The A-Team of IT -- and how to assemble one

Your mission, if you choose to accept it: Build a crack special ops team ready to tackle the toughest IT assignments

IT is a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. And these days it takes a team of talented technology professionals, each with his or her own special expertise, to carry out mission-critical assignments.

But how do you assemble your Alpha Team to tackle a fast-tracked business initiative, to shore up a new attack surface in your infrastructure, to transition your IT operations to take advantage of the latest advancements?

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You start by choosing a tough leader who's backed by friends in upper management and can keep everyone working together. You'll need infrastructure sherpas to keep the packets flowing and coding geniuses to keep your software development on track. You'll need experts in physical and network security (Mohawk hairstyle optional). And you'll want people who have their eyes on usability and trends, to keep current with the latest generations of software and devices.

"It really is a team," says Susan Anderheggen, VP of service management and field force support systems for Verizon's wire-line division. "There are very few programs that can be done by an individual, so you have to trust the other people on the team will do their part. You can't be a lone soldier. You need to ensure you do have your 'A' people on your team because you need all of these components to get things done."

Remember, there is no Plan B. Here are the seven essential members of your IT A-Team.

IT A-Team personnel No. 1: Air support

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