It’s Complicated: Let’s Talk About Your Relationship With IT Management

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By: Jacqueline Lee|

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On Facebook, you may have seen people mark their relationship status as “It’s complicated.” Although no relationship is exactly alike, selecting this label usually means one or more of the following:

  • “It’s not what it used to be, but I don’t know what to do.”
  • “There’s way too much drama, but I don’t want to leave.”
  • “No relationship should be this confusing. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

Complicated relationships with IT management aren’t that different from complicated relationships with people. How often have you examined your existing IT setup and thought:

  • “My current IT infrastructure can’t handle today’s demands, but I don’t know how to fix it.”
  • “I’m not sure what the core IT management problem is, but I’m not ready to make any changes.”
  • “Everything’s more difficult than it should be, but I don’t see another way to make it work.”

According to IBM, 82 percent of CIOs expect increased complexity in IT management within the next five years. If your relationship with IT management is too complicated, it’s time to simplify.

Infrastructure Challenges

Instances spun up and forgotten, sprawling Franken-systems made of multiple parts from multiple vendors, data centers that rarely work to their capacity — these are common challenges in today’s complex environments. Companies with multiple branches and a global presence manage scores of connected environments containing multiple servers, both bare-metal and virtual, each supporting hundreds of end user machines.

As InformationWeek reported, infrastructure demands aren’t going to get easier over the next few years. Workers want the flexibility to bring mobile devices and personal computers into the workplace, which means adding even more infrastructure for mobility management. Also, as businesses realize the benefits of big data and predictive analytics, executives will demand infrastructure to support these resource-intensive processes. IT has to monitor not only data residing in the data center, but also data traveling on employee devices.

Franken-systems require support from multiple manufacturers and vendors. As a result, IT manages a large vendor contact list and communication gets messy. It’s also tough to hold vendors accountable when every company has different service standards. With so much time spent managing maintenance issues, IT has little or no time for life cycle planning.

Software Proliferation

Introducing consumer devices into the workplace improves collaboration and employee flexibility. Unfortunately, it also exposes company data to unauthorized applications. Even on corporate devices, departments often access their own software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers without notifying IT. Software licenses multiply, increasing costs and exposing the business to security and compliance risks.

It’s enough of a struggle to deploy authorized software to everyone in real time. It’s nearly impossible to keep a regular patching and upgrading schedule, especially when IT is unaware of an application’s existence. Security lapses, particularly for businesses operating with significant regulatory oversight, can lead to data breaches, heavy fines and damaged reputations. Poorly managed development environments also open doors for cyberattacks.

How Outsourcing Simplifies IT Management

For many IT departments, outsourcing some or all IT management functions cuts costs and improve service delivery. Outsourcing can:

  • Lower costs by limiting downtime. On average, businesses experience 2.3 annual service disruptions with downtime costs of $418,071. An experienced multivendor IT management provider, particularly one with a global base of operations, gets parts and technicians on the scene quickly and solves problems the first time.
  • Save money by improving processes. When an outsourced vendor automates software deployment, patching and upgrades, employees stay productive and IT has more time for other priorities.
  • Establish a single point of accountability. Instead of tracking down internal errors and inefficiencies, administrators can hold one party — the outsourced IT management vendor — accountable for service delivery.
  • Allow more time for planning. Vendor-initiated equipment reviews enable strategic retirement of old equipment and deployment of new hardware. Software usage and licensure reviews eliminate unnecessary licenses, cut noncompliance costs, contain shadow IT and deliver a better user experience.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Your love life might be complicated, but IT management doesn’t have to be. You can get a fresh perspective on managing a complex IT environment in a number of ways, including bringing in a third-party partner to assist you in revamping processes and overhauling your infrastructure.

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About The Author

Jacqueline Lee

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Lee specializes in business and technology writing, drawing on over 10 years of experience in business, management and entrepreneurship. Currently, she blogs for HireVue and IBM, and her work on behalf of client brands has appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. In addition to writing, Jackie works as a social media manager and freelance editor. She's a member of the American Copy Editors Society and is completing a certificate in editing from the Poynter Institute.

Articles by Jacqueline Lee
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