Read IT Manager's Handbook: Getting Your New Job Done Online

Authors: Bill Holtsnider,Brian D. Jaffe

Tags: #Business & Economics, #Information Management, #Computers, #Information Technology, #Enterprise Applications, #General, #Databases, #Networking

IT Manager's Handbook: Getting Your New Job Done

BOOK: IT Manager's Handbook: Getting Your New Job Done
7.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
IT Manager's Handbook
Getting your new job done
Third Edition
Bill Holtsnider
Brian D. Jaffe

Acquiring Editor: Andrea Dierna

Development Editor: Robyn Day

Project Manager: Jessica Vaughan

Designer: Joanne Blank

Morgan Kaufmann
is an imprint of Elsevier

225 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451, USA

© 2012 William Holtsnider & Brian D. Jaffe. Published by Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Details on how to seek permission, further information about the Publisher's permissions policies and our arrangements with organizations such as the Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Licensing Agency, can be found at our website:

This book and the individual contributions contained in it are protected under copyright by the Publisher (other than as may be noted herein).

Knowledge and best practice in this field are constantly changing. As new research and experience broaden our understanding, changes in research methods or professional practices, may become necessary. Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluating and using any information or methods described herein. In using such information or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, including parties for whom they have a professional responsibility.
To the fullest extent of the law, neither the Publisher nor the authors, contributors, or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material herein.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Holtsnider, Bill, 1956-

It manager's handbook : getting your new job done / Bill Holtsnider, Brian D. Jaffe. – 3rd ed.

p. cm.

Summary: “This book provides a practical reference that you will return to again and again in an ever-changing corporate environment where the demands on IT continue to increase. Make your first 100 days really count with the fundamental principles and core concepts critical to your success as a new IT Manager outlined in this valuable resource. The book also discusses how to work with your customers, manage your budget, develop an overall IT strategy and demonstrate the value of IT to the company”– Provided by publisher.

ISBN 978-0-12-415949-5 (pbk.)

1. Industrial management–Data processing. 2. Management information systems. I. Jaffe, Brian D. II. Title.

HD30.2.H657 2012



British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN: 978-0-12-415949-5

Printed in the United States of America

12 13 14 15 16 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For information on all MK publications visit our website at

For M & D


For Jenine


About the Authors

Bill Holtsnider
is an experienced writer, educator, and software professional with more than 27 years of experience working in the computer industry. His IT expertise includes working in such diverse areas as stock portfolio management, identity management, Web analytics, and software development. He is the author of six books and a wide range of technical and marketing documentation.

Brian D. Jaffe
is an IT professional who has worked for several Fortune 500 companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Time Warner, Philip Morris, and The Interpublic Group of Companies. Currently he is Senior Vice President for Global IT at McCann Worldgroup in New York City, one of the country's leading advertising agencies. His articles have appeared in
, and
The New York Times
, and he is the editor of
Thanksgiving Tales: True Stories of the Holiday in America.

Key Changes for This Edition

Technology has the shelf life of a banana.

Scott McNealy

IT ain't what it used to be. When we starting writing the first edition of this book, large hard drives were measured in megabytes, the “World Wide Web” was just getting started, and everyone's phone was tied to copper wires. If you wanted to locate a piece of information, you looked it up in a book. And technology was the exclusive purview of IT.

Thirteen years later, portable terabyte drives are sold as consumer items. The Web is beyond pervasive. Phones are—well, making calls is now just an incidental feature of what they can do. Paper books are outsold by ebooks. And terms like “IP addresses,” “Wi-Fi,” and “Bluetooth” are no longer the jargon of just tech-heads.

Major Change: Principles and Core Concepts

For these reasons, we have decided to make the third edition of this book about the
principles and core concepts
of the new IT Manager's job. There are lots of recently-minted IT Managers and they still need to learn important things like how to hire (
Chapter 3, Staffing Your IT Team
page 65
), how to manage a project (
Chapter 4, Project Management
page 103
), and how to deal with users (
Chapter 10, Working with Users
page 263

IT Managers may also need to learn about converting their network to IPv6, or how to optimize a SQL database, but they will go to other sources for that information, like the Web, or training. Or they will go to books dedicated to very specific subjects, not to a general book like this one. The
fundamental concepts
of management do not change, although technical details do—which is why we have decided not to include the technical material from the first two editions.

Another Major Change: Connectivity

Another major change is the addition of
Chapter 11, Connectivity: Social Media, Handhelds, and More
page 287
. This is the fastest growing area in IT, and in addition to new hardware and software considerations, it also means
new ways of thinking
about IT in general.

Back in the old days (just a few years ago!)
was the issue, not mobility. Now most data needs to be accessed almost all the time from almost anywhere. As a consequence, discussions about the mobile workforce are interspersed throughout the book. For many users, if it cannot be done from a handheld device (e.g., phone or tablet), it's not worth doing.

Regardless of the correctness of that sentiment, that is clearly the direction organizations of all sizes are heading. And, as a new IT Manager, you should be embracing this trend. Rather than being caught flat-footed when someone asks you about accessing sales data from a tablet device, you should be prepared with an answer. They might not like the answer you give them, but you'll be much better served if you have a meaningful response ready.

Lastly, we've expanded the material on cloud computing to reflect the growing shift in the industry to move functions (e.g., server, storage, applications) to service providers and reduce the investment in on-premise infrastructure.

We know our readers' time is valuable, so we've continued to make the book easy to use with an expanded glossary, index, and lists of sources. We've received positive feedback on the elements such as the chapter-to-chapter references, a robust bibliography and index, sidebars, bulleted lists, and pro/con tables. This edition includes enhancements of these elements as well as new examples and updates of old ones.

