What kind of an IT manager are you?

Are you a Sidney Slacker, Terry Top-Notch or a Taylor Too-Much?

Take this quiz to find out.

1. Green IT is everywhere lately: Recycled rainwater! Virtualize everything! Where to start?

A. You decide to do it all: solar heating panels, energy-efficient equipment, water-based cooling -- the works.

B. "Green" IT? Sounds like hippie mumbo-jumbo to you.

C. You decide to better track your energy usage and map out a plan to integrate some greener technologies into your data center and workplace, such as recycling obsolete hardware or consolidating some servers.

Grades:

A. 3 points. Change can be expensive, and such a wide-scale sea-change in your business can be difficult to handle (according to a recent survey on green data centers conducted by Symantec, many administrators are unfamiliar with green technologies 070196) and, while they yield major long-term savings, they could be too expensive up-front.

B. 1 point. You should keep in mind that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy ( 079998), energy usage is going to skyrocket over the next few years, with 10--15 more power plants needed by 2011 to keep up with data center power consumption alone. Getting in early with green tech can really help your company's bottom line, and gets you some karma to boot.

C. 2 points. A well-thought-out plan is especially important when it comes to green technology. Gartner Research's research vice-president Rakesh Kumar recommends that you either dig up historical energy usage records, or start keeping track, so that you can gauge where you need to make improvements ( 070196).

2. An IT manager is departing from the company later in the year, leaving you to deal with the IT skills shortage, the result of declining computer science enrollment in universities, high expectations from employers, and retiring baby boomers. How do you cope?

A. You begin the search as soon as you know the person is leaving, sending out word among colleagues, and then, a month out, putting up a job ad in several places. You ask around for wage ranges for a competitive salary, and throw in a perk or two.

B. You immediately lay out a long list of must-have skills, experience, and personality types that would be the best fit for the job (and it doesn't include fresh university grads or foreign workers).

C. You throw up the same job description as last time on an online job board a couple of weeks before you plan to start interviews.

Grades:

A. 2 points. To successfully survive the skills shortage, compensation needs to be competitive -- a recent survey of IT workers conducted by David Aplin Recruiting cited low pay as one of the top reasons for leaving a job ( 070742).

B. 3 points. When skilled IT workers are scarce (a 2006 survey from CNC Global found that demand for permanent IT staff was up 30 per cent from 2005), managers need to be open to new university grads and foreign workers: the former can be molded to your liking and be encouraged to move up the ranks within your company, while the latter often have coveted skills (plus, a Xerox Canada study earlier this year found that 80 per cent of the 1,000 respondents said that diversity in the workplace aided Canadian innovation 075273). One of the problems fuelling the skills shortage is employers' high expectations of their workers, so you need to either be more flexible, willing to train, or build into the budget a chunk of change to win over an in-demand candidate.

C. 1 point. Employers really need to get an early start, and separate themselves from the competition. For example, they can offer some work/life-balance-based perks. When it comes to your incoming Generation Y workers, three out of four respondents to a recent Robert Half International/Yahoo! Hot Jobs survey said work-life balance is very important to them.

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