It is that time of year when we start making resolutions to lose weight or quit smoking. So, it seems as good a time as any for the IT department, CIOs, and staff to make resolutions, too.
In pursuit of the perfect techie goals for 2013, I've reviewed common resolutions to find inspiration for IT. Here are five of the most popular personal resolutions, and how they can be applied in your organization:
Resolve to lose weight -- with virtualization. By now we all know the benefits of virtualization. Yet, according to this 2012 report, fewer than half of servers are virtualized at this point. Even if we've crossed the 50 percent mark since the study came out, we've got a long way to go. Virtual storage, virtual networks, and other more exotic types of virtualization are lagging even further behind.
Resolve to spend more time with family and friends. You've probably noticed that E2 has been discussing at length the CIO/CMO relationship. This isn't just because it is good politics. It is predicted by some that the CMO will spend more money on IT than CIOs will in the next couple of years. Big-data, social networking, personalized marketing, and many other innovations have technology intersecting with marketing more than ever. Getting that relationship right will save the IT department a lot of jobs and prestige and it will help the enterprise create new business opportunities.
Resolve to stop smoking. Admit it. Every time E2 covers "green IT" you guys tune out. We know, green IT is boring and annoying. It puts you at odds with the CFO, who wants IT to be cheap. It puts you at odds with your department, because it usually means complicating architecture. Virtualizing and taking those power savings and calling it green isn't enough. The good news is that there is starting to be justification for alternative energy use outside of doing good for the planet. Prices for solar and wind are coming down. At the same time, we're seeing that access to your own internal energy supply is a good plan to help you avoid risk and ensure business continuity. Big disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy, have shown that traditional backup generators might not be enough. So, consider augmenting that smoky diesel generator with solar or wind power.
Resolve to stop drinking. You know all those chillers you're using? That cold water being circulated to keep your datacenter cool is quickly become unnecessary and expensive. New servers that run at fresh air temperatures as high as 115 degrees will help you get rid of some or all of your chillers. Save the ice for New Year's parties.
Resolve to learn something new. Many companies are willing to provide only the bare minimum of training for employees. This is usually because they're afraid that if they invest in extensive training, the employee will leave and take those newly minted skills to another organization. Wise CIOs know that an employee who is challenged and growing is far more likely to be happy and stay where he is. There is more good news. After IT budgets shrank for years during the fiscal crisis, they rose 9 percent in 2012, according to this report. Resolve to keep the streak going.
There are other popular resolutions -- such as "volunteer more" and "be less stressed" -- that we can all take literally and make a part of our lives. How about you? Share your personal and professional resolutions in our comments below. Whatever your resolution, resolve to keep it, and make yourself a better New Year.