What with overnight delivery, drones, 3-D printers, and after-Christmas sales, it’s almost never too late to write up a wish list. Here’s a list of great gift ideas for CIOs – some of which may not ever be delivered, and some that will. (Just a note: discriminating meant something completely different before the HR department got its hands on it.)
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Not Being On Call. A recent survey of 116 IT administrators conducted by Ipswitch revealed that 46% of IT pros will be on call this holiday season. That’s just grisly, especially when 1 in 3 survey respondents reported that they’ve experienced a major network outage during the holidays, and 56% will still be worrying about work even if they’re not in the office.
A Little More Appreciation. I have no idea how good Ipswitch’s network management tools are, but its surveys sure are cute. Earlier this month, they released a survey of IT pros asking, among other things, what users could do “to make IT admins’ lives happier.” The results: appreciate the admins’ hard work (37%); reboot their own machines before asking for help (34%); share what applications they’ve downloaded on their laptops (15%); and share what personal devices they use on the wireless network (14 percent).
These latter results came as a result of what Ipswitch calls its “red shirt” survey, a designation derived from the poor guys on Star Trek who were fated to die in the line of duty. Somewhat appropriate for IT, no? In my college fraternity, they were known as “the expendables.”
Better Work-Life Balance. Arun Manansingh is CIO of the Rishi Venture Group in New York City. In his own holiday wish list posted last weekend, he asks for six things, three related to work and three related to play. Good balance, Arun. Who wouldn’t want better analytics, a migration plan to Windows 8, and more bandwidth for mobile devices? For that matter, who wouldn’t want a Tesla, a Playstation 4, and help with their golf slice too?
Even Better, Less Work. Sometimes I think the next best job after that of Santa Claus is that of Eric Schmidt, who, as chairman of Google, can pretty much buy himself whatever he wants on the road to rewriting the technology landscape. Last week, Google bought robotics firm Boston Dynamics, to go along with, as this article in InformationWeek notes, the seven other robotics companies it bought in the last year. Don’t be surprised by unmanned data centers humming on barges moored in the middle of the ocean?
The Perfect Christmas Dinner. McGraw-Hill Construction CIO Isaac Sacolick posted this for Thanksgiving, but it works just as well for Christmas dinner. It’s a very humorous – and yet informative – advisory for creating a successful holiday dinner by applying the basic tenets of running an IT department.
Travel Accessories for the Holidays and Beyond. IT consultant Deron Lespoir knows about traveling, just as any good CIO does, and last week he recommended these five gifts for the road warrior. My favorite is Uber, the app for car service. Finding ourselves in taxi no-mans-land in San Francisco last Christmas, we downloaded it, called for the car, and were at our destination within 25 minutes. That’s the way technology should work.
The Best Travel Gift Of All – For All Of Us. This year, Santa Claus is played by Richard Anderson – not the guy on The Six Million Dollar Man but the CEO of Delta Airlines. Bless him for decreeing last week that there would be no voice calls on his aircraft. To paraphrase Clement Moore, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!
Email CIO Next Community Manager Howard Baldwin if you’re an IT executive who wants to climb on your soapbox. We’re looking for strong opinion pieces about IT issues.