12 Tips for Managing Today's IT Challenges

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 09-16-2014 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Keep What's Important In-House
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    Keep What's Important In-House

    Retain applications and intellectual capital essential to your business success. The very essence of your business differentiation and value depends on it. Maintain control of these valuable assets and build upon them because this is where IT can create the greatest business impact.
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    Avoid Things That Don't Add Value
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    Avoid Things That Don't Add Value

    Focus on business differentiation, competitive advantage and overall efficiencies through technology to add more value. These core areas will differentiate the CIO as a business partner, as opposed to a manager.
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    Be Aware of Possible Support Models
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    Be Aware of Possible Support Models

    Evaluate alternative support models for subcontracting or outsourcing functions that distract from business value, like infrastructure, monitoring, device management and deployment, asset management, and email.
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    Invest in Your Key People
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    Invest in Your Key People

    Talent always has different job opportunities, whether from a tech startup, an established manufacturer or an aggressive competitor. Retaining key employees who maintain tribal knowledge, provide business value or possess intellectual capital valuable to the business, should always be a top priority.
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    How to Reward Key Employees
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    How to Reward Key Employees

    Besides compensation, here are several more ways to retain talent: Establish a career path so that talent can clearly see growth. Empower associates so that they feel trusted and that their ideas matter. Implement an aggressive training program to enhance their skills and develop new skills in other key areas.
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    Develop a Network of Key Partners
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    Develop a Network of Key Partners

    Because CIOs face constant change, you will never have every skill or capacity in-house. A trusted stable of vendors and partners to complement your organization is vital as they possess valuable, free insight into the IT landscape and products, as well as what the competition is up to.
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    Keep Security on the Front Burner
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    Keep Security on the Front Burner

    With daily announcements of security breaches, lost data and exposed customers, security is kept at the forefront of employees' consciousness. Also, leverage outside expertise to complement your security strategy and structure.
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    Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
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    Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

    Continuously remind the IT staff of the company vision and top objectives, and reinforce what has been accomplished. To the business owners, communicate IT's strategy and vision, status of key initiatives, and how the IT organization proactively provides business value, efficiency, and cost savings.
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    Prioritize Projects
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    Prioritize Projects

    As priorities constantly change, IT should focus on what differentiates the company from others and help leverage technology so that it will be more competitive. This is difficult because IT is pulled in many directions, but adding value to the business will ensure longevity and translate IT into an asset, not just a cost of doing business.
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    Don't Fear the Cloud
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    Don't Fear the Cloud

    Security, control, governance, cost and migrating to the cloud are all reasons for concern. But the cloud is here to stay, so focus on how best to use it for your business. The sooner you leverage the cloud as a tool to simplify and streamline the business of IT, the faster you can provide more business value and a higher return on IT spend.
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    Never Stop Recruiting
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    Never Stop Recruiting

    Constantly recruiting is valuable to the strategic CIO because: Recruiting allows you see what competitors are doing. You’re aware of the compensation pressures in the market. Building a pool of candidates will help you quickly replace a key resource when he or she leaves
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    Keep IT Simple
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    Keep IT Simple

    Simplicity is crucial to your success as a CIO. You play many roles, including a sales manager, visionary, technologist and business professional. It's imperative that your message, vision and strategy remain simple so that people can understand, repeat and execute it.
 

More than ever before, business is deeply involved in technology and the business value it provides to the organization. As a result, "CIOs face many challenges ranging from security, budgets, contracts, managing an aggressive project schedule and cohesively managing a plethora of sources," says Herb Hogue, senior vice president of professional services and engineering at En Pointe Technologies, which specializes in Microsoft-centric IT environments, offering hardware, software licensing and services. Below are Hogue's 12 tips for how to successfully navigate and manage the daily strategic considerations encountered by many CIOs. Hogue covers how to differentiate your business and its value, coping with competition, the challenge of constant change (including the need for multiple partnerships), making security a priority, the importance of clear and constant communication, the benefits of constantly recruiting, and more. While you might be familiar with some or many of these tips, it's always good to revisit them—and learn new ones.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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