Gifting Peace of Mind

First, I haven’t figured out why people want to engage me in airports, hotels and on airplanes when I’m traveling. I’m usually using this time in transit to getting stuff done and am mostly lost in my gadgets and have my grump face on. Yet for whatever reason, I don’t have a good “no trespassing sign” on my person.

However, since I am curious by nature, once approached I do find myself in conversations on interesting topics. One man recently asked me what I thought the best holiday gift would be. I said in my opinion the best gift is something that the person receiving it can’t buy for themselves. This could be more time or information, or a smile, or discovering a new use for something. He looked sad when I said this and commented that sounded like it would be hard to come by. I just smiled. Then I gave some more tangible suggestions that deliver on the promise of more time, more smiles and less angst for the recipient. I think he settled on a cleaning service. So if you happen to live in Florida and receive one year of house cleaning as a gift for the holidays, you’re welcome.

As I thought about this in the context of work, I thought of some great gifts an IT person could give themselves: more time, more information, and more budget. I know it’s a tall order. More time comes from automation, and letting/trusting in your IT infrastructure to take care of the heavy lifting while protecting and securing information. More information comes from being curious and looking at the data you have and getting real value from it, while also looking at it to make sure it is protected properly. More budget can be hard to come by, but one way to get the benefit of more freedom with your budget is by using what you have more effectively.

So when you promise yourself that in 2015 you are going to clean your home office, you can also make that promise to clean up your IT environment as well. Only this time, keep that promise. Data privacy issues can cause real damage to the IT health of the IT infrastructure. When you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, apply some healthy lifestyle choices to your VMs as well. Tackle VM bloat by looking at what’s inside and making informed decisions on what to keep. When you decide to get a physical, do the same thing to your data. Like transforming your physical well-being, it’s possible to drill into the VM sprawl and clean things up.  Leading a healthier lifestyle, personally and professionally is really up to you but you have to take the first step.

As you go into 2015, make some goals around a healthier, happier and smarter IT infrastructure. The side benefit is this will give you more time, more information and maybe more budget. Achieving these things will definitely cause you to smile and will truly be a gift that keeps on giving for your organization and for you.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


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Paula Long

Paula Long is the CEO and co-founder of DataGravity. She previously co-founded storage provider EqualLogic, which was acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2008. She remained at Dell as vice president of storage until 2010. Prior to EqualLogic, she served in engineering management positions at Allaire Corporation and oversaw the ClusterCATS product line at Bright Tiger Technologies. She is a graduate of Westfield State College.