Embrace the cloud for Dev and Test. Most companies are getting comfortable with cloud applications. If you haven’t, consider your development and test environment. Your developers will appreciate the freedom and your infrastructure people will appreciate being free of developers.
Review “Utility” services. You wouldn’t build your own substation to supply your data center power, why are you continuing to run servers and applications for functionality that is now considered a utility? Take a look at your messaging applications – these are great candidates for cloud deployments. Any activity that takes time from your team that could be easily outsourced should be considered.
Lose some weight. Legacy weight, that is. It’s time to review those old legacy applications and move them to modern technologies. Trust us, your users will thank you. Old hardware and software take key resources to maintain. No one wants to be the person supporting dying technology, you risk losing key personnel by tying them to antiquated systems.
Get social. Improve communication and collaboration by implementing enterprise social applications.
Improve your image. Build relationships with your peers in the business, understand their needs and react. The single biggest complaint from end users is that “IT doesn’t know what I do”. Learn what your users do, and what tools they need.
Look at your budget. Are you paying for maintenance on applications that you no longer use? A common unnoticed charge is a line item on utility bills for paper copies, even if paper copies are no longer received.
Update your strategic plan. Was your technology plan developed two years ago? If so, it’s time for an update. Does it still align with the business strategy? Keep it current, technology changes too rapidly for your plan to sit idly on the shelf.
Protect your assets. Not your hardware, your people. Rock star technology people are difficult to find, and difficult to keep. Sit down with your key people and establish a formal career path, then act on it.
Wrangle up those rogue clouds. Identify all of the cloud based services that have been purchased outside of IT. Understand the “why”, then come up with an actionable plan to move the applications from consumer grade to enterprise technologies. Establish a plan to include IT in all future SaaS purchases. Then re-read #5.
Make your executives happy. Look at your business applications and determine which ones can be used via mobile. Anyone who has a title that starts with Chief or Executive VP will appreciate the ability to review key indicators from their mobile device.