it manager salary

IT Manager Salary and Expected Daily Tasks

To prepare for creating this short article on what an IT Manager salary is expected to be, I searched Google to see what industry standards were saying about salaries for people working as IT Managers. What I discovered was the salary of an IT Manager also depended on the organization they were working for as a Manager.it manager salary

An IT Manager Salary can sometimes range from $112k to $151k working in companies like Cisco, Accenture, Verizon, and Allstate. In other companies you can expect salary ranges from the low scale of $35k to about $60k. That is still exceptional for an IT Manager.

The Information Technology field gives you the advantage of being able to work in any industry as an IT Manager. The job you do is the same, even if you work in companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, and other fast-food chains.

Working in Information Technology Management as an IT Manager can be lucrative and exciting.  An IT Manager can be a Manager of various kinds of technologies in IT.  For example; I am a Manager of IT Systems in a technology and communications company here on the Island. In my role, I manage the administration of our Active Directory environment and our Exchange Servers. An Exchange Server is an application server that facilitates the exchange of corporate emails with other industries. I am also responsible for the supervision of several employees.

As a manager in IT you are not expected to daily administrate the systems, instead all you have to do is make sure that they are working.  The system administrator performs the daily tasks. As a Manager you are still expected to be technical and administrative the same time. If you are not careful, you technical skills will become extinct. But, being more in the role as an administrator does not mean you should not be knowledgeable about your environment.

If you do not know what new technology is out there in the IT world, you will die a slow death in IT. I am not talking about physical death but becoming obsolete in knowing about the new trends in IT.

In the information technology industry, you have positions like Data Center Manager, Networking Operation Center Managers, Customer Services Manager, Infrastructure Manager and many other Manager positions that you can fill. All of these positions are considered IT Managers’ position and the salaries are comparative with other similar industries.

Tech Ed 2012 Orlando Expo Boots

Gartner IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit

The recent Gartner IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit that I attended this year in Orlando was very informative and motivational in nature, even though related to Information Technology. When I say motivational and informative in nature, I am referring to one of the sessions at the conference entitled, “Adapt and Ignite – Turning Change into Opportunity”.  This was somewhat surprising because you normally would not find motivational speakers at technical conferences. At least not the ones I have attended.

As an Information Technology Manager, I had the opportunity to attend many conferences including Microsoft Tech Ed conferences in North America, and my first Gartner conference this year.  The Microsoft Tech Ed conference in New Orleans will go down in history as one of my favorite conferences.  Microsoft has recently change the name of the Tech Ed conference to Microsoft Ignite,  but the same valuable content is still present. In my opinion I think it is far better now to attend, than before.

If you are an IT Professional working with Microsoft products, the Microsoft Ignite conferences would be better for you to attend.  At this conference Microsoft discusses the latest technologies related to Microsoft products and services.  In addition to their breakout sessions, hands on training is available at the conference to enhance your technical skills.  You will also receive insights into where technology is headed in relation to Microsoft products.

If you are interested you can sample some of the presentation that were presented this year at the Microsoft Ignite conference using the link below. I hope the link still works.  At least it worked when I last tried it.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015

Information Technology Managers and Directors will also benefit from the Microsoft conferences, but Gartner conferences are better for persons in authority to attend because of their independent approach to research on critical issues that are encountered by these persons. Even if you are not a Manager you can still benefit from what Gartner teaches.  In fact at the Gartner IT Infrastructure summit this year, about 15 % of persons in attendance were non managerial employees.

Because of Gartner’s  involvement with a vast cross section of clients all around the world, what they present to you can be considered the truth to what is happening now  in the world of Information Technology. IT Managers, Directors and Vice Presidents, can use what Gartner presents, to help with critical decision making on issues that they encounter as a result of their positions.

