Category Archives: Enterprise Resource Planning

Outsourced IT

Years and years of trying to find the right it solution for my businesses has had me doing some amazing and really stupid things.

I ran my own servers from my own data centre for many years – until someone stole a server! Yes, they stole a server. Thank goodness for encryption and backups but I can tell you it was my worst nightmare. Then the Internet got a bit better and we could move some computers to other people’s data centres – better security, better UPS facilities and, dare I say it, better support.

Then it all got way too expensive – charging for bandwidth – chocking bandwidth and the list goes on. Back to my own systems. Well, not exactly, it was a migration from my hardware in someone else’s data centre, to virtual hardware anywhere in the world I wanted it located, with unlimited bandwidth and free upgrades. The downside – well at first there wasn’t one – I had RAM, HDD which they converted to SSD for better speed and many, many processors. The support was first rate and the control was all mine.

Then along came the privacy laws, data protection laws and EU directives – now we had to get permission from people and in some cases governments to be able to host somebody’s personal information outside of the country they were resident in. Mass panic as we moved the data back within the borders almost tripling our infrastructure requirements.

As electronic security got better and the data protection laws were understood, it got easier to have data in one place provided you had all the right security and permissions in place. I now have a full set of IT Infrastructure that is all outsourced, secure and complies with many ISO standards, EU directives and US and UK data privacy laws.

If you want to know more about how we can help you with your infrastructure, help desk, application hosting or data backups, please drop us an email and we will arrange a consultant to give you a call and assess your requirements.

Using a wiki to manage unstructured data in your business

You know Wikipedia – yes it is very structured so why mention it? Actually it is not structured at all. It is a mere collection of information scattered across pages, categories, tags and indexes. The way the data is presented is about as free format as you can expect.

Ok – so maybe it isn’t truly unstructured data but it is unstructured enough to be useful to someone who is trying to manage a bunch of information about their organisation without buying terribly restricting software.

Have a look at MediaWiki – the wiki that Wikipedia uses and have a look at Redmine wiki – it has some additional project stuff attached to it and uses slightly different technology (ruby-on-rails as opposed to php).

The thing about wiki’s that excite me is that within a few minutes you have a publishing platform that can capture anything from your working process documentation to those training videos that are laying around the office. I’ve even seen some resourceful people use them for discussion forums on projects.

I have recently used wiki’s to kick-start the documentation process for the multitude of policies and procedures a company has to deal with. The good thing about his is the automatic version protection with the historical stuff in place. Also being able to protect a page was useful but the most useful thing was the fact that people can change things that are wrong and it is effective immediately within the organisation – it is wonderful. With the plugin to print books I can produce process and procedure manuals at will so those people who still rely on paper to communicate get to be happy too.