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The Off-the-Shelf Mindset of IT Administrators

by SUMMIT on December 17th, 2014

The Off-the-Shelf Mindset of IT Administrators

Commonly, IT administrators follow a standard procedure for networking by using off-the-shelf software or hardware: they connect the devices with any ethernet network. The habit tends to emerge while converging AV systems to any given data network, as well. However, the habitual response eventually fails, as customers’ demand varies and can only be satisfied with customization. How do we break the common habit? IT administrators can solve the problem by leaving behind their “off-the-shelf” mindset.

Why “Off-the-Shelf” Mindset is Prevalent?

The “Off-the-shelf” AV applications come with several inherent benefits, namely:

  • Applications are available at a significantly lower cost.
  • “Off-the-shelf” AV applications are reliable in contrast to other custom-made applications.
  • Applications and hardware come out ready for use in organizational contexts, without any major modification.
  • It is easier to maintain “off-the-shelf” AV applications and hardware, especially compared with custom-made counterparts.

While IT administrators appear to be quite taken by the benefits of “off-the-shelf” applications, on the other hand, they often ignore the following disadvantages:

  • The application are inadequate in adapting with the changing course of the IT industry.
  • Often the prime features of the AV application and hardware cannot be utilized to full capacity due to a lack of user friendliness.
  • The natural processes of an organization may require serious alteration in order to match the application/hardware requirement.
  • Customization is possible, but is often costly.

IT Administrators Need to Think Beyond

The modern IT administrators need to think out-of-the-box in order to overcome the limitations of “off-the-shelf” applications, especially when it comes to successfully converging AV systems with a data network. It is important that concerned personnel, experts, and firms evolve from an existing framework to determine their respective course of action. There will be situations where customization is mandatory, and in rest of the cases, connecting devices with an ethernet network will serve the desired purpose. IT professionals should be able to recognize and adapt in those cases.

Demonstrate a Readiness to Solve

In a recent article, David Danto, a veteran in the field of media and unified communication technologies, poignantly focused on why modern IT administrators need to look beyond the widely practiced “off-the-shelf” ethernet networking of AV systems. According to him, the way the AV industry is changing, within the next decade, it will present administrators with the choice of yielding, or crashing and burning. There are several instances where new age administrators have come up with customized solutions that have saved clients, yet we still embrace the old habit and remain in our box.

Something to Think About

While IT administrators should be ready to yield, on the other hand, they should not be too keen to apply customization skills indiscriminately. In context, customer requirements need to be ascertained and addressed on a case by case basis. Custom networking solutions should only be chosen when they are found necessary. In this way, we can best demonstrate the capacity to deliver resourceful support for clients, without interruption. Client requirement is generally dynamic, and it is perfectly all right to request those and make adjustments.

Are you ready to deliver customizable solutions, instead of sticking with the typical “off-the-shelf” ethernet network mindset?

Photo Credit: BobMical via Compfight cc

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