The 5 Biggest IT Mistakes Companies Make And How To Avoid Them

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A new study released by research firm Gartner shows that employees are nearly two times more likely to pretend to be working when their employers use tracking systems to monitor their output. Gartner surveyed more than 2,400 professionals in January 2021.

Across the world, IT professionals are in charge of an increasing number of servers and data coming in from disparate sources, and they’re using way too many monitoring tools to make sense of it all. The Reducing Complexity in IT Infrastructure Monitoring: A Study of Global Organizations report by the Ponemon Institute sheds light on the challenges of troubleshooting and monitoring cloud and on-premises environments.

  • 24% said the handling of scale and complexity of IT infrastructure has improved
  • 29% said the ability to easily deploy and maintain server monitoring technologies has improved

The survey also found that while a significant percentage of IT practitioners are in charge of monitoring over 50 servers, only 33% felt that they could ensure performance and system availability with their current toolset. So how can IT effectively manage increasingly complex, hybrid environments, and what are the major missteps IT organizations can correct to build a more efficient approach to infrastructure monitoring and troubleshooting?

Here are some of the biggest IT mistakes companies of all sizes make — and how to avoid them.

Problem #1: Too Many Tools

Seventy percent of IT professionals in the survey said that using data to determine root cause slows them down — ingesting and normalizing data of differing formats and types is tedious and unmanageable, and it’s difficult to make real-time decisions. This is often because companies use too many monitoring tools for single layers of their IT stack, such as networks or applications, which creates silos and inefficiencies. When data lives inside one tool but can’t access or communicate with data confined to other tools, IT practitioners lose context on what’s happening in their environment because they’re seeing only a part of the picture.

The Solution: The solution to too many tools and disparate data is a single, scalable monitoring tool that provides end-to-end operational visibility into hybrid environments.

Problem #2: IT and Business Friction

As digital business infrastructure increases in complexity, IT teams feel more pressure than ever to reduce business-impacting incidents. When IT systems fail, the ramifications go beyond the immediate financial loss of downtime — a business could lose customers and jeopardize its reputation, a harsh reality that keeps IT teams up day and night. According to Ponemon’s research, 61 percent of IT professionals say that lack of system availability and poor performance creates friction between IT and lines of business.

The Solution

In addition to a solution that allows IT to find the root cause to identify service interruptions, IT and business need to work together to design business and technical requirements in tandem.

Problem #3: No Way to Easily Identify Root Cause

Across the globe, IT professionals spend their days identifying and fixing server environment problems. Indeed, the Ponemon survey found that the top two challenges of troubleshooting, monitoring and cloud migration are:

  • Lack of insights to quickly pinpoint issues and identify the root cause
  • Complexity and diversity of IT systems and technology

When IT can’t find and fix issues quickly, it has a direct effect on the business.

The Solution: For IT to quickly fix problems, they need a monitoring tool that can surface an issue’s root cause with an alert about where and why something is wrong. Issue resolution time can be cut in half with a monitoring solution that correlates metrics and logs, and provides visualizations of alerts, trends and logs in one place. Making sure your monitoring tool can enable those types of actions and resolution planning is critical for success.

Problem #4: The Wrong Skills to Manage Application Complexity

When Ponemon asked IT professionals about the biggest risks to their ability to troubleshoot, monitor and migrate to the cloud:

  • 55%  said the increasing complexity of applications running on infrastructure
  • 44%  said a lack of skills and expertise to deal with application complexity

As infrastructure grows and evolves, it becomes increasingly difficult for IT teams to successfully manage, monitor and troubleshoot systems. Couple that with an IT skills gap that makes it difficult for organizations to attract and retain qualified talent, and it becomes clear why IT teams feel nonstop pressure.

