6 New Year's Resolutions for the Tech Geeks in 2016

by Andrew Mullen on February 08, 2016

New years always give us pause. It's time to reflect on past successes, and maybe not-such-successes, and to map out a future that includes more of the former and fewer of the latter. That means resolution time! Here are some resolutions tailor-made for the tech geek.

1. Learn to Unplug

The rumors that smartphones sprout legs and run away if left unattended overnight are grossly exaggerated.

You probably think that the only way to get better at this tech thing is to do more of it more often. Actually, the converse is true. Getting away from tech gadgets a couple of hours before bed and avoiding devices for an hour or so after waking up does a lot of awesome things. It helps you sleep better, gives you a greater appreciation for the technology, allows you to improve real human relationships (your family really are nice folks), and allows your mind to indulge in creativity -- something that's sadly stifled when you face is forever crammed in your smartphone. Bonus tip: buy a real alarm clock. This way, you aren't sucked into your email and news feed before you even kiss your significant other.

2. Quit It With the Jargon Already

Do you kind of enjoy talking over people's heads with acronyms and terms that only a hardcore techie would understand? Do you casually toss around words like IaaS and WEP just so people will think you're really smart? Well, stop. You'll command far more respect by becoming the down-to-earth techie who can help even the most inexperienced novice understand and use today's technologies. Be nice.

3. Learn to Look Before You Leap Into New Technologies

You jumped into mobile head first. You leaped into cloud computing before InfoWorld and TechRepublic even declared it cool. You were delving into Big Data before the mainstream media had even heard of Hadoop. But the era of enormous, radical, disruptive technologies has come and gone, and it's time to settle into a routine and begin demonstrating an ROI for this stuff. Hold off and see what else proves itself before hocking the farm for the next new thing in tech.

4. Revisit Those Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans

One way to keep a little problem from turning into a disaster is by having the right recovery plans in place. Then it's just a matter of initiating the recovery process and letting it run its course.

How long has it been since you went over your business continuity and disaster recovery plans? If you've invested in any new systems or equipment since then, it's time to redo it to reflect the latest changes and additions. Otherwise, you'll be neck deep in a disaster before you realize you didn't have a backup and restore plan for your virtualized environments. Ouch.

5. Invest More in Training and Employee Development

If you're in the management side of IT, it's time to invest in your workers. Tech talent isn't rare, but really good tech talent is. Tech schools and colleges are cranking out "computer science majors" in record numbers, but few have any real-world knowledge or experience, and virtually none understand concepts like careful resource management and lightweight coding, because they've grown up in a world where memory is cheap and lines of code are even cheaper. Invest in training and employee development to assure that your workers feel valued and vested and are willing to stick with your company and your department.

6. Rethink Your Data Plans and Initiatives

The world of data has been turned on its head, shaken like a martini, and whirled like a ballerina. Now that things have settled down, the reigning technologies are more or less established, and it's clear where business is headed with data, it's time to decide where it fits within your organization, what tools you'll leverage to store, manage, and analyze it, and what to do with the results. For the enterprise, the ideal scenario is centralized data storage using a flexible and affordable cloud platform like Microsoft Azure and powering secure file sharing across the enterprise using tools like FAST™. You can see how other organizations are producing success with this setup when you read the Talon customer success stories.

Happy new year, tech geek! May the odds, the cloud, and mobile devices be ever in your favor.

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