make sure they are willing to take back your old equipment and provide documentation that those old boxes were disposed of in an environmentally acceptable way. You can be both green and save your company a lot of hassle at the same time.
Toss Out the Old, Bring in the New
It really is time to go through your application inventory and toss out old, rarely used apps. It is also time to start planning to create and deploy the business applications that truly can give your company the business advantage it needs in a rebounding marketplace.