Gartner IT Operations Summit Conference at a Glance:

At the recent Gartner conference,  the session “Adapt and Ignite – Turning Change into Opportunity” was one of the session keynotes that all persons attending the seminar attended.  In my opinion, the cost of the seminar was justifiable, just by attending this session alone.  Most of the persons attending this session shared the same views.  Even if you only attended the keynotes session at the conference you would have benefited.

The name of the speaker in the session “Adapt and Ignite” was Gary Bradt.  Gary is a well-known motivational and conference speaker.  His topic was based on one of his books entitled “The Ring in the Rubble: Dig through Change and Find Your Next Golden Opportunity”.

In his presentation he spoke about the sea of change that we are faced with, as IT Professionals.  The sea of change was referring to how fast technology changes.  He also presented us with insights on how to adapt to these changes. Education is definitely the key to adapting to changes in Information technology. He showed us through research how other industries are changing, and that IT is not alone.

In the field of Information Technology, the change is headed more to digital and cloud based on many of Gartner’s research.   The person working in IT that does not adapt to this change will be out of a job in the not too distant future. Well, that was Gartner’s prediction.  I tend to believe them though.

The company Block Buster Video was use to demonstrate how not reacting to change will put you out of work.  Netflix was demonstrated as the leader in watching videos from media.  They adapted to the digital age of change, but Block Buster videos did not.  Today, persons everywhere are streaming videos, not renting them.  If you have kids in your home, no matter their age, even they are aware of the digital age. Rather than watching regular cable television, they are streaming movies from their smart phones.  This was just one example that was presented.  There were many other examples presented.

Here is the link to Gary Brandt’s book at Amazon, if you are interested. The entire presentation was based on this book. I immediately inquired about this book and after reading the preview; I purchased it without seconding guessing my decision.  You can use the link below If you are interested in his book.

Gary Bradt’s, Kindle book

http://amzn.to/1HIAK84

Conference Agenda 

Even though the conference’s agenda was about Information Technology, the focus was more on personal and leadership development, for the attendees.  Each session was created and presented with the IT leader in mind. Cloud, digitization, and Bi-modal IT were words that became very common at the summit, especially the term Bi-modal IT.

Basically, “Bi-modal IT refers to having two modes of IT, each designed to develop and deliver information- and technology-intensive services in its own way.

Here is a Gartner link that explains what BiModal IT is all about: You may have to sign up with Gartner for a free account to watch the presentation.

http://www.gartner.com/webinar/3058820/player?commId=158431&channelId=5500&srcId=1-3931087981

Attendees:

IT Managers and Directors represented about 75% of persons in attendance at the summit.  Many Vice Presidents of  reputable companies were also in attendance.  In fact they represented about 9% of persons in attendance.  The other 25% of attendees were supervisors, vice president and regular employees.  A graph was showed in the opening keynote that was created from the registration details of persons in attendance.

Even though many sessions and presentation were presented at the conference the session about Shadow IT really impressed me.

What is Shadow IT? 

Shadow IT is the Investment in acquiring, developing and/or operating IT-related solutions and services, outside the control of a formal IT department.

Basically, this is when persons in the same organization bypass IT for solutions by going directly to the vendor’s of the technology.  All companies in this digital age of IT are faced with the problem of Shadow IT.

These persons are not bad at all. In fact if you follow these persons, most of the times they will lead you directly to where technology is headed.  The idea is not to fight with these persons,  but to embrace and help them to understand that we as IT Professionals are here to help them.

When I say embrace them I am not saying to accept their wrong doing.  It is better to know what they are working with, in order to better manage it.  These persons should know that they would be held accountable for the problems that are created, as a result of their actions.

Communications, media and services are losing the larger part of the Shadow IT war,  based on statistics from Gartner.  So we all are in this same predicament.

What do business leaders want from us as IT Professionals?  Business leaders do not use IT at times because they do not think we know what we are doing.  The idea is to bring back trust in our ability to provide the solutions that they need, to better do what is required of them.

