What are your biggest concerns for the coming year?

Now that you've made it past Jan. 1, what's coming up on your radar for the rest of the year?

If I hear another commercial for Y2K-anything, I’m going to scream. Hopefully, all the stress and hype associated with the coming (and passing) of the New Year will soon be forgotten, and we can get back down to business.

But what will that business be? Is your corporation going to upgrade to Windows 2000? Switch to Linux servers? Here are some of the issues I’m dealing with from my relatively safe position as a community editor for TechRepublic and as consultant to a handful of small business owners.

But I want to know what you think. Please take a minute to post a comment below or send me a note and let me know what you’ll be doing in 2000.

To upgrade or not to upgrade
I’ve worked in shops where the corporate philosophy was “We must stay on the cutting edge, so we will always employ the latest and the greatest technologies, no matter the cost.” And I’ve also reported to CFOs who cringe at the thought of spending any money whatsoever on new equipment or systems as long as the old ones are still working.

What will you do in your shops? Are you going to upgrade your networks to Windows 2000 right away, or are you going to give that product time to actually ship and be tested in the so-called “real world?”

Even if you don’t upgrade your operating systems, what about your end user applications? Are you sticking with Office 95 or Office 97, or are you willing to make the hardware and training investment required to move your users to Office 2000?

How many new hires?
One of the biggest problems of 2000 will undoubtedly be the same as it was in 1999—there aren’t enough IT people to go around. Do you have a plan for attracting and retaining new IT people? Or are you going to make do with present staff and hope for the best?

The certification migration
New products mean new certifications. Should you get one of those fancy certifications, or are you satisfied with on-the-job training and getting your de facto certification? The whole issue is a hot button for IT professionals.

I’d love to hear from those of you who are interviewing potential new IT hires. If you have your choice between an experienced person with no certification and an inexperienced person with a certification, do you automatically choose one over the other? Which candidate do you expect to pay more in initial salary?

End user training
Is end user training coming up on anybody’s radar? If you work for a company that’s big enough to have a separate training department, count yourself lucky. If you’re expected to provide end user training as well as support, however, what percentage of your time do you expect to spend on training in 2000?
Please take a moment and post a comment below to let your fellow IT professionals know what are the most important or ominous tasks on your to-do list for 2000.

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