4 non-negotiable areas of focus for IT Managers

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By Alexander Mehlhorn, CEO, Framework One

We all recognise the stereotypical IT manager sitting behind a desk in the
company dungeon, wearing a t-shirt sporting an obscure geek reference, and sighing
into the phone as he tries to convince the marketing manager to use a password
other than 'God'.

Fortunately, we've come a long way since that was anything other than a
misguided preconception, and savvy business leaders understand that a skilled IT
manager can have a fundamental impact on business profitability.

Unfortunately, IT managers are still being kept in a metaphorical dungeon, as
they spend time and resources managing IT infrastructure such as server rooms,
hardware upgrades and software licensing.

With the shift to cloud computing it is now possible for IT managers to further
enhance their indispensability to the business. By moving IT systems to the cloud, IT
managers can liberate themselves from the server room, reduce costs, change IT
from a capital to an operational expenditure, and focus on delivering technology
solutions that improve the bottom line.

Keen to make the shift? Here are just a few of the things you (or your IT manager)
could be doing instead of managing a server room:

1. Transforming the IT department into an innovative and agile team that looks
for ways to improve service delivery, instead of installing yet another system patch.

By moving to the cloud, the IT department can instead be asking the bigger
questions, like "How can technology enable us to provide better, more innovative
services to our customer and improve customer engagement?' It is easy to see why
answering these questions changes the entire culture of the IT department and, if
you're lucky, the organisation. And they make the IT department a far more exciting
place to be.

2. Focusing on delivering value to the business team, using IT as a business
enabler. The question here is, "How can technology make business operations easier,
more streamlined and more costs effective.' Instead of dedicating time, funds, and
human resources to maintaining software and servers, your IT department could
contribute to profit generation. Get your IT department to answer this question, and
the sales department may not be the only one going on a trip to Mauritius as a
reward.

3. Selecting the right services and service providers to meet your business needs.
Moving to the cloud frees your IT manager to do what he really enjoys - investigate
new technologies and how they could make a difference to the business. IT
managers are curious about technology - it’s what makes them good at what they
do. So why not use that to the business' advantage?

4. Examining ways to manage your virtual server in the cloud. There's a common
misconception that once you've moved to the cloud you can pretty much forget
about your servers while somebody else takes care of them. This isn't strictly true.
While you may not need to worry about backup, fault tolerance and load balancing;
an IT manager that has moved to the cloud should - and can - focus on making
servers and resources run at maximum efficiency.

Sounds interesting, fun and rewarding doesn't it? (Not to mention making
business sense.) So join the revolution and bring your IT department out of the
dungeon and into the sun.

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