The Solution: To effectively troubleshoot, monitor and migrate to the cloud, you need a solid plan that takes future growth into account is necessary for smooth IT operations. Business and IT need to work together to create an IT environment roadmap, followed by a talent strategy that aligns to that plan. Be sure to:

  • Identify skills gaps and adjust hiring
  • Identify and train qualified employees for advancement
  • Include succession planning for inevitable changes

Problem #5: Lack of Visibility Throughout Cloud Migration

Sixty-eight percent of IT practitioners said that ensuring application performance and availability throughout cloud migration caused the most stress. Over half said both cost and the inability to monitor and troubleshoot applications were their biggest pain points.

As infrastructure increases in complexity, the core responsibilities of IT to monitor and measure remain the same. So how can IT achieve infrastructure visibility and workload insights when performance data spans diverse environments?

The Solution: It’s critical to monitor performance across hybrid architectures with a monitoring solution that collects and correlates data from every location. Full visibility is needed throughout the migration process, so choose an end-to-end monitoring tool that allows you to establish a pre-migration baseline, mid-migration insights and post-migration success.

Before cloud migration, measure the baseline user experience and performance, and define acceptable post-migration levels. To accurately validate a migration’s success, use the same monitoring tool throughout the migration process. A unified tool can analyze centralized data and provide better insights from dashboards and reports.

For more of the biggest IT mistakes and solutions and examples of companies that have solved the problem check out: 8 Biggest Mistakes IT Practitioners Make and How to Avoid Them.

Splunk Inc. turns data into doing with the Data-to-Everything Platform. Splunk technology is designed to investigate, monitor, analyze and act on data at any scale.

Source: The 5 Biggest IT Mistakes Companies Make And How To Avoid Them


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How Much Does Academic Achievement Truly Help In Measuring Success – Jiji Vijayan


Competition is the key today, in a world where hard work and practice beat talent. It is no wonder then, that the same approach is taken towards academics as well. Schools and parents all over, seek high academic performances from students, and use the same to measure students’ success.

Indian education system is infamous for placing the entire weightage of student success on their report card scores, further outspreading the notion that success is based on one’s academics. However, students that excel in academics, do not always go on to excel professionally, or personally. This is because academics alone, cannot constitute a holistic learning model.

Evaluation of a student based on test score can be considered a narrow approach, since it does not take into consideration, the other components needed for overall development of students. Math, Science, Language and Arts, are often used as a primary measure to determine students’ intelligence. API (Academic Performance Indicator) should have some effective place in assessing students, but it should not be the sole measure for determining their effectiveness and success. There are many factors that influence academic success, such as motivation, attitude, student interest, recognition, personality, etc. Therefore, test score alone would not suffice, calling for a more comprehensive approach to measure proficiency of student learning.

How Can Student Success be Evaluated Appropriately?

With the intrusion of technology and social media into their doors and minds, the current generation is wired to look for instant gratification, seeking immediate results and rewards. A single test at the end of the year does no justice to the intelligence and capabilities of students. Unfortunately, this is a commonly practiced system, despite its ineffectiveness. The world has changed, and so have the dynamics of learning, which calls for change in the typical evaluation through examination system. There is an urgent need for educational institutions to come up with more intricate and diversified frameworks, to measure student success, through methods apart from academic achievement.

The role of learning environment, can never be over emphasized. Resources and surroundings, have direct impact on the learning process. Students of this generation require thinking skills of much higher order, ability to recall, analysis, interference, and assessment. Keeping this in mind, different measures of logical solutions are gradually surfacing, to encompass various aspects of student success.

Higher education systems now use online examinations, online learning software, blended learning, group discussions, project presentations, student conferences and internships, as approaches to evaluate every student’s understanding of the subject matter and their interest in it. Schools can also incorporate assessments for students to learn practical, real-world skills through appropriate activities and tasks. Since such tasks provide immediate feedback on student strengths, and weaknesses, they keep the students interested, and give them the scope to work on the feedback at the earliest.

