Choosing New Year`s ResolutionsBy Eileen Feretic | Posted 2012-01-19 Email Print
With so many challenges facing businesspeople in 2012, itâ€™s not easy to decide which ones to tackle first. Here are some suggestions.
The start of a new year is always a good time to resolve to make both our professional and personal lives more efficient, organized and saner. Itâ€™s a nice idea, isnâ€™t it?
Unfortunately, when it comes to our jobs, many of us can barely find the time to manage the things we have to do, never mind the things weâ€™d like to do. We end up juggling too many tasks, which often results in a series of fire drills that eventually end in mistakes, missed opportunities, chaos and burnout.
Establishing priorities can bring some order to the chaos. Of course, everyoneâ€™s job has different priorities, but, in this issue, weâ€™ve focused on some key business challenges that should be on the must-do lists of many of our readers.
Take big data, for instance. Every organization, regardless
of size, has data stored in a variety of places, including PCs, mobile devices,
email servers, storage devices, social networks and the cloud. Unfortunately, a
lot of this dataâ€”documents, presentations, emails, videos, blogs, tweets and
other online informationâ€”
is not used to best advantage in supporting the enterprise and delivering value to the business.
â€śCombining everything and making sense of it is the challenge of the digital age,â€ť Gary Curtis, chief technology strategist and managing director at Accenture, told Sam Greengard for his cover story, â€śBig Data Unlocks Business Valueâ€ť (page 20). â€śCurrently, few organizations are tapping into the full potential of their data.â€ť
If thatâ€™s true of your enterprise, then leveraging your
corporate information resources more effectively should be high on your list of
2012 priorities. Why? â€śOrganizations that use big data effectively,â€ť Sam
writes, â€śare more likely
to realize a significant competitive advantage and open up new business opportunities.â€ť
Another to-do item should involve taking full advantage of virtualization technologies. In â€śLeveraging Virtualizationâ€™s Business Value,â€ť (page 16) writer Tony Kontzer points out that â€śtodayâ€™s virtualization deployments are about much more than efficiency. Theyâ€™re about providing the kind of agility and availability that business demands in the 21st century.â€ť
The ultimate goal of virtualization, Tony adds, is â€śabout getting IT away from the business of managing hardware and software and instead delivering bottom-line business value.â€ť
The virtualization article is the first story in Baselineâ€™s new editorial section, Bottom Line, which will illustrate through real-life examples the business value provided by various technologies. In future issues, we will cover business solutions such as content/knowledge management, clouds, business process management, collaboration tools, e-discovery, tablets and green technology.
Our GamePlan section (pages 10 through 15) includes stories about other key challenges facing business and technology leaders this year. Fred Matteson of Alvarez & Marsal writes about the need for the IT organization to transform itself in order to transform the business. He says that CEOs â€śmust drive a mandate for change and look to the CIO to implement the technology that enables transformation.â€ť
Security is, as always, a major challenge. Ken Goldstein, a vice president at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, writes that many organizations â€śstill have not made cyber-security a top priority. Without realizing it, these companies practically invite hackers to take their best shots.â€ť He lists potential targets of hackers and urges management to take a proactive approach to IT security.
With employeesâ€™ growing use of social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, organizations will face another critical issue this year: mitigating the risks the use of these tools creates. David Barron, a labor and employment attorney at Cozen Oâ€™Connor, writes: â€śWith new technology and communication avenues come new obligations to police and regulate those same avenues in the workplace. â€¦ It is critical for employers to recognize the risks and, at a minimum, provide some reasonable guideposts for employee conduct.â€ť
While there are probably many other items on your list of 2012 workplace resolutions, I hope that the issues we discuss in this issue of Baseline will give you helpful advice on establishing priorities and setting a strategy for dealing with what will undoubtedly be a challenging year.