Some IT projects are just better-looking, bubblier, and more fun to be around than others. But the lower-key projects can be a blast to be around too once you understand their real value. Mary Shacklett lists the 10 sorts of projects you should stop putting off, so that their inner beauty can shine for all to see:
- Endpoint management
- Data retention
- End-user request log
- Software updates on end devices
- Asset inventorying
- Procedure updates
- Job descriptions
- The disaster recovery plan
- Vendor agreements
- Spare parts and old equipment
Ugly Ducklings Everywhere
Up to 20 percent of endpoints in corporate networks can be abandoned but active. For the sake of company security, it is time to tie up those loose ends. Another place where IT lags is in data retention, where they should be meeting with end business units at least annually, but once every few years is more the norm. And one place where IT can hilariously (or deliriously) lag is with end-user request logs. Upward of 50 percent of IT staff time can be taken up by software maintenance, and there is not time to please everyone. But what you can do is annually review the end-user log to decide what is worth keeping open and what can be closed.
About software updates on end devices, Shacklett writes:
More IT departments are moving toward automated “push” software that distributes software updates to desktops and to end mobile devices from a central point. However, most IT shops still haven’t made the transition to this kind of automation, so they continue to go out to areas of the business to update software on desktops, etc. If computing stations are located in remote corporate locations, these updates don’t always get done.
Pertaining to the fifth item, find some asset inventorying software and get to work on determining how much hardware you have sitting idle. Then you can work on making use of it or dumping it to clean house. Do the same to your ‘spare parts’ area while you are it. Likewise, you need to stay current with your procedure updates, lest people end up repeating each other’s work or inviting inconsistency into the mix. Repetition and inconsistency can also stem from job descriptions, which, as businesses change, tend to be outdated. IT should work with HR to make sure job descriptions outline what people are really doing on a daily basis.
About the eighth item, Shacklett says most companies have a disaster recovery plan, but few ever test them. Test yours! And finally, IT can at a given time be missing up to a third of its contracts and SLAs with vendors. Ask your vendors for additional copies of the contracts so you can have better peace of mind.
You can read Shacklett’s original article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-projects-it-should-stop-putting-off/