New year’s resolutions are never easy to keep. Whether you plan to exercise every morning, start eating better, or want to quit a bad habit, the struggle is real and we often find ourselves falling back on the old saying: “there’s always next year.” So in the interest of keeping the goals attainable, here are the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions any IT pro can (and should) keep:
Improve your listening skills
Let’s be honest, we IT’ers aren’t known for our people skills. We’re engineers and our focus is most often on technical problem-solving, not reading between the lines and deciphering what someone “really means.” But most often, we do our jobs better when we listen first, then dive into a problem. Listening skills should be a big part of what we do, and we can do it better.
Don’t be arrogant
It’s easy to dismiss a non-IT person’s ideas and suggestions, especially when they aren’t technically possible. The thing is, sometimes good ideas come from unexpected places and we may miss them if we’re being dismissive and aloof. You never know. That lady in accounting may have that spark of genius you’re looking for. You just have to be open to it.
Don’t use acronyms
Unless you’re surrounded by techies who speak in acronyms all day, it’s a good idea to avoid them in most conversations. They tend to get in the way of clear communication.
Explore new technologies
You say your company doesn’t have the budget for new technologies that could be beneficial? There’s no reason let this stop you from trying new things. There are plenty of vendors out there willing to give you a test drive, even if you don’t plan on buying right away.
Develop a system maintenance strategy
System maintenance often consumes a large amount of time for many IT departments. With the proper plan in place for quickly fixing problems and maintaining productivity, you can free up more time to work on new projects.
You can reduce your office’s carbon footprint by reducing the number of physical servers and storage devices onsite and replacing them with virtual alternatives.
Commit to training and development
With shrinking budgets across the board, many companies don’t see the bottom-line benefits of continued education. But with so many new technologies evolving day after day, your IT department can hardly afford to be left behind. Talk to your company about investing in technology education and career growth paths. This encourages valuable IT staff to be the best they can be and stay with the company for the long haul.
Focus on Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality assurance is often neglected in IT. In the interest of ensuring that an application fits with the business process it’s being inserted into, as well as measuring the user-friendliness of an application, it’s important to get the buy-in of the end users.
Keep your disaster recovery plan up to date
A poor disaster recovery effort can harm a company’s reputation for years. It can also effect the jobs and careers of those whose job it is to manage disasters when they occur. Make sure you’re prepared when, not if, it happens.
Manage data retention
As time goes by, a company collects more and more data, and not all of it is useful. Although it can be a dreaded task, make it a point to revisit your corporate data retention policies at least once a year.