Whatever you do, don’t belittle the importance of IT management, no really.
Did you know that just recently, Norsk Hydro, one of the most established global aluminum manufacturing company had to shift to manual operations due to ransomware?
What’s more, it isn’t just their operations in Norway that have been disrupted, those in Qatar and Brazil also had to shift to manual operations, as well.
A massive power plant — three of them, for that matter — shifting to manual operations… Can you imagine how costly that is?
What happened to Norsk Hydro should solidify to everyone’s minds how crucial IT management is for companies.
Without the right systems in place, any company can easily fall prey to cyber attacks or spend thousands of dollars worth of needless IT-related expenses — if not hundreds of thousands.
Proper management is key — IT management, that is.
In this guide, we’re going to share with you four IT management tips to streamline your IT infrastructure.
1. Manage everything in one place.
Yes. It’s possible.
You can manage your IT network, devices, apps, patching, software deployment (among other things) in one place.
I’m adding this here because this is perhaps one of the most crucial things you ought to be doing to streamline your IT ecosystem.
An IT management platform you can use to run your entire IT environment in one place is Cloud Management Suite.
The platform can help you with truckloads of things:
- Keeping your IT inventory organized
- Responding to security breaches and events instantly
- Deploying security patches and updates
- Fortifying your login processes
Here’s a screenshot of the platform at work.
You can view the health of all the devices connected to your network.
This shows you which among the devices connected are prone to vulnerabilities, therefore, allowing you to take action before any security breaches happen.
The platform also has a patch manager to give you an overview of your network’s security patches.
Through the platform’s patch manager, the remote users, laptops, and desktops are kept up-to-date with all the software updates and security patches.
Software deployment is also easy to pull off through the platform. With CMS, the software package only needs to be downloaded once per network.
The big software package is “sliced” into smaller parts as it is deployed, then reassembled on each of the devices they are shared with.
This helps IT managers keep their software distribution from eating up too much of the company’s bandwidth.
These are just some of the many things IT managers can execute through the platform.
Using a tool like CMS can help IT managers centralize how they run their IT operations, paving the way for a more seamless and streamlined IT management. And because CMS is a cloud-based tool, accessibility never becomes an issue.
2. Get your team’s feedback.
There’s a lot that goes into managing IT departments: The budget, network security, monitoring software usage, compliance, etc.
With all of these varying facets that ought to be managed, there are bound to be gaps or areas in the process that can be improved.
As an IT manager, however, you’d be hard pressed to figure out where these gaps are coming from (or if they even exist) because you’re viewing things from a high-level perspective.
The same can’t be said for the people you’re managing, however.
Since they’re in the trenches working directly with the system, they have a better idea of where the gaps are. That is why it’s important to get your team’s feedback.
On your end, you just need to get them to open up.
Running a survey, for example, is a classic method that companies are using to get their team’s feedback.
You can run your surveys using Google Forms.
To access this handy tool, you just need to log into your Gmail account, go to your Google Drive, then create a new form.
You will then see an untitled form that you can start customizing.
Here’s how your possible survey could look.
As you review the results of the survey, be sure to look for patterns or similarities from the data you’ve garnered.
Doing so will give you a better understanding of which areas of your IT infrastructure needs to be improved, and even gain insider insights from the IT professional that’s directly handling the responsibility.
3. Train your team.
If you think IT management is all about devices and tools, then you’re in for a big surprise.
You need to realize that your tools are just as good as the people who use them.
If you want to increase your efficiency and streamline your IT management, you need to equip your team with the knowledge, character, or growth they need to play the part.
There are a couple of ways you can do this.
For starters, you can train your team regularly.
You can use online tools like Zoom.us to run webinars so your teammates — whether they’re on or off-site — can join you.
With Zoom, you can do screen sharing, do whiteboards, etc.
It’s also easy to invite your team into the webinar.
Just click the “Invite Others” option then a pop-up will appear showing the options for how you can invite more people to the meeting.
As you can see, conducting the pieces of training through webinars and inviting others to join isn’t as complicated as others make it out to be.
With how grave the risks are of having an ill-equipped IT team, and how easy it is to equip and empower them through training, there’s no reason for IT managers not to conduct the regular training programs.
4. Use a robust project collaboration tool.
In addition to equipping your IT team through training, you also need to have a reliable project collaboration platform.
Doing so helps you monitor the progress of your tasks (IT-related or not), measure results, and visualize the collaboration of your IT team (among other things).
Asana is a good platform for team collaboration.
Within Asana, you can create tasks and projects, start conversations, assign people to tasks, etc.
Here’s how it looks when you create a task in Asana.
This is what you can see when you click on one of the tasks.
As you can see, there are a couple of things you can do to customize your tasks:
- You can add due dates.
- Assign other users.
- Comment on tasks.
- Like a task
- Insert an attachment
With a platform like Asana, your IT team can see how your tasks are progressing.
And because you can also start conversations within Asana, you can communicate with them in realtime — instead of emailing them and having to wait minutes or hours before you can get a reply.
Are there tips and strategies you can share to help our readers with streamlining their IT infrastructure?
While the tips we shared above will do wonders to help you streamline your IT infrastructure, there are countless other ways to do this.
Feel free to share a line or two about your thoughts on the matter. Cheers!