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TechRepublic's question may answer your IT woes

Your problems are driving our content creation process. Find out how TechRepublic is finding the answers to What Keeps You Up at Night.


What keeps you up at night? Whether you're tossing and turning about whether to upgrade your business applications or simply nervous about your network's reliability, we want to ease your mind. That's why we've embarked on a new way to organize our site, and it's based on your answers to that very question: What keeps you up at night?

To help you find the answers you need to create successful organizations, we've begun asking our members about the problems they're facing right now. Our first What Keeps You Up at Night (WKYUAN) survey and data gathering mission was completed in January 2004. Based on survey information from some of our most dedicated members, site metrics of content already available on the TechRepublic site, and members' discussions, we identified 10 areas where members had an urgent need for information. The top 10 issues, ranked by site popularity, made up our first "What Keeps You Up at Night" index:
  1. Network Administration: The most frequent problems or woes mentioned by our members related to administrating networks. Topics ranged from network design, infrastructure service and support, migration and upgrade planning, and hardware issues.
  2. Microsoft Support: Supporting users of Microsoft applications continues to challenge our members. Training and support issues with applications from the Microsoft Office Suite, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, keep Help Desk personnel and managers on their toes.
  3. Server Reliability: Server management and troubleshooting is another hot topic among TechRepublic members. Most responses we received pinpointed server optimization or budgeting for upgrades as the main concern.
  4. Wireless Networking: Sorting out the differences between 802.11a, b and g, and wireless security surfaced as concerns in the wireless arena. Most members seemed to be in the planning stages of rolling out a wireless network, so project planning issues like budgeting and policies were top of mind.
  5. Virus Protection & Recovery: Patch management and tracking, recovery methods and remedies, and end-user education were among the most cited anxieties in this category. Response and communication strategies were mentioned frequently.
  6. Database Management: Members in our survey said that database administration was a major task and specifically mentioned Oracle and Microsoft Access as sore spots. Responses also included platform selection, budgeting issues, and back up and recovery.
  7. Disaster Planning & Recovery: Until someone invents an all-powerful disaster prevention system, it's critical that organizations expect the unexpected. Staying on top of that battle is certainly keeping our members up at night. Talk of crisis planning, data storage, and data backups and restores were sprinkled throughout our survey responses and site discussions.
  8. E-mail Administration: With communication as the backbone of any great organization, it's no wonder that e-mail woes were among the top concerns of IT pros. Microsoft Exchange server upgrades, Outlook Web Access, Lotus Notes, and Novell GroupWare were among mentioned distresses.
  9. System Intrusions: Keeping hackers at bay is a main concern to every system administrator. From firewalls and sniffers to network monitoring, our members are always on the hunt for new technologies or methods to manage access and limit unauthorized users.
  10. Linux Integration: The lure of Linux is powerful among some TechRepublic members. Most concerns members listed dealt with Apache, Samba, Ximian and Evolution applications. Most members were interested in Red Hat-, Mandrake- or SuSe-powered solutions.

How we're using the data to help you
You'll notice that TechRepublic has begun to organize and present its content based on these WKYUAN topics. To better serve you, we're creating new tools and articles based on the concerns we hear from you through the WKYUAN survey and other data. We'll be updating our data on a quarterly basis to keep tabs on the issues you face.

Let us know what keeps you up at night
If you'd like to let us know what issues most concern you, please send us an e-mail. We value any and all submissions from our members.


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