“IT ain't what it used to be,” as we said at the beginning of this section. This book is not a simple rehash of previous material—we have striven to make the most up-to-date book about the complex challenges
new IT Manager faces. We hope we have succeeded.


I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Thomas Jefferson

Many technical professionals are eager to join the ranks of management. But as the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.” This book introduces you to the many key concepts you will face as a new Information Technology (IT) Manager. It also provides you with suggested methods for dealing with many of the large issues that arise, including specific recommendations for actions as well as places to look for further help.

We have seen many technical professionals—database administrators, programmers, desktop technicians, server engineers—suddenly thrust into positions of management in their IT departments. Not only were they given no formal training or clear idea of what the position entailed, they were also expected to know a great deal about a lot of different things. As senior IT professionals ourselves, we have seen this situation repeated many times. We set out to write a book that would help new IT Managers navigate the choppy seas of management. This book aims to help you with all those responsibilities that are suddenly thrust upon you, that you suddenly acquire, or that you suddenly realize need to be addressed. We don’t spend much time talking about the theory of IT management. We spend most of the book describing what you need to worry about when you need to deal with a real-world situation, such as creating a budget or writing a job description.

We wrote the book for
IT Managers and
IT Managers. Much of the material in this book will be familiar to experienced IT Managers. But for many individuals, recent changes in the computer industry have brought a radical change in responsibilities with little or no help to go with it. This book is written to help you identify, deal with, and (if necessary) tell you where to look for further assistance on many of the key issues that are suddenly facing you as a new IT Manager. We also recognize that one of the more difficult career steps in the field of Information Technology is moving up from technician to manager. For those hoping to make this leap, this book can be useful in letting you know what awaits you on the other side. By learning more about an IT Manager’s job, you will know what skill sets to focus on so that you can demonstrate to your company that you’re prepared and ready to be a manager.

The Structure of This Book

We worked hard to write a book that we, as busy IT professionals, would use ourselves. We have structured the material in easy-to-read, easy-to-grab chunks. We don’t have any free time and we assume you don’t either. The book is designed to be scanned for critical information; it includes many cross references with page numbers, because one topic often leads to another and because readers want to make the jump right away. If you are reading this as an ebook, you can click on the links and be sent there directly. You’ll also find that the book is replete with bulleted lists that are easy to scan through to find information. We hope you find the structure and format useful and helpful. The book also references real-world events that are related to IT, as well as numerous industry studies and surveys to help put a number of topics into perspective. Finally, the further references section provides many, many books, articles, and websites that you can explore for a deeper dive into the topics we explore.

Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

  The Role of an IT Manager
  This chapter helps a wide range of technical professionals, some of whom have been suddenly thrust into a managerial role, understand the role of an IT Manager, why it’s so important, and how integral it is to the company. It also discusses two additional key topics: the difference between leadership and management, and what happens if your company merges with another.
  Managing Your IT Team
  It’s tempting to think of hardware and software as an IT Manager’s most critical IT resources, but actually the people who run, support, and manage the technologies are the most important resources you have. This chapter discusses how to keep your employees focused and trained, as well as generational issues at work that you might face. It also covers the employee evaluation process in great detail.
  Staffing Your IT Team
  Hiring, and all of its aspects, is one of the important managerial responsibilities. This chapter talks about the issues and challenges you’ll face and offers some concrete ideas for solving them.
  Project Management
  As an IT Manager you’ll go from one project to another; some are miniscule and others seem too big to be measured. Your success at being able to manage projects of all sizes and all degrees of complexity is a critical factor in being successful at your role. Based on the principles of classic project management, this chapter talks about topics as critical as “Five Key Phases to a Project,” “What to Do If/When the Project Gets Off Track,” and “Dealing with Non-IT Departments on a Project.”
  Software, Operating Systems, and Enterprise Applications
  These days, managing software is a much more diverse and complex job than it used to be. (Not that it was ever easy.) This chapter discusses the main classifications of software. It also talks about operating systems, open source, cloud computing, and enterprise applications.
  Managing the Money
  It’s likely that the IT department has one of the largest budgets in the company. This chapter helps you get a foundation in managing a budget, spending, leasing versus buying, etc. It also offers guidance on how to make the most of your vendor relationships so that it’s beneficial to both parties. Finally, both outsourcing and offshoring are discussed in detail.
  Getting Started with the Technical Environment
  IT environments, as you probably know by now, are very complex. This chapter gives you guidance on how to get an understanding of what is in yours, and how it operates and connects to other environments. The technical environment, users, standards, technology refreshing, and the very important topic of TCO are all covered.
  Security and Compliance
  Security is a 24/7/365 concern that should be an integral part of every decision you make in IT. Regulations and legislations are increasingly having a major impact on how IT departments operate. This chapter presents detailed information on compliance issues as well as information about different methodologies being adopted by various organizations to help ensure compliance.
  Disaster Recovery
  With so many, and so much, depending on IT, your company may not be able to tolerate much downtime if disaster strikes. This chapter describes how to define the scope of the problem, how to create a disaster recovery plan, as well as the “The Hidden Benefits of Good Disaster Recovery Planning.”
  Working with Users
  The support that you provide to your end users—regardless of where they may be—can be the most vital service you offer and the one that is the greatest influence on how you and the IT department are perceived by the rest of the company. This chapter discusses the complexities of dealing with users on another continent, and users down the hall from you using their own personal devices (tablets, smart phones, etc.) on your network. Managing the Help Desk and writing useful SLAs are also discussed.
  Connectivity: Social Media, Handhelds, and More
  This chapter discusses the challenges of the new hyper-connected workplace. What are the positives and negatives of these connections and how do they directly affect you as the IT Manager?
BOOK: IT Manager's Handbook: Getting Your New Job Done
7.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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