3 Resolutions for IT professionals that you can actually stick to!
by Hunter Gorman on Jan 2, 2020 2:49:21 PM
As we start a new year and decade, there seems to be added emphasis on the resolutions that are set - 2020 is a big deal! The dawn of a new decade is a big deal too, regardless of what year it is, it's a chance to start anew - press reset - and really set the stage for how you want your year to look. But often after a few weeks, we lose sight of those resolutions - the fresh beginning - and we fall back to doing things the way we've always done them. According to Shape, most of the reasoning behind this phenomenon of losing-sight, is because we are overly ambitious, cannot backup the claims in our resolutions or we try to do them without support...
This year - we decided to help you with some resolutions for work and have addressed many of the causes for failure in order to help you stay on track with these 3 work resolutions for IT professionals 2020!
1. Stay on top of your maintenance contracts and their renewals
To kick off our list of resolutions - let's start with something that most-all of us deal with and almost none of us like to think about... hardware maintenance. If you're like most people, you're juggling endless contracts with varied start and end dates, sometimes thousands of individual assets each with unique information like serial numbers and outputs and honestly, it all gets a little overwhelming!
Often with maintenance, we end up paying way more than we need to for coverage that we're not likely to use... that said, there's a lot that can be done with this first resolution. If you're like most people and struggle to keep all of your contract data in order, there's a lot of suggestions that can be made for managing this information, but for now, let's work on one exercise together that is a good litmus-test for how good-a-grip you have on your current maintenance contracts.
The test: Identify your maintenance contract with the earliest coverage end-date.
That's it! If you can do that, you're doing better than most and you likely have a pretty good grasp on your maintenance information... but that is not to say that you are paying what you should be paying for your coverage.
If you already do have a decent grasp of your maintenance contracts and their end dates (or once you finish figuring this out from the exercise above), a good starting point would be to do a contract audit. With a contract audit, you'll be looking at assets included in your maintenance contract with the soonest end date. Sort your assets by OEM first, then by Part ID or SKU - any assets that are covered in your contract that are not the latest series or part of the newest product line -- you're probably paying too much for. Simply highlight or make note of these SKUs as you'll likely want to talk with your maintenance provider about saving on those line items when you start to re-negotiate your coverage. Be sure to repeat this audit about 3-months before your contract's renewal date for the most bargaining power. Having this information and using it should have you on your way to saving BIG on maintenance in the new year.
See how much you could save on your next renewal!
2. Do more 'passive' continuing education for work
When it comes to continuing education, everyone has a little bit different method to their madness, but regardless of your method - we can all agree that it is crucial, especially in the ever-changing landscape of technology and the nature of our work. According to Pryor, continuing education is almost a must in rapidly-evolving fields, such as information technology.
The problem? For IT professionals, it's often hard to find free-resources that are specific to the needs of the job that don't have sales undertones - because of this, we generally rely on one or two conferences each year to check our 'continuing education box' when in reality there's a lot more that would be beneficial throughout the year as we're actually doing our jobs...
That's why we created the Tech Corner. On the Tech Corner, our team of CCIE's devotes time each week to publish resources to help you do your job better - that's the only reason it's there - the Tech Corner has resources to help you brush up on the basics and even has more in-depth and hands on technical resources for advanced concepts like routing between VLANs. It's all there, free, and solely for the purpose of helping you in every aspect of your job - whether or nor you work with PivIT Global or not!
Ready to do more passive-learning? Subscribe to the Tech Corner updates below or click here to check it out for yourself! (Fair warning: you're going to love it 😉)
3. Plan for the full-lifecycle of your network infrastructure
We've already spoken about it a little bit, but we'll underscore the fact that information technology and everything the phrase encompasses is changing rapidly and (especially when you consider Moore's law) shows absolutely no signs of slowing down in the new decade... There is one misconception that is frequently overlooked though, just because the technology of 5-10 years ago is no longer the industry-standard does not mean that it is useless.
Something we're big on here at PivIT Global is looking at technology with a lifecycle point of view (for this example we'll speak in terms of network infrastructure and hardware). Think about it - the switches that were prominent in the first data centers are no longer the standard for their initial application, but we're now starting to see so many use cases for gigabit throughput that those same switches found in early D.C.'s may still have a noble use! Even if not - considering the full-lifecycle of your infrastructure could at the very least help reduce the massive problem of e-waste and could help make room for newer technologies to be developed using the same raw materials.
In an informal survey we conducted, 7/10 network engineers we talked to said that at some point in the past 12-months they had taken a piece of hardware out of service, with no intention of using it again, and stored the equipment. We're here to tell you that you could be doing so much more with that closet full of old gear! For one, if there is any remaining market value, you could be using that sitting value to purchase new gear or upgrade even more of your aging gear (one of our divisions known as EXTEND, specializes in this).
Think about it, what if a stack of old switches could help you pay for a network automation solution like Gluware?
Pro Tip: Rely on others to help you!
Before we close, we'll say this - just like the article we mentioned earlier from Shape says, one of the biggest reasons we as people don't hit our new year goals is because we are unrealistic with them and because we keep them to ourselves and lack the help and accountability from others. We here at PivIT Global want to help you in anyway we can to achieve either these or other resolutions you may have for the new year. Remember that at PivIT, you work with one team only, led by your account rep., that team is your dedicated go-to to help you achieve whatever it is you've set out to do.
Forget resolutions for a second, but wouldn't it be nice to have another team on your side to help you along the way? A team that can do the research, compare different solutions to your needs for you, and can help you do more than you thought possible all while trying to save you money? If so - let us know and we'll see how our team can become your team and help you in any way possible.
Now back to resolutions, obviously, these are meant to be a starting point. Your work and the demands of the job are not the same as everyone else's, so these resolutions can be easily adapted to meet your job-specific functions. We're confident that if you stick to these 3 work resolutions and prioritize the fundamentals, with a good team behind you, you're likely to have your best year yet 😉!
Here's to the start of a great decade!
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