Literally, you can’t fight a shadow, but you can turn on the light to dispersed the shadow. In other words, we should find administrative tools that can sift out unauthorized installation of software on systems in our environment, so we can better manage them. Shadow IT does not only refer to unauthorized software installation on computers though.  I am using this as an example from what I have noticed in our environment.

Gartner outlined in the presentation at the conference, five ways that we can fight Shadow IT. One point that really made and impression on me was….

” we as IT Professionals should engage the business as a Partner and not a competitor,  and that we should open discussions with the senior executives to redefine IT’s role,  in leading and managing the enterprise investment,  in information technology.”

Whether you are a Manager, Director or Non-Managerial staff working in IT, you should strive to attend a Gartner conference.  It is life changing and motivational. After you attend one of these conference you will begin to see IT as a career and not just a job.

By: Andrew Moss

 

 

 

it manager salary

Guarding You Exchange Organization Against Rogue System Administrators

Rogue System Administrator’s are in every organization.  How do you protect your exchange organization, from these administrators that went bad, but are still employed in your establishment?

The first thing that probably came to mind would be to fire the administrator, but in the eyes of other individuals, the administrator may appear to be a good person, with no grounds to be fired. This individual knows exactly how to “fly below the radar”, and not be noticed by upper management, but you know that they are there.  rogue system administrators

In fact, you see some of the errors that they have made in your exchange organization, because of them not having any training with exchange server. All this individual knows how to do is create mailboxes in exchange server, but when there is an issue with the server , they do not know how to resolve it.

A rogue administrator, like I said earlier, is an administrator that has gone bad.  In other words it is a person who behaves badly, but is still liked, in spite of their behaviour. Longman’s dictionary, also further defines this person as a man who is dishonest, and has a very bad character.

Any Administrator that has admin rights in an Active Directory environment, also has rights by default, to administrate any exchange server organization.  At least from the perspective of Exchange 2010.  If I remember correctly, in Exchange 2003 an exchange administrator had to be in a specific group, in order to manage the exchange 2003 organization.

Many system administrator that administrates active directory, does not even know that they have administrative rights, to manage an exchange 2010 organization, as long as they are in the system admins group, in active directory.  At least this is so, especially in the environment where I am presently employed.

Using RBAC, or role base access control in exchange 2010, can assist any administrator in setting up boundaries, to not allow these rogue system administrators, access to the exchange 2010 organization.

The Microsoft Exchange Blog, recently created a post on their website, that shows you how to setup boundaries in exchange 2013, and exchange 2010, to help with the issues of rogue system administrators access to exchange. Below is an insert from the Exchange Team Blog from the article.  Really good read.  You can access the link just below the quote to see the entire article.

 

Occasionally I am asked the following question – how can I protect the messaging environment from a rogue administrator? There are essentially two concerns being asked in this question:

  1. How do I protect the data from being deleted by a rogue administrator?
  2. How do I protect the data from being accessed and/or altered by a rogue administrator?

Sometimes this discussion leads to a discussion about only the chosen backup architecture. The reality is that whether you implement Exchange Native Data Protection or a third-party backup solution, a backup, by itself, does not protect you from rogue administrators; it only mitigates the damage they potentially cause. Any administrator that has the privileged access to the messaging data (whether it be live data and/or backup data), can compromise the system. Therefore, some operational changes must be implemented within the organization in order to reduce the attack surface of an administrator who has gone rogue.

Read the entire Article at the Exchange Team Blog

Implementing RBAC in exchange 2010 can reduce the attack surface in Exchange 2010 against and rogue administrator.

By Andrew Moss

exchange 2003 to 2010 migration

Exchange 2003 to 2010 Migration / How to Remove the Last Legacy Exchange Server From Your Environment

exchange 2003 to 2010 migrationMore than likely If you have partially completed your exchange 2003 to 2010 migration, then you are probably one of the many exchange administrators that still has legacy exchange servers installed, as a part of your organization. I know that I am not the only Administrator with this configuration.  There should be many others on the planet, just like me.

