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Thought leadership from SAI to accelerate your performance

Systems Alliance Blog

Opinion, advice and commentary on IT and business issues from SAI
Date: Feb 2012

As a Web consulting company, we spend almost every day talking with college/university administrators about their websites. I might ask a prospective client, “how do you feel about your website?” or “is the site effectively meeting the university’s objectives?” Frequently, marketing directors will candidly admit that their websites ‘need help’ or ‘ought to be refreshed’, but they aren’t doing anything about it.

Often, these executives run into a common problem: they don’t know where to start. There may also be variations of this challenge. For instance, many colleges distribute ownership of the website across many different departments, so it can be difficult to get people ‘on the same page’; most university administrators have busy schedules during the school year and just can’t find the time to make long term plans for the Web.

Whatever the obstacle is, please know this: if you’re a higher education executive who’s responsible for the school website, you cannot afford to put an underperforming website on the backburner.

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It’s a sign of the times. Current economic and competitive pressures are forcing most IT organizations to do more with less. It’s no wonder then, when a manager gets approval to hire an additional person, they want to move quickly to fill the spot - and for the least cost. 

Unfortunately, if you select the wrong candidate, the cost incurred by the employer may far outweigh any benefit of having the new hire in the role. According to Mary Lorenz, the most recent CareerBuilder survey on the cost of a bad hire shows that “69 percent of employers reported bad hires lowered their company’s productivity, affected worker morale and even resulted in legal issues”[1]. Although it’s difficult to totally quantify the cost of a bad hire, ADP’s Bad Hire Calculator provides some perspective.  ADP estimates a $65,000 full-time hire that goes bad will cost an employer over $94,000.  If fully on-boarding a technical resource takes 6 months, the calculator estimates the bad hire cost growing to over $110,000![2]

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As the Website Manager, Content Specialist or Editor in Chief of your website, you should be using a content or editorial calendar (at least one, perhaps multiple) to manage your content production.

Perhaps you are not using a calendar yet or you are evaluating whether your calendar is working for you and your team. In that case, I want to provide a list of some calendar tools that might help you get started. A sample content calendar can be found in my presentation on Effective Blogging in case you are unfamiliar with a content calendar.

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The concept of Just-In-Time manufacturing has been around for decades. More recently we have seen the extension of this concept into the IT infrastructure arena with on-demand or dynamic provisioning. Even with these advances, bringing new data center capacity online has continued to be very time consuming, labor and capital intensive; that is, until the advent of modular data centers several years ago.

The escalating cost of data center construction is not sustainable, particularly in challenging economic times1. Construction costs alone for a large-scale enterprise data center can be in the tens of millions and take years to complete. In our work, we see an ever increasing number of clients looking to investigate data center construction and/or co-lo site selection options. Often these initiatives are a result of a client unexpectedly approaching the limits of available power and/or cooling capacity.

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Feb 2012