Top Tips: Teaching your employees about virtual servers

Top tips to transform your office into a virtual server paradise

[image_library_tag ce1029dc-faa6-475c-9148-644823d04f21 118x120 alt="14-10-2015-teaching-your-employees-about-virtual-servers" title="14-10-2015-teaching-your-employees-about-virtual-servers" width="118" height="120"class="left "]As Senior Manager of Search Marketing at Trend Micro, Noah Gamer directs the global internet marketing optimization and product web reputation strategy. He specializes in web product strategy development, competitive analysis, targeted content ranking methods and site optimization while influencing online identity and brand for product marketing, public relations, investor relations, technical support and corporate marketing initiatives.

Noah shares his top tips on how to teach your employees about virtual servers.

Virtual servers are superior to physical servers in almost every single way: They are faster, they are more economical, they are more sustainable, and they are more flexible. However, the one downside of transitioning to a virtual environment has got to be training.

Though virtualization has been a possibility for decades, most people have never heard of the technology, and of those who have, precious few are willing to understand its capabilities. Thus, when your office finally goes virtual, most of your employees will be dangerously slow to adapt.

It will be a daunting struggle to train your staff in the form and function of virtualization, but ultimately it will be a rewarding task. Here are our top tips to transform your office into a virtual server paradise.

Assess prior experience - Before any teacher can start making lesson plans, he must uncover the starting level of comprehension among his students. Thus, you must perform some initial research to discover your office’s current understanding of virtual servers. This preliminary step helps you and your employees become better engaged with the material and avoids wasting time and energy with redundant information.

It may very well be that a few of your peers already have a background working in a virtual environment, and transitioning to virtual servers once again will not be any stretch. For these individuals, you will not need to overburden them with superfluous lectures and work. However, it is much more likely that most of your staff will need extensive training in virtualization. Still, it is useful to know where you should start preparing training materials.

Determine willingness - While you are in the early stages of training, you must remain aware of your employees’ reactions to virtual servers. It is entirely possible that many of your workers will be hesitant or downright defiant to the transition to new technology.

It is easy to see why some employees might be resistant to the change. Many of them have been adequately productive for several years without bothering to learn new information or skills, so the mandate to take on a challenging new technology is both frustrating and terrifying. If your organization is surfeit with such stick-in-the-mud characters, you will undoubtedly find it difficult to integrate virtual servers. Fortunately, in every company there will be employees eager to learn, and eventually these early adopters should be able to convince even the stodgiest employees to move onward and upward.

Start at the top - Your senior managers might not need to know the gritty details of virtual servers — most top-level professionals rarely get their hands dirty with technology — but it is still crucial to convince them of virtualization’s use in your organization. Most of your company’s employees look to their big bosses as examples for proper behavior, and if your senior officers are baffled by the new tech, the rest of your workers will be, too.

The C-suite probably doesn’t need thorough training on any of the new processes associated with your virtual servers (unless they ask for it), but they should have a cursory understanding of what server virtualization is and how it helps.

Bestow responsibility - Your IT team is ultimately responsible for the proper functioning of your virtual servers, which means they must have a strong grasp on the tech’s ins and outs. In all likelihood, many of your IT workers already boast a fundamental knowledge of virtualization and its benefits, but it might behoove you to pay for extra training courses for your entire IT department. In the coming months, they will begin to grapple with serious virtualization snafus — server sprawl, software licensing, virtualization security for servers, and more — in addition to the everyday confusion and complaints of your other employees. Any extra training will help your IT team stay organized and supportive of the transition. If your employees seem reluctant to remember new passwords for the server and security measures, consider trying out a password manager [TrendMicro software solution] to keep everything secure without stressing out employees. 

Train away the pain - How you approach virtualization training with your regular employees will determine the effectiveness of your office’s transition. If you hand out pamphlets and expect your workforce to be virtualization whizzes in a week, you will be sorely disappointed. Your training should instead consist of regular, interactive sessions that everyone can enjoy.

Of course, if you cannot commit to providing high-quality instruction, you can hire an experienced teacher to host the seminars, instead. The goal is to ensure your employees are participating actively and enhancing their knowledge rather than bumbling through the transition slowly and inefficiently. The hardest part of integrating virtual servers is certainly not setting them up or even using them — it is convincing your employees that they will become an invaluable element of your new business structure.

Virtualization sounds like a scary concept to most modern workers, and quite a few will be nervous to transition. Ultimately, virtual servers will make work easier for everyone in the organization, and as long as you understand and value virtualization, your organization should, too.