20 more IT mistakes to avoid

Fall prey to any one of these common IT blunders and watch your company's prospects suffer -- not to mention your own

Page 2 of 2

17. Putting too much faith in one vendor
It's easy to see why some companies keep going back to the same vendor again and again to fulfill all manner of IT needs. Large IT vendors love to offer integrated solutions, and a support contract that promises "one throat to choke" will always be appealing to overworked admins. If that contract has you relying on immature products that are outside your vendor's core expertise, however, you could be the one who ends up gasping for breath.

Rarely is every entry in an enterprise IT product line created equal, and getting roped into a subpar solution is a mistake that can have long-term repercussions. While giving preferential consideration to existing vendor partners makes good business sense, remember that there's nothing wrong with politely declining when the best-of-breed lies elsewhere.

18. Plowing ahead with plagued projects
Not every IT initiative will succeed. Learn to recognize signs of trouble and act decisively. A project can stumble for a thousand different reasons, but continuing to invest in a failed initiative will only compound your missteps.

For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wasted four years and over $100 million on its Virtual Case File (VCF) electronic record-keeping system, despite repeated warnings from insiders that the project was dangerously off-track. When the FBI finally pulled the plug in 2005, VCF was still nowhere close to completion.

Don't let this be you. Have an exit strategy ready for each project, and make sure you can put it in motion before a false start turns into a genuine IT disaster.

19. Not planning for peak power
Sustainable IT isn't just about saving the planet. It's also good resource planning. When energy costs spiral out of control, they threaten business agility and limit growth. Don't wait for your datacenter to reach capacity to start looking for ways to reduce your overall power consumption.

From CPUs to storage devices, memory to monitors, energy efficiency should be a key consideration for all new hardware purchases. And don't limit your search to hardware alone; software solutions such as virtualization and SaaS can help consolidate servers and shrink your energy footprint even further. The result will be not just a more sustainable planet, but a more sustainable enterprise.

20. Setting unrealistic project timetables
When planning IT projects, sometimes your own confidence and enthusiasm can be your undoing. An early, optimistic time estimate can easily morph into a hard deliverable while your back is turned. For that reason, always leave ample time to complete project goals, even if they seem simple from the outset. It's always better to overdeliver than to overcommit.

Flexibility will often be the key to project success. Make sure to identify potential risk areas long before the deadlines are set in stone, particularly if you're working with outside vendors. By setting expectations at a realistic level throughout the project lifecycle, you can avoid the trap of being forced to ship buggy or incomplete features as deadlines loom.

Related articles
Seven things IT should be doing (but isn't)
Taking a hard, honest look at what you need to accomplish is the key to keeping your business competitive -- and yourself gainfully employed
The "original" top 20 IT mistakes to avoid
InfoWorld’s CTO tells tales from the trenches, flagging the most common IT mistakes that can ruin peace of mind and even careers
Stupid user tricks 3: IT admin follies
IT heroes toil away unsung in miserable conditions -- unsung, that is, until they make a colossally stupid mistake
The 7 dirtiest jobs in IT
Somebody's got to do them -- and hopefully that somebody isn't you
Guerrilla IT: How to stop worrying and learn to love your superusers
Your organization is filled with IT rogues and tech renegades. Here's how best to embrace them
How to think like an online con artist
An enterprise is only as secure as the weakest human link. Here's how to use social engineering to test security defenses
The top 10 security land mines
Companies can actually worsen their risks by failing to take these commonsense approaches to security
The perils of dirty data
How important is data cleansing and validation? Read these tales of horror, and beware
Data security: What the law requires of IT
IT's legal duty to secure sensitive data is complex and continuously evolving. Here's how to avoid the legal ramifications of a data breach
What cloud computing really means
The next big trend sounds nebulous, but it's not so fuzzy when you view the value proposition from the perspective of IT professionals
Tech's looming battle against rising energy costs
Green is not enough: How IT can (and must) lead the energy-savings charge across the entire enterprise
7 reasons why your software is so slow
Ever wonder why your PC keeps choking on that slick, new corporate app? Here are the chief culprits bogging down the latest software's performance
IT heresy revisited: Let users manage their own PCs
Large companies such as BP and Google are rethinking the idea of IT controlling users' computers and sharing their lessons from the frontlines
20 ways to get promoted in the tech industry
If you agree that there's no such thing as an IT project, you may already be on your way up the ladder
IT's seven deadly career sins
Like your job and want to keep it? Want a better one someday? Then avoid these common mistakes
Tech job moving abroad? Offshore yourself with it!
InfoWorld's guide to following your job overseas

| 1 2 Page 2
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
View Comments
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies