IT spending grew to an impressive $3.8 trillion in 2019. With 2020 giving enterprises a reality check on remote working, the spending on digital transformation is expected to grow even further. It goes without saying that IT is an integral part of any company, big or small.
When the stakes are so high, there’s very little room for mistakes. However, we’re all humans and do make mistakes. While every faulty judgment or hasty decision has an underlying lesson, IT professionals should try their best to avoid such pitfalls. Even a small mistake can cause millions worth of damage.
Let’s look at some of the biggest mistakes that IT professionals make and how they can preemptively avoid them:
Treating Business Separate from Technology
IT professionals often come from heavily technical backgrounds, focusing on development, infrastructure, or networks. They often forget that they are, in fact, part of the business. So they focus too much on technology and not on the business side of things.
You should pivot the technology to support the business and help improve it and support it. This especially applies to IT leaders who need to show leadership outside their department as well. Whenever designing solutions or implementing new technology, take a minute to analyze how it impacts the business.
Outsourcing Critical IT Jobs
You simply can’t outsource most critical IT jobs abroad, even if it seems too economical. There comes a point where you have to draw the line between profitability and cautiousness. If you go around outsourcing jobs like IT admin or network managers, you could find yourself in trouble when systems crash untimely, or you’re under attack.
Outsourcing makes sense economically, but only with jobs that can be offshored. Some IT jobs are too critical to be done remotely. Most of your IT leadership should be in-house. Even with the low hierarchy jobs in the department, only outsource if the cost savings are very high. Otherwise, having a local IT team can make your life so much easier.
Not Prioritizing IT Monitoring
IT infrastructure monitoring is essential for performance improvement and security. Did you know that cyber-attacks cost $1 trillion worth of damage every year? Without constant monitoring of your servers, networks, operations, and even virtual machines, you cannot be fully safe from attacks.
You should have reliable monitoring tools in your arsenal to monitor system performance around the clock and look for security loopholes. Monitoring solutions like VirtualMetric provide monitoring tools for all facets of IT infrastructure.
Not Using the Right Resources
One of the most common mistakes IT project managers or department heads make is using the wrong talent at the wrong places. As a leader, it’s your job to realize the talents of your team and use them to your advantage. Not using the right resources just limits the overall potential of the team.
When hiring talent, look for what they are good at and enjoy doing. Observe the performance of your team members in different areas of tech. An IT operations manager can easily find out who does what best. Use that information when you’re assigning roles and tasks for the next project.
Lacking Change Management
If there’s one department in any enterprise that sees the most changes, it’s the IT department. With new technologies coming out every year, it’s imperative for IT leaders to master change management. While you’re shaking things up for the better, it’s pretty easy to lose track and fail.
Whether you’re changing a few processes or going with a full-out digital transformation, make sure to have a sound strategy in place. Managing change requires a dynamic approach, so you’ll need real-time data through monitoring to observe how the changes are playing out.
Communication Gaps with Other Departments and Teams
Let’s be honest communication is often a big hurdle for IT professionals. Sure, you can communicate well with your peers, but when it comes to collaborating with other departments and teams, communication isn’t always your strongest suit. That leads to problems for yourself only later on.
What you need is an efficient IT help desk and leaders with good communication skills. If IT leaders can’t communicate the technical stuff to the executive or other department heads, they will always be struggling to implement the right solutions. If you’re an IT professional that struggles with communication, it may help to take classes.
Agreeing on Unreasonable Deadlines
When it comes to deadlines, more is less. IT teams often ambitiously take on projects with unrealistic deadlines. What happens in the end? They either under-deliver or don’t deliver on time at all. That’s just bad for you as a team and the business.
Make sure you’re analyzing how much it would take realistically to get the project done. Keep some margin for mishaps, which are not under anyone’s control, really. Set the expectation right that if pressed for quicker delivery, the result might not be the best.
Not Following New IT Trends Soon Enough
Not catching up to the new technology has been the death of too many companies, including IT companies. It’s one of the reasons why the phone giant of yesteryears Nokia failed. Whether you’re an IT business or just an IT department in an enterprise, slow adoption of new trends can be devastating.
Surely not every trend would be worth following or even relevant as far as the business side of things go. However, always be on the lookout for innovation, and where it seems appropriate, adopt just in time. Nevertheless, do the math, too, as to how the new tech would benefit your company.
Putting Back Up on the Back Burner
Backups are obviously very important, but lately, it seems like IT professionals are not giving that much importance to backup. The IT asset management best practices also include constantly monitoring backup whether it’s working properly and safe from internal or external threats.
Doing Everything In-House
Don’t reinvent the wheel! If you have reliable third-party solutions to get things done, why not? There are so many sophisticated IT management solutions out there that can make your life so much convenient. Using quality tools and software can streamline processes and make the team much more efficient.
IT professionals in any company are a vital asset. They also shoulder a lot of responsibility when it comes to growth and security. That’s why it’s important to avoid mistakes, especially those that happen because of things that are under your control. Hopefully, the above mistakes and their solutions can help you be the best.