Steer Clear of Common IT Mistakes

Dismayed ManAt some point or another, everyone makes a mistake. Chief information officers – no matter how intelligent or experienced they may be – are no exception to this inevitable rule.

With 2014 just over the horizon, information technology executives may feel that now is a fitting time to reflect on the missteps they have made this past year and to plan their next moves for the 12 months ahead. After all, tech departments can only benefit from past errors by learning from them and turning them into some sort of constructive insight.

If CIOs find that they are experiencing some selective memory loss as they try to pinpoint exactly how they messed up this year, then they should at least examine the failures of some self-aware peers. This way, they can gain secondhand wisdom and adjust their operations accordingly without having to make any mistakes themselves.

There are several common instances in which tech executives are prone to falter. By keeping these cases in mind, CIOs can avoid making some of the most typical mistakes in IT.

Avoid being on the bandwagon
When tech companies announce that they are releasing some sort of IT advancement, CIOs may feel like it’s Christmas morning. However, TechRepublic¬†advised that before they make a mad dash to implement the latest tech development introduced to the market by their favorite brand, professionals should take a moment to consider whether it is truly a wise investment.

As one of IT departments’ main purposes is to guide their companies toward innovation, it can become a knee jerk¬†reaction for CIOs to want to adopt every new advancement as soon as it is released. While making updates to their infrastructures and operations is necessary, tech executives do not need to incorporate every single solution into their functions.

Instead of continuously trying to gut and rebuild their systems, IT professionals should first look to work with what they already have in place.

“In the past, I made the mistake of chasing technology,” Anthony DeCanti, CIO at global relocation solutions company UniGroup, told InformationWeek. “There’s a balance between implementing new technologies that offer a competitive advantage and developing reliable, consistent systems.”

By making modifications to their current systems when needed, tech departments are more apt to create a stable IT environment for their companies. This means that they will spend fewer resources purchasing and implementing new tools, as well as training personnel how to use them.

There are undoubtedly times when these professionals know that their existing infrastructures simply are not cutting it anymore. In those cases, looking to transform their entire systems and implement sophisticated solutions in their stead is definitely the way to go.

Don’t bite off more than IT departments can chew
Even though CIOs want to do their best to please all branches of their business, agreeing to take on projects to improve their functions, they shouldn’t be overly ambitious with their promises.

Before blindly committing to initiatives and automatically granting requests made by their companies, IT executives need to take an honest look at their departments resources. Regardless of how exciting a proposed venture may sound, CIOs need to refrain from immediately jumping at an opportunity and should instead contemplate the logistics of it all.

Innovative overhauls to infrastructure do not happen because the IT elves stop by and put everything into place while the tech department members are sleeping. They require time and effort, in addition to a certain degree of manpower and technological capabilities.

Vincent Melvin, CIO with Arrow Electronics, shared his personal tribulations with InformationWeek. “Years ago, I was involved in a large-scale divestiture deal with a big customer, and we committed to take on a logistics capability that we didn’t have the systems in place to handle,” he stated. “The timeframe was too tight – but rather than risk the deal, I signed up for commitments that couldn’t be delivered on. The effort and energy to address these challenges we created impacted the customer and the team.”

Instead of focusing solely on the end results, CIOs have to take into account every step of process to be completed in order to get their departments there. Only by identifying everything entailed in carrying out a specific venture can IT executives determine if a project is attainable with the means they have available.

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