IT pros' wish list runs the gamut from IoT standards and continuing education to real time off.
The holiday season is upon us, and while stress levels may be rising for the most zealous shoppers, this time of the year is no picnic for IT pros either. In a poll conducted before the holidays last year, 56% of IT professionals said they were expected to be on-call or working during the holidays and up to 40% expected to work at some point over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
All this holiday toil is a necessary evil, as one in three IT professionals surveyed said they experienced a severe network outage during a holiday break.
With no rest in sight for hard-working IT teams, organizations can help get everyone into the holiday spirit by rewarding their departments with the software, hardware and other gadgets IT teams really desire. Gifts like more bandwidth and training will go a long way in making IT pros lives easier all year round. And some items that IT wants – like clearing of outdated files off the network – require only an investment in time, not money.
Here are 10 suggestions for how to make any IT pro’s holiday season merry and bright.
Not only is your users’ bandwidth consumption growing wildly – especially as they engage apps constantly from their homes via cloud — but the enterprise is making even bigger demands. For example, file sizes are following the dictum of Moore’s Law and doubling every 18 months. More bandwidth can go a long way in making it easier for IT to keep networks running at optimal performance without taking away user access to certain applications.
By 2020, Gartner predicts there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet. All those devices will be producing data and taking up bandwidth, which is why IoT standards are needed to determine how these devices should talk to one another. It will make IT pros' jobs easier if they know exactly how and when the IoT devices on their network will interact with each other, especially in industrial environments where teams need to make fast decisions to keep networks working properly.
The scope of BYOD’s influence on company data isn’t going to slow down any time soon; 78% of organizations will allow BYOD use on their networks by 2018, according to Frost & Sullivan. These devices aren’t usually designed with high security in mind, which increases the risk of data loss or breaches. Reward the IT team this holiday season with BYOD policies that clearly map out what type of devices employees can use for work, and that restrict the sharing of business-critical documents via these devices.
Early spring cleaning
Old files take up valuable space on networks that are already bogged down by multiple applications and various BYOD devices fighting for coveted bandwidth space. Users can give the gift of an early spring cleaning by clearing outdated files off from shared servers to make room for the documents and applications needed to complete current tasks at hand.
As the IT industry continues to evolve, it’s important that IT professionals keep their certifications up to date and brush up on new skills and knowledge in order to continue to do their jobs successfully. Organizations can help make the learning process easier for their IT teams by offering on-the-job training courses, or allowing time off from work to attend classes.
Preparation is the key to running a successful network. IT pros must expect the unexpected and can benefit from tools that increase productivity by improving the user experience, delivering greater visibility into network and application performance, and quickly identifying issues to reduce troubleshooting time. This is especially true for smaller IT departments who don’t have the manpower to keep watch over an organization’s multiple servers and office locations at one time.
Computer Economics predicts the median increase for IT budgets this year to be just 2%, the lowest increase in the last four years. As a result, affordable hardware to help deal with these tight budgets is high on an IT department’s wish list this holiday season. One way to do so is through the Open Computer Project, which is moving more “white-box” technology into the data center.
Even the most savvy user can get scammed by a carefully prepared phishing message that looks like it’s coming from an organization’s CEO or HR department. More employee training and personal development programs are an excellent gift for IT who want to empower users to know more about keeping the networks that they use every day safe and secure.
Real time off
IT teams work hard around the clock and year-round. When they take scheduled PTO for the holidays to spend with their family and loved ones, their colleagues can give them the gift of a real vacation and not call or email during this time with tech issues.