Five Basic Metrics to Measure Student Success

It is important to keep individual goals and ambitions of students in mind, when measuring their success. Precise policies must be adopted by educational institutions to track student metrics at regular intervals, while keeping a track of student engagement. Some common, highly effective metrics that can be used to measure student success are:

  • Retention rates
  • Graduation rates
  • Completion time
  • Academic performance
  • Tracking education goals

The quality of learning imbibed in a student must be measured with not one, but a plethora of entities that dig deep to divulge their success map. A significant track record of the student, maintained by the school, throughout the year, facilitates the right approach to enable customized learning and growth in academics, while also encouraging non-academic success that lay the foundation for their careers. Grit, curiosity, oral communication, teamwork, and creativity are some characteristics of the students that add weightage in addition to academics. Important metrics that schools can include in their framework for measuring student success are:

  • Aggregate assessments
  • Advancement in individual growth
  • Test scores
  • Assessment of student’s alternative needs
  • Grades in experimenting and learning programs

Progress and Success Through Student Goal Setting

York, Gibson, & Rankin Revised Conceptual Model of Academic Success, is an effective, practical assessment, research and evaluation proposed by peers from The Pennsylvania State University. It’s a conceptual framework designed to measure academic success. The framework measures the success of a student through academic accomplishment, student satisfaction, commitment in educationally purposeful activities, achievement of desired skills and knowledge, competencies, persistence and outcomes.

Just as in professional establishments, teachers can make ‘Goal Setting’ a weekly practice for students. Every student must set their goals, and ascertain actions and behaviors to be learned, that can help them achieve the listed goals. Setting targets and goals, helps teachers evaluate precisely, the capabilities and progress of a student. This strategy has a positive impact on student achievement. Such determined approach towards goals, helps students learn and eliminate obstacles that hinder success. Teachers may also step forward, to help each student with customized resources and learning, required to achieve set goals. This approach is highly beneficial to familiarize students with success barriers and learn about attitude shifts and behavioral changes that help them persist in challenging conditions, and break barriers.

Student Success

Success is subjective, and cannot be rightly measured with a standard, generalized approach, that applies uniformly among all students, irrespective of their goals, learning capabilities and differences. Customized learning and ample support at home and school, create an encouraging learning environment for students, motivating them to further develop an interest, and engage in academics, while also participating in activities that develop some much needed life skills and behaviors.

A standard examination system, may not reflect the true picture of students’ success. However, conceptual frameworks can fill this void, by rightly gauging their ambitions, capabilities and requirements. Schools that adopt a conceptual framework, get a clearer, precise picture of student learning and success.

Such an in-depth approach towards the academic and personal development of students, won’t just shape better futures for them, but also build a competitive, integrated education system in the country.

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7 Ways to Differentiate Instruction Through Assessment – Vicki Davis


We need to differentiate instruction. Derived from the word “different,” differentiation points to the fact that different ways of teaching can help you reach more children with the knowledge they need to master something. You’ve heard good teachers say it this way when a child is struggling: “Well, let’s try this a different way.”

But with technology, I think we’re forgetting that sometimes assessment can be a form of instruction that is delivered differently. We have ways to teach through assessment, whether or not we take a grade.

Differentiating instruction doesn’t always depend on the face-to-face instructor. We can also merge it with assessment tools in powerful ways that help kids learn on the spot. Remember that you don’t have to take a grade on every assessment. You can assess students as they learn by using formative assessment, which is often a valuable addition to summative assessment that takes place at the conclusion of a unit.

1. Harnessing Artificial Intelligence on Writing

We all know what it’s like to get back that paper we struggled to write and find it covered with comments written in red ink. The red-ink method of assessment has two flaws.

First, when you mark a mistake, marks don’t explain to the writer why it is incorrect. As a teacher, I won’t grade a written document if it hasn’t been spell checked. Many people are notoriously inconsistent about checking grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Additionally, when teachers just mark an error, students may not understand how to correct it and will continue making the same mistake. They need to know why a particular sentence needs a comma in a particular place.

Tools like GrammarlyPro Writing Aid, and the Hemingway App are veritable Swiss army knives to improve written language. In addition to suggested changes, writers can see with a click of a button why something is incorrect and learn from mistakes. As a blogger, I can attest that these tools have improved grammar mistakes that my high school English teacher honestly tried to remove. I guess I never really understood why they were mistakes.