If you are like me, then you are one of those administrators that did not pay much attention to completely migrating exchange 2003 to 2010, because everything was running smooth with exchange 2003, and exchange 2010 as part of the same organization. Don’t be the last administrator on the planet to upgrade exchange 2003 to 2010, or to the latest exchange server version.

Exchange server 2003 has reached it’s end of support date since April 8, 2014, as per Microsoft Product Life-cycle website, and a blog post at the Microsoft Exchange Blog website.  If you still have exchange 2003 mixed with 2010 in your environment, then you should begin phasing out exchange 2003 servers out of your 2010 environment, in order to get assistance from Microsoft when you need it.

I am not saying that you may not get any assistance if the environment is mixed, but who knows.  Microsoft Support  may ask you to bring your environment up to date first, then offer you assistance afterwards.  Why wait until you need assistance. Now is the time to begin your transition to exchange 2010, or exchange 2013.

Every administrator will need some sort of assistance from Microsoft during the tenure of their career, even if you are a certified administrator.  I learned a long time ago that you will never know everything in relation to one system.  Everyone has a piece of the puzzle, and we are all much smarter together. As an Administrator you should strive to never be in a position, where you are unable to get assistance, when needed.

Even though Exchange server 2013 is the latest exchange product on the market, as of the creation of the article.  Exchange 2010 is still relevant. Mainstream support does not end until January 2015, and extended support has until January 2020.  Microsoft appears to always give at least a ten year span for any new created exchange product.  At least this is what I have seen.

Phasing out legacy Exchange 2003 servers from an Exchange server 2010 organization is an integral step in any exchange 2003 to 2010 migration  process. I would even go as far as to say that, if you do not do this step, you would not be able to introduce exchange server 2013 into your organization at all, until you organization has been converted to a pure exchange 2010 environment, with service pack 3 for exchange installed.

My Existing Exchange Environment and Issue

My present environment consists of  three exchange 2003 servers, with two exchange 2010 servers setup in a DAG, or Database Availability Group. My organization level is only on service pack one, or SP1 for short, with rollup update 6 installed. My exchange 2003 servers are running windows server 2003 with SP1, and my exchange 2010 servers are running windows server 2008 enterprise OS.

My main reason for attempting to move all legacy exchange 2003 servers our of our environment is firstly about compliance.  If Exchange 2003 is not supported any more, there is no need to keep it mixed with my Exchange 2010 servers.

Secondly, I want to begin the process of introducing an Exchange 2013 server into our existing organization.  To do this my environment must be a pure exchange 2010 and have install at least the latest service pack.  At the creation of this article SP3 is the latest service pack available for Exchange 2010.

At first I thought about calling Microsoft support to assist me with moving the legacy exchange servers out of the environment, but Microsoft support only assisted you if the system is already broken. As an administrator, every year I would purchase a Five Pack Support pack from Microsoft to assist me whenever I needed assistance, with issues that I was unable to resolve on my own. I did not wanted to waste a call to Microsoft until I actually needed assistance.

The Plan

My plan was to first remove all legacy 2003 exchange servers out of the environment first, so I can  be in compliance with Microsoft.  My long term plan was to implement a pure Exchange Server 2013 environment by first moving to a mixed environment, with exchange 2010 and exchange 2013. My goal was to also complete all of the necessary tasks seamlessly in the background, without any of my front end users being disrupted.

To remove the legacy 2003 servers out of the environment, I found a document that was created by Microsoft that really took all of the guess work out of the project. The name of the document, and the link to the document is below. If you are in a similar position you should get a copy of the document.

Remove the legacy exchange server from an exchange server 2010 organization.

The document includes links to other needed resources that will help you migrate from exchange 2003 to 2010 by showing you how to prepare to move all legacy servers, from your exchange 2010 environment.

The first part of the document shows you how to prepare the exchange 2003 organization to remove the first legacy exchange servers from the environment   The second part shows you how to remove the last exchange 2003 server from the environment.

