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The Difference Between Noisy and Quiet IT

Written by Marty Kaufman

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Have you ever tried to go to sleep in a noisy place? Let’s say you’re on a plane and you want to catch some zzz’s before arriving at your destination. You try to drift off, but you hear the people talking in the seat behind you, the baby crying four rows ahead, and the high-pitched squeal of your air vent.

Although you’re trying to sleep, your mind focuses on the noise in your environment, causing you to arrive at your destination just as tired as when you departed, plus annoyed and irritated that your plan to be well-rested for your meeting (or vacation, or your day) was disrupted.

In the IT world, when we talk about noisy environments, we’re referring to the disruptions and distractions that interrupt people from getting their work done. Just like in our sleep example, in noisy IT environments, people tend to focus on what’s causing the noise and their attention is pulled away from what they want and need to be doing.

Take yourself out of that plane seat and put yourself in the seat someone who is dealing with IT noise. They’re in the middle of their work and they get stopped by a software problem, or their hardware fails or sloppy network connectivity makes them lose their work. Help might be available, but it’s not enough and it’s too late.

It’s not that IT isn’t trying. It’s just that everything is on fire all the time.

If you have a noisy IT environment, you probably want to fix it, but many executives don’t know how. Ready for some good news? IT can be managed like you manage the other departments in your business. When IT is managed like that, it’s quiet.

Proactive IT management prevents potential problems instead of always being in their wake. Maintenance, upgrades and growth are planned in advance, allowing you to spend your energy exploring ways to use IT to move your business forward -- streamlining processes for efficiency; discovering ways to better serve your customers; and differentiating your business because you can be better, faster, or more unique than your competition.

If you’re on that noisy plane, a good pair of ear plugs would help you get that nap. Tuning out IT noise isn’t so easy. Changing your approach to IT management may be the answer. When you do, the opportunities to transform your business are limitless.

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