If there’s one thing that all IT managers and CIOs can agree on, it’s that no year is the same as the previous. IT pros work in one if the most exciting industries that constantly evolves and develops. With organisations increasingly reliant on information systems to give them the edge over competitors, enterprise administrators need a solid IT strategy that meets the current and future demands placed on their networks.

Don’t let Telco-dependence hamstring your IT strategy.

Wide Area Networks (WAN) are reliant on multiple interconnections and very often data traverses infrastructure that does not belong to the private organisation. Telcos serve as the vehicle between branch offices and enterprises, so therefore they must rely on their ISP’s ability to provide the level of service agreed on between itself and the organisation. WAN administrators must ensure that their IT strategy is not compromised by service providers who under-deliver on key areas of service delivery. It is crucial for your ISP to understand the specific service levels your organisation demands and that SLA’s are consistently met. Evaluate your agreements and address any performance concerns that you may have to ensure that ambiguities are eliminated.

Build automation into your IT strategy.

The increased dependence on the Internet is driven by enterprises’ adoption of technologies such as the cloud, virtualisation and automation software solutions. Your IT strategy should capitalise on the benefits that automation technologies offer. Freeing up valuable man-hours places IT managers and CIOs in a position to better utilise staff. The removal of daily administrative and maintenance tasks, thanks to automation, means more time spent on R&D and other proactive exercises that bring added value to the organisation. Network management tools gather masses of data on large environments and should be used to plan an effective IT strategy for your organisation. NMS solutions allow IT staff to create historic views of complex networks that allow them to understand the growth path and how to plan for the future. Multi-site environments can quickly become a maze to navigate and manage. Use the abundance of information available in your NMS implementation to better plan for your network’s growth.

Identify your brightest engineers and hone their skills.

The market for top engineers has always been very competitive and the need for skilled IT staff is on the increase. Make sure that you implement a staff retention strategy that retains your best human resources by implementing regular performance appraisals that also act as an impetus for open communication. It is often the case that employees feel that their contribution to the organisation is undermined by companies that do not actively encourage open dialogue between staff and management. Your conversations with your staff may result in opportunities to identify and eliminate festering issues and build a stronger team.

Have discussions with your team about your vision for the company and use their insights to give you a different perspective on things. Change is the only constant in busy IT departments that support enterprise environments. Don’t be afraid to adapt your strategy as business requirements demand and be sure that the various parts of your strategic plan integrates and supports the other individual elements. Make sure you plug any holes in your IT strategy and that it is easy to communicate to your department and upper management.

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