2012This sponsored post is produced by Chris Cook, New Relic President and COO.

New Relic had an amazing year in 2011 and we spent a lot of it at industry events talking to senior enterprise IT architects and Operations teams. We heard loud and clear that these teams are pursuing ‘agile’ initiatives — they want to be faster, more productive and want to keep pace with their development team counterparts. And when it comes to IT management, there are plenty of steps IT can take to meet their agile goals.

Here are 5 recommendations to get started:

5. When it’s renewal time for your shelf ware, don’t settle for status quo.

How many tools do you have that are not being used at all? Do you need them? Make 2012 the year where you trim the fat of your legacy systems. Stop paying for tools you don’t use.

4. Buy solutions that let you go faster, with immediate time to value.

There is a better way and better management tools to help you get there. And what’s more, you may already have them in your organization. SaaS solutions that are easy to acquire and implement can reduce time to value from months to days.

3. There’s still time to catch the cloud train. Move at least one critical app there in 2012.

Feel like you’re late to the cloud game? Don’t worry. It’s still early, but don’t let shadow IT projects have all the fun. Learn from your more agile peers and deploy at least one app to the cloud. Put your cloud strategy into action and start reaping the benefits.

2. Empower your team with actionable data, not just raw statistics.

A graph is useful, but do you know where to go from there? Today’s modern tools combine usability with data visibility. Don’t use tools designed a decade ago. As you spin up new services in the cloud or your own datacenter, use tools that give you the most visibility.

1. Reap the benefits of SaaS 2.0.

Be the star who saves your company millions because you adopted tools that don’t require professional services, training sessions, annual maintenance, high-pressure sales, but are just as effective.