Back to Basics: 3 IT Management To-Do’s for the New Year

By Chad  Basham

2011 was a big year.  With the rapid adoption of new technologies, the ubiquity of the tablet, consumerisation of IT and the growing interest in BYOD there was a lot for IT leaders and managers to deal with. And this was just the thin end of the wedge.

As we start the New Year, your focus will return to enabling agility and flexibility within your business, and handling all of the technology challenges that come with it. But in tackling this, don’t forget about some of the few simple – but crucial – “Technology 101s” that are worth revisiting.

Take Control of Server Sprawl

With highly virtualised environments and easy access to cloud services, server sprawl is now even tougher to control. When performing health checks across our clients’ server environments, we constantly see significant overinvestment. On average, our large clients have 20% too many servers for their needs. Fixing server sprawl has instant impact in terms of savings on volume licensing, reduced management costs and more efficient hardware use.

Proactively Manage Capacity

Proactively planning for business, service and component capacity demands is critical to avoiding bottlenecks that could become major problems. Investment in prevention of bottlenecks is the key to cost savings. Rather than throwing either hardware or IT support team time (or both) at the problem when it hits, invest in predictive analysis that can significantly streamline the processes. Identifying current demands, analysing how they could change over time and planning how best you will provide this capacity will optimise performance and efficiency, ultimately reducing pressure on infrastructure and reducing financial investment. With the rise of cloud computing you have many more options available to you.

Understand your Assets

Like any other business asset, your organiation’s hardware and software fleet needs to be well-managed to ensure it delivers maximum return on investment. Gaining control of inventory and uncovering potential savings through process improvement is critical to business success. However, many organisations don’t have a clear inventory of assets, or a software asset management strategy. For example, when performing an asset analysis, we’ve often found that organisations have underestimated their application use by 10%. Such lapses could incur fines and a retrospective bill for out-of-date licenses. More importantly for the business, incomplete asset evaluation could impede critical decision making and further escalate unnecessary costs.

If you don’t already have your eye on these basics, make 2012 the year you put processes in place to ensure they’re handled. You’re sure to free up funds, avoid risk of fines and divert fewer resources to managing them on an ongoing basis.

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About Chad Basham

Chad Basham is the General Manager of Professional Services for Datacom, NSW. With 20 years of global technology experience, Chad leads a team of solution architects focused on designing agile IT environments that result in more productivity and overall cost savings for Datacom clients. His team’s goal is to help internal IT departments focus on strategy, including creating overall technology roadmaps, designing efficient end-user computer and infrastructure environments, and implementing a variety of vendor solutions, including Microsoft desktop software.

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