We all make mistakes. Some harmless, some that can potentially tank our careers. Like it or not, errors and oversights are an inevitable part of running businesses.
Selecting the wrong vendors, considering cloud to be just another machine for your data center, using agile methodologies for core systems, and not disclosing problems from top management until it’s too late are common IT gaffes.
The risks of managing enterprise technology are much greater and so is the fallout from committing mistakes. The following are 4 major IT management pitfalls that IT managers and CIOs need to avoid.
Mistake #1) Vendor Lock-In
Many IT companies are lured in by vendors offering low prices and promising the world to their clients. Before they know it, they fall into the trap of forming a vendor relationship that’s just impossible to shake off. Once this happens, they’re never set free.
It’s true that nearly every vendor offering a product/service aims to become a part of your business environment and expand their interests in it. IT managers might not start out that way, but often they find that their vendor has become irreplaceable.
The vendors control a sizable portion of the company’s IT assets and have significant pricing leverage. It’s possible that some vendors may forcibly try to keep you from transitioning to a different vendor. They could withhold the source code, regardless of what the original Software Licensing Agreement (SLA) states. If worse comes to worst, this kind of vendor mismanagement could cause IT managers to lose their jobs.
- A Double-Edged Sword
However, not all is doom and gloom with vendor lock-in. It’s simply a double-edged sword that managers have to wield smartly. The benefits of forming a long-term business relationship with vendors include volume discounts, smoother integration between the products offered, and tighter security. Sticking to one vendor is highly beneficial for small-sized organizations as they have fewer stakeholders to deal with.
Mistake #2) Believing That Cloud Can Be an Extension of Your Data Center
Some companies migrate from a private cloud to a public one, making cloud nothing short of an extension of their data center. They spend months configuring, conducting 1:1 mapping on existing servers to the public cloud, and migrating lower-level services. They get a rude awakening when such cloud systems die at a critical moment, like right before going live.
This crash could happen when the company is unable to recover without customer downtime. A single cloud server’s stability is actually lower than that of a virtual machine or a privately managed server.
- Replacing Faulty Servers
The uptime of such cloud systems is high to be able to quickly replace failed servers with new ones. This is why we strongly advise optimizing cloud environment and not treating a cloud server as if it’s just another tool for data management.
Keeping an eye on cloud costs should a top priority for IT managers. You could be spending double, sometimes triple the amount you’d planned by provisioning a server whenever one’s needed. Also note that servers are disposable. If a system can’t afford any downtime, assign a pool of servers to it.
When new software is to be released, new servers are built, codes are pushed to them, and the old ones are replaced. It’s simply not enough to migrate existing servers to the cloud. You’ve got to migrate your approach as well. To make the most of public cloud, design your infrastructure according to the strengths of this cloud system.
Mistake #3) Using Agile Methodology For Core IT Systems
There’s been an explosion in the demand of cloud services, with global public cloud revenue expected to grow at 21.4 percent this year. CIOs understand that relinquishing a portion of their company’s IT is necessary for business velocity.
Agile delivery mechanisms can have disastrous implications on core IT systems. Such mechanisms facilitate micro-services in the cloud but can affect phone services, ERP, email, and back-office applications.
It may surprise some to know that many CIOs lose their jobs because of impacted email systems. If agile methodologies go down, they cause businesses to lose a lot of money. They also resist rigorous change control that’s necessary for core IT systems.
- Draw Strong Boundaries
CIOs need to allow agile change on organization systems while enforcing strict change control on core IT systems. Abandon a “one size fits all” approach to mitigate the risk of core services getting impacted by agile delivery mechanisms.
Mistake #4) Hiding Issues Till It’s Too Late
It’s a common malpractice for IT managers to bury the problem as soon as a major project starts to tank. They assume that they’ll be able to fix it before top management gets wind of it. It’s a losing battle from that point on. By the time they admit that a new code release was responsible for crashing a whole system for 48 hours, they’ve lost credibility.
Expose bad news as soon as possible. It never gets better by itself. If people commence rectifying the problem sooner, there’s a higher chance of making a full project recovery. Although it might be difficult, delivering bad news to the boss goes down smoother if there’s an existing good working relationship with them in place.
- Working Relationships With Business Leaders
As an IT manager, create opportunities to establish ties with the CFO and other business leaders when you’re not in crisis mode. When you show up at an executive’s doorstep only when you want them to manage a catastrophe, it demonstrates your incompetence. Such networking skills are necessary for tech-oriented people. Even if the interaction is limited to a little social banter, it makes talking to an executive about an issue a lot easier.
Think Technologies Group is a reliable managed IT service and cloud service provider based in Hollywood, Florida. Our repertoire of services includes network security, virtualization, and other related IT services. With our team of IT specialists, you can rest assured of quality IT management.
Get in touch with us to find out more.