I’m an IT manager, get me out of here!

IT PRO looks at the challenges presented by the modern workplace.

Step forward EVault who Arriva worked with to implement online disk-based storage in a matter of weeks.

"The situation was getting to the point where it was becoming hard to manage, staff were frustrated by the lack of uniformity and we needed a change," said Alan Ricot, the bus operator's IT manager.

"As soon as the solution was implemented the benefits were instantly apparent. Staff can now retrieve data instantly, just by searching on the screen, they don't have to spend time looking through hundreds of physical tapes of different shapes and sizes. The automated nature of the online backup solution means that the management of backup and restore only takes a few mouse clicks, which has had a dramatic effect on my staff and efficiency."

Top 10 tips for coping with workplace 2.0 challenges

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1) Keep security, compliance and disaster recovery at the top of the agenda as they will see your business through the best of times to the worst of times.

2) Make friends with the rest of the business as if they're onside they may well be less of a headache.

3) Work with technology and business partners who are flexible both in how much of their product' you need and how much it will cost you. Investigating managed services or shared risk deals, for example, might be good for your business.

4) Consider new/emerging areas such as virtualisation and cloud computing but avoid simply jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of it.

5) Although the powers that be may see IT as just another cost, actions speak louder than words in demonstrating value. Be sure to shout loudly about tech successes and how they have added value to the business.

6) Love rather than hate when it comes to mobility. Although initially, these users may cause you a little more pain, in the long term they will help the business and help you justify your department's existence. Those who want to be mobile will go off and do it anyway, so better it be under your secure guidance.

7) Education, education, education. Both of your employees and end users. By training the former, you have trusted people you can delegate to and by helping the latter you will, ideally, have less rogue points of vulnerability to contend with.

8) Network. Sounds obvious but a problem shared really will be of benefit to you.

9) Document how much out of hours' time you/your team are spending on IT management/maintenance. It will help support your case in the face of job cuts or, more hopefully, recruitment efforts.

10) Finally, don't panic. A stressed, overworked IT manager, like any other employee, is more likely to make mistakes or miss something.

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