Five ways to empower an IT department of one

Being an IT administrator is a tough job, especially if you’re a department of one. IT administrators have a huge responsibility yet at the same time, they have very little support or backup. It is estimated that there are more than one million solo IT admins around the world. When working as a department of one, it is critical that IT administrators have the tools, tips and tricks they need to be as effective and efficient as possible.

Here are five tips that can help make life easier for the solo IT admin.

  1. Perform daily health checks

Daily “check in” scans can be scheduled on different systems to run regularly giving IT admins an overall view of how systems are running, or provide critical alerts if something is not working correctly. Receiving a daily health check report can be part of an IT admin’s morning routine, giving them helpful status information to start off their day.

  1. Use real-time monitoring to prevent system failure

In addition to daily checks, real-time monitoring can give IT administrators instant status information on their networks, security tools, as well as Quality-of-Service (QoS) and bandwidth utilisation levels.

This information can be especially important if an organisation has a big event planned, such as a new product launch, a tradeshow, a webinar or another major news event that may bring a large number of people to their website or network.

  1. Have a clear and defined security policy

Having a clearly defined security policy that can be shared across an organisation, can help IT admins prevent significant IT issues. It allows everyone to know “what the rules are” regarding IT security in the company. This makes enforcement of the rules much easier, and helps to prevent any issues around “grey areas” of what is (or is not) an acceptable practice.

  1. Demand advanced notice on people coming and going from the company

Along with the security policy, it is also vital that IT admins have advanced notice on any employees who are going to join or leave the organisation. For both joiners and leavers, IT must have the time to allocate resources, tools and security credentials accordingly. This is imperative to avoid any security violations such as having important company information shared improperly by a former employee.

  1. Use SaaS-based systems

There are many advantages to SaaS-based systems, and they continue to be more widely used in organisations around the world. SaaS makes maintenance and monitoring easier, as much of this is done dynamically by the provider in real time. IT admins no longer have to worry about servers, switches or routers having the latest version of firmware, software, or security patches. In addition, disaster recovery is often “built in” from the provider so there is less to worry about on-premise within an organisation.

Being an IT department of one has both its advantages and challenges, but with advanced planning and help from some useful tools and best practices, IT admins can keep on top of their network and systems. In addition, by ensuring best practice the time of IT admins is freed to allow for more strategic projects that can further advance their organisation.

George Wilson, Director of Sales Operations – APAC, Paessler AG

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