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How I Learned to Love My Network and Other New Year’s Resolutions

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OK – so we’re at the end of Week 2 of 2012 and it’s time for a show of hands…  Who is still making it out to the gym 3 times a week?  Or getting up before dawn to go jogging (I don’t think so!)?  Or still on that slow carb diet?  Hello, anybody out there?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Alright, so maybe there’s a few of you still clinging to the notion that you will quit smoking, lose weight, take up yoga and <insert your self-improvement goal here>.  Fact is most folks have broken their resolution long before viewing the cute little fuzzy ducks on the second page of their 2012 calendar.

Here’s one that should be easy to keep:  Resolve to start treating your IT network as the business resource it really is.  Amazingly – or maybe not – many companies still need to get hit with a bigger stick when it comes to realizing the great business potential they have right at their fingertips (ahem, your computer network).  Taking the steps required to turn your network from a cost center into a unique competitive differentiator is not as “pie-in-the-sky” as it may sound.

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Think of it this way: for every business problem, there is a technological solution.  From collecting business analytics to mobility for your road warriors to improving the customer experience; the opportunity to make real, quantifiable business improvements through the implementation of technology has never been better.  Want to one-up your competition?  Look for a pain point that is prevalent in your industry and then look to see how technology may have already addressed that issue.Obviously, you can’t (and shouldn’t) spend money on technology simply for the sake of it but if yo

u can identify an industry-wide problem that no one in your field of competitors has addressed and you can solve it with technology, you can use that as a competitive differentiator and quickly find yourself the model of your vertical with more customers than you can shake a stick at.

So resolve to leverage technology to improve your business.  I can’t promise you’ll lose weight and get in shape but I can guarantee you that you will make more money and hey, it’s a heck of lot easier (and more fun) than jogging on a cold, wet, dark February morning.