IT is an organization behind the scenes working hard to be invisible. When systems are running smoothly IT professionals get little notice, but when things go wrong the consequences to customers, revenue, and/or personal careers can be severe.
An IT professional’s fundamental concern is to keep infrastructure, applications, and data available and secure. Routine maintenance, most of which is not very sexy, is essential to a healthy IT environment and ensures minimal disruption to business functions and the user community.
IT professionals today stay in front of a wide range of issues; monitoring thresholds, backup success rates, governance policies and procedures, business continuity and disaster recovery planning and testing, power and cooling consumption, understanding impacts of regulatory and legal requirements, etc. These activities require constant assessment, evaluation, and adjustment. Typically we juggle these backroom operational issues while responding to our customer’s requests. Balancing the importance of background activities while not being an obstacle to meeting individual and business objectives is critical to our success.
IT professionals can leverage limitless tools to keep their home in good repair. Because repairs are never ending, developing a roadmap and prioritizing tasks are critical to keeping an IT organization focused on fundamental objectives. Initiatives such as consolidating storage through SAN or NAS devices or consolidating servers through virtualization have increased efficiencies in resource utilization. Staying current with these latest IT technologies have allowed for less complicated disaster recovery and business continuance planning for instance. These are positive steps for an IT organization’s roadmap toward increasing availability; they also decrease an IT organizations visibility. For instance, leveraging virtualization allows for the provisioning of servers in minutes as opposed to weeks while maximizing server resource utilization.