5 Ways an IT Pro Can Succeed as a Manager

Posted by Frank Milia

Oct 1, 2013 12:08:00 PM

An IT Manager takes on a diverse role that encompasses technical challenges, analyzing information, staffing, conflict resolution, strategic planning, developing budgets, and even data center management. Both the technical and management components require your attention. It is crucial to both your success and the success of your team that you balance these responsibilities.

Our managers at ITAMG have provided 5 tips to help you succeed:

 

#1: Time Management


Do this: Make the most of every minute. You have two hats to wear – technical and management. To achieve success you must make a daily plan. Written or electronic, it doesn’t matter. Record all of your responsibilities and schedule them in time blocks. Be diligent and stick to this schedule whenever possible. According to this article in US News & World Report, “set specific time limits for routine tasks. Work tends to fill whatever amount of time you happen to have.” When emergencies occur, handle them, and then get back on schedule.

 

Don’t do this: Go into the day without a plan. Without a plan seemingly “secondary activities” such as getting input from employees, giving feedback, providing training will go by the wayside when inevitable technical issues arise.

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#2: Build Relationships

 

Do this: In an an article on Monster.com Richard Hagberg, the president of the Hagberg Consulting Group, a company that develops training programs for the high tech industry is quoted, “First, carefully define your role. Then audit your time so you're spending time on building relationships and improving communication with everyone around you. Schedule appointments with subordinates and listen to their ideas. Initiate group problem-solving, particularly on real issues, rather than trying to solve everything yourself. Deal with substandard performance by coaching and holding people accountable." To build a strong, loyal force it is imperative to have an open line of communication.

 

Don’t do this: Have a closed door policy. When possible include employees when making decisions. Let them share their ideas to create a mutually respectful relationship.

 

#3: Keep Your Skills Sharp


Do this: You are likely a manager because you have exceptional technical skills. Continue to stay on the cutting-edge through research and training. Demonstrate those skills, jump in when complex problems are at hand. Respect is gained in this manner. Education for you and your team is critical to everyone’s success.

 

Don’t do this: Let your technical skills wane. Consider the importance of the respect of your technical subordinates and your ability to lead by example.

 

#4: Delegate


Do this: One of the keys to successful delegation is to know each team member’s strengths. You cannot successfully do everything yourself. Your company is best served when your expertise is devoted to finding solutions to critical issues and delegating accordingly.

 

Don’t do this: Do everything yourself. You and your team will suffer. The members in your group will see this as a lack of confidence in their abilities.

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#5: Roll Up Your Sleeves


Do this: When matters arise that require multiple resources from your team, jump in when you can. Maybe next time your firm is getting ready for a computer disposal help the team take an inventory of the surplus computer equipment. Roll up your sleeves whenever possible and you will gain immeasurable respect form your team.

 

Don’t do this: Sit back and let your team do all the work. Make sure to always be a part of the solution. There’s no substitute for a boss that understands what it’s like to still be in the trenches.

 

By devoting the proper amount of time to each task, keeping your skills sharp, and demonstrating your willingness to be a part of the team, you will gain the respect and loyalty of your team. Master these 5 areas and you will soar as an IT Manager.

 

 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, technology vendors, education & tips, Management Tips, IT Best Practices, IT Management

The Repercussions of the Poor Electronic Recycling Decisions of our Past

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 18, 2013 4:35:39 PM

The government, corporations, and citizens in the United States have a higher awareness than ever before for the necessity to properly recycle electronic waste. Although there have been positive results from educating and regulating the electronic waste producers, collectors, and recyclers a great threat still remains.

In a recent New York Times article by Ian Urbina “Unwanted Electronic Gear Rising in Toxic Piles” the increased concern that electronic waste is being improperly handled is well documented. The article exposes a practice by electronics recyclers that promote their brand by deceiving clients with false claims of legal and ethical recycling procedures. In reality, these recyclers separate out valuable material and then stockpile, carelessly discard, or illegally export the remaining toxic waste

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Cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitors and televisions are currently the largest threat to our environment from electronic waste. CRT products have a high cost of collecting, processing, separation, and of down-stream disposal of the toxic lead glass. Because of the high costs associated with properly dismantling and recycling electronic waste, the U.S. government has developed programs and incentives for recycling companies to collect and process the material. Many states also require manufacturers to provide “take-back” programs, which are typically contracted out to recycling companies.

