Balmer joined SGH at the beginning of this year with one, clear goal: to overhaul the legacy IT infrastructure, which marries Dell and HP hardware with Microsoft and bespoke software. He's currently knee-deep in the creation of a five-year technology plan that will ensure the company remains competitive and successful.
As the IT manager, what is the biggest challenge you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome it?
At this point in time, the biggest challenge is trying to keep the end users happy whilst trying to maintain a high service level with crumbling infrastructure. This is no easy task. The way round this is to "apply elastoplast" during the days, and work like a demon out of hours to cure the ills so that system downtime does not become a part of everyday life.
What advice would you give to your peers (without giving away too many secrets!) on how to deal with challenges/change?
I would suggest that keeping an open mind and trying to review any IT work with a pseudo independent mindset will help. You need to be able to detach yourself from problems and look at them from a greater height, seeing the bigger picture. This allows you to effectively map out a plan of action, and then action it!
What piece of information do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your role as IT manager? If you could step back in time what would you tell yourself, when and why?
In my personal view, I wish I knew how to be a bit more diplomatic! I tend to adopt a hard line approach to providing IT solutions in order to get the job done this has sometimes led to me trampling on people's sensibilities about what they had spent years doing!!
What would be your idea of heaven/hell in your current role?
Heaven would be having an IT environment that is reliable! Hell is the fact that systems I have inherited fall over all the time making me and my team look stupid!
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Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.
Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.