If your environment is mixed like my environment, then you probably have already  completed step 1 of the document, without even seeing the document.  This step consisted of moving all exchange 2003 mailboxes to exchange 2010 servers.

My exchange 2003 servers are just sitting in our environment being the host for the public folders, and still acting as the servers that are responsible for generating the Offline Address Book.

This is by far one of the best documents on the market that you can use to move the first and the last legacy exchange 2003 servers, from your environment. Exchange 2003 to 2010 migration is easy, as long as you are using the correct document.

Visit Microsoft site here to get the the document on how to move the legacy exchange servers out of your environment.  Using the document will give you a smooth exchange 2003 to 2010 migration.

By Andrew Moss

 

70-410 exam prep

My 70-410 Exam Prep Journey Continues – Discovering Free Tools for The Journey to Exchange Server MCSE Certification

In my previous article entitled,  “70-410 exam prep tools from the perspective of Exchange Server”, I basically spoke about my intent to go after the Exchange Server 2013 certification. This article builds on the topics that were introduced in that article.

As you may be aware, you are now required to achieve the Windows Server MCSA certification first, as a prerequisite to the Exchange Server MCSE certification. When you visit the Exchange Server MCSE official site you will notice that the first three exams for windows server MCSA are listed at the top of the page.  I am still puzzled about why this certification is so much harder to achieve compared to Exchange Server 2010.  With Exchange Server 2010 all you had to do was pass two exams and then you were certified.  No windows server exams were required in order to achieve this certification.

I visited the Windows Server MCSA official certification site, since it was a prerequisite to achieving the Exchange Server MCSE certification. I then scrolled down to resource section of the website to find resources that would be beneficial in helping me understand Windows Server 2012.

At the company where I am presently employed, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are both a part of our production environment.  There are presently no Windows Server 2012 servers deployed, so to fully understand Windows Server 2012 I had to acquire a book, or materials that would have given me a full understanding, of this new server version. Click Here to visit the MCSA Official Certification site website..

I then downloaded the two recommended books that I wrote about in my first article in this series, since they appear to be books created by Microsoft, that heavily focused on the new server version. I am presently going through the material as this article is being prepared.

Here are the links to the two recommended books that I spoke about in my previous article. You can get the books using the links below, if you have not downloaded them already. Both books were published by Microsoft publishers, and hopefully the first one is still available free of charge.  The second one cost me thirty eight cents, and should still be available at that price. In any event, if you are serious about your studies then they are well worth the small investment.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2

Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition

I also found two other resources that may benefit you as well.  One is a forum and the other is Microsoft Virtual Academy.  Both resources are free of charge.  My goal is to utilize free resources first then go after paid options afterwards.

The “Microsoft Virtual Academy” consists of a collection of free training videos including videos on Windows Server.  The “Born to Learn Community” is a forum that consists of like minded persons who are trying to achieve their certifications.  There are many sub forums within the forum with related topics.  You can access both resources using the links below.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Born to Learn Training and Certification Community

By the time you are reading this article, hopefully I would have achieved the first exam in the MCSA track which is 70-410.  As long I do not not get discouraged and quit.One good thing about passing the first exam in the track is that you would be awarded the MCP, or Microsoft Certified Professional title.  That alone is enough to continue on.

As I said in my previous article, Windows Server is now a part of the Exchange Server MCSE certification track.  As a result studies must be completed first, with Windows Server in order to move forward.  That is one of the reasons the two book are recommended first.  These books will give you an overview of windows server 2012.

The Windows Server track consists of three exams as previously mentioned.  Doing the courses and exams in the order that they are placed on the MCSA site is probably the best way to proceed, but I do not think it matters in which order the courses are taken. In any event I will do the exams in the order that they are presented.

The free resources mentioned here should be sufficient resources to familiarize me with Windows Server 2012 before focusing on the 70-410 exam prep tools. My focus now will be to go through the materials mentioned here first to understand Windows Server 2012 then search for materials that prepares me for the first 70-410 exam afterwards.