Some recycling companies have taken advantage of these incentives and OEM contracts and are now stuck with product they cannot afford to process and in turn are abandoning warehouses full of electronic waste, land-filling the material, or exporting it illegally and then shutting down the business to restart under a new brand.

Ian Urbina claims that the federal government alone is disposing of 10,000 computers a week, and even many of their own disposal practices have been taken advantage of by parties who undertake fraudulent or illegal actions handling the waste. The burden of solving this problem is on the generators of the waste, all of us, to take the time to seriously investigate how our electronic waste is being handled.

There are some practices leading IT business decision makers can utilize in order to avoid contributing to criminally reckless recycling vendors.   Every IT department should have a written disposal policy that includes data security, environmental and social policy, a list of approved and qualified vendors, and methods for tracking the disposal of regulated electronic waste.

A qualified disposal vendor should be one that can provide verifiable data and tracking of the receiving, processing, and downstream recycling of material. Vendor selection should be made not only according to third party certifications (R2, ISO 14001, BAN etc.) but from evaluation of a vendor’s software reporting tools and transparent access to the recycling vendors’ processes, procedures, and physical facilities. Demand the same level of sophistication from an IT asset disposal vendor that you would from any other technology partner.

The past choice that some have made to utilize fly by night recycling outfits or select vendors without performing due diligence is one that will negatively affect our environment for years to come. The abandoned stockpiles of CRT monitors will be monuments to our collective poor oversight.

Today is a day to reflect on our past decisions and to pledge that we will do everything we can to ensure our electronic waste is processed in an ethical, secure, and environmentally sound manner.

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT services, data destruction, ITAD, data breach, technology vendors, education & tips, computer hardware

Winding Down and Virtualization Study

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 18, 2013 4:35:22 PM

Written By Peter Fleming of Soundview IT Solutions

In the middle of 2011 a Connecticut based hedge fund announced their founder was retiring and the fund would subsequently be closing its doors. Among the myriad of issues the hedge fund faced, one was definitively solved when they chose SoundView IT Solutions (SVITS) for guidance during this process. SVITS was chosen to manage the information services role of the firm’s turn down because of their depth of experience servicing alternative investment firms as an IT solutions provider. Additionally, having been a spin out of Pequot Capital, a multi-billion dollar fund which closed years earlier, the IT team had proven experience in un-winding a sophisticated IT infrastructure.

First step in tackling this project was for Gary Logvin, a founding partner of SVITS, to interview the remaining business units at this hedge fund. Gary learned which systems and services were critical during the wind down process. Specialist teams within SVITS were then able to determine how to consolidate the hardware into a more efficient platform. By identifying the critical components of the remaining infrastructure, SVITS was able to consolidate their server environment, thus reducing redundancies and ultimately creating a more efficient platform. The team took newer servers and created a VMware environment, migrating 20 physical servers to 1 virtual server. After porting several phone lines they decommissioned the system that was in use and replaced it with simple multiple 4 line phones.

The next phase of the project required IT Asset Management’s (ITAMG) expertise as they were instrumental in identifying essential and nonessential hardware. SVITS provided ITAMG a list of the physical inventory on site. ITAMG advised on which inventory was deemed to have value and subsequently would provide liquidation prices and other inventory that had no value which SVITS could dispose of properly. Aside from this guidance by ITAMG, a monetary “bonus” was paid to the hedge fund for the hardware liquidation that helped offset the costs of closing, IT consulting, data destruction, logistics, and recycling services.

In addition to ITAMG’s guidance on disposing of the hedge fund’s hardware, SVITS utilized their services to extract hard drives from work stations and servers as well as legacy tapes outside of the retention policy and have them destroyed in strict accordance with legal and security requirements.

As a result of the teamwork provided by SVITS and ITAMG, the hedge fund not only received expert service but was able to save money in the process.

SVITS and Peter Fleming Background:

SoundView IT Solutions, LLC is an outsourced IT Solutions provider based in Fairfield, CT. Peter Fleming heads up SVITS’ business development initiative. Like the rest of the SVITS team, Peter is a Pequot Capital alumni, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund that closed in mid-2009. Peter has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, prior to joining SVITS he was in terminal sales at Bloomberg, LP.

Peter can be contacted at 203-955-1226 or at pfleming@soundviewit.com

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT services, technology vendors, computer hardware

   

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