The problem with artificial intelligence is that it only works for humans who acknowledge they need help. For example, my dyslexic son or spelling-challenged husband know that they need the help, and they write better for it. While these AI tools should be easily accessible to improve our own work, we should also be using them as a new way to stop mistakes at the source by teaching students about grammar, punctuation and spelling. In the future, perhaps videos and other tools will partner with AI writing tools to further improve differentiating instruction for writers.

2. Verbal Feedback on Written Work

The second problem with those red-ink corrections is that struggling writers are often struggling readers. These writers are further disadvantaged because the written word has none of the face-and-voice body language that is an essential part of communication. Teacher feedback on content or writing is best delivered verbally in-person or via digital voice/video. Tools like the Read/Write Toolbar from Texthelp or Kaizena let teachers quickly leave voice comments on documents so that students hear feedback as they work. Voice feedback has additional benefits: It’s often much faster for the teacher than handwritten comments, and it can be instantly delivered if you’re using a tool that links with Google Docs. This means that while a teacher might be assessing a paper, he or she can also be differentiating instruction.

3. Providing Opportunities for Rework

However, this mode of adding instruction to assessment only works if students are engaged with the assessment-embedded instruction. This is why I require my students to rework papers and documents where I’ve given verbal instructions.

4. Instant Feedback on Answers

If a teacher has to use fill-in-the-blank or multiple-choice assessments, there is no reason to make students wait to find out if their answers are correct. Fast, accurate feedback is a hallmark of great teaching. Again, we can use an AI tool to speed up grading and feedback with apps like GradeCam and QuickKey, which scan assessments and show students corrections immediately. Instant feedback helps kids learn and remember while content is fresh in their minds. They are being reminded and instructed in a different, immediate way that will help them remember in the future.

5. Embedding Learning, Feedback, and Assessment Into Instruction

Whether a teacher is using video or in-class instruction, the established method of teaching for 30 minutes and stopping for a quiz doesn’t fit with how this generation learns. Rather than wasting valuable instruction time with a handwritten quiz, tools like Edpuzzle will pause videos and ask questions inside the video. Multiple-choice can be graded instantly while still leaving time to ask discussion questions. (You can turn off fast forwarding to ensure that students are getting video content in their viewing time.) Tools like Nearpod and PearDeck allow teachers to embed questions in the instruction. Teachers can instantly bring up a question that requires students to draw a picture. For example, when I was teaching form-factors of computers, I had students draw an example so that we could discuss and reinforce their learning. Students benefit from opportunities to draw and type their answers.

6. Facilitating Inclusive Student Conversations

Using Flipgrid, students can carry on conversations via video, offering another option for student participation by allowing them to have interactions that teachers can easily monitor and responded to. Students are learning differently because they are hearing their classmates respond, and outside guests such as book authors or other resources can participate with a quick answer. Instead of having students pair up for in-class work (where the teacher can’t monitor whether they’re sharing correct information), Flipgrid can involve the whole class or a subset of the class as you discuss and learn things differently.

7. Merging the Real and Online Worlds in Powerful Learning

Using a tool like Metaverse, teachers and students can merge the real world and the virtual world. For example, a teacher can add a QR code (a digital barcode) to questions. When students are struggling, they can scan the barcode. A virtual “helper” will appear on the students’ device to ask questions, show relevant videos or websites, or guide students through other resources to help them understand the content. While this can seem like artificial intelligence, students or teachers must program or create the augmented reality characters. This past year, I had my eighth- and ninth-graders programming in Metaverse. I’ve also seen elementary kids use the tool.

However, some tools like the Merge Cube come with built-in apps that can help kids learn. For example, hold the Merge Cube in your hand and launch Galactic Explorer. You’ll now have a complete solar system to explore. There’s also AnatomyAR+, an app about the human body, and many others that students can manipulate in virtual reality or by looking through their phone screen in augmented reality.

As teachers, differentiating instruction with today’s technology is often a melding of instruction, assessment, and feedback. We can reach more students as we design instruction to more rapidly reach all of our learners and provide feedback in ways that help students learn.

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