Tech JunkyHelp Me Ray!

By: Greg Richburg

“Keep up with technology or else technology will pass you by."  I ended my VoIP article with that line.  The irony behind it can make a grown person cry.   Somewhat similar in fact to the nature of our technical society today, isn't it?  Yet we are still in a rudimentary development, compared to Bradbury’s world.

Don’t get me wrong here, Bill Gates is my hero.  However, I too grow tiresome of upgrade after upgrade.  If your computer network is more than three years old, you are considered to be operating with a dinosaur.  But does that mean go out there and get the latest and greatest super system on the market?  Does that mean go fiber or wireless and structure virtual offices all over, dismantling your corporate headquarters trying to save a buck and still advance production?  I don’t think so.

Don’t over tech yourself!

I just set up a client with a pro-class Sonicwall wireless firewall in his home office.  There, he has an 802.11g 54MB wireless laptop running a SQL contact management database from his server in the corporate headquarters over the VPN.  It then automatically synchronizes with his wireless PDA phone that he takes in his car for virtual access anywhere.  Awesome?  True. 

Being forced to upgrade is one thing, but being forced to develop a multi-tiered technical office infrastructure with all the latest and greatest is not necessary.  Be careful and choose wisely, or modern technology will kick your butt. 

Another client had me remotely configure virtual offices in five cities and through online training classes, teach his employees how to utilize such a system in their everyday practice.  One of his employees was having trouble with his laptop so he mailed it to me in a thin cardboard box, without any padding, with the words written on the box, “Computer, Please Be Careful!"  Needless to say, the laptop arrived practically destroyed from shipping.  This is the same client that I was expected to train how to use a VPN and synchronize a remote database.  There is a lesson here!

Keeping up with the times can often be a difficult task, and it is important to put aside funds to do so.  There are loads of companies out there that offer systems to streamline your workload, maximize your efficiency and save you money.  But the cost to implement and more importantly, train your staff can sink your ship if you are not careful. 

Like Bradbury’s novel, I have seen companies afraid of books, or rather falling behind with their old technology.  And where Fahrenheit 451 explains, the new technology, the television, leads to a whole host of new problems.  Sure it’s fantasy, but we live in it.

Don’t censor your old system.

Advance your network evenly and continuously.  The reality of technology today is this:  if you try to jump too far into the future, your past will certainly haunt you.  Your technological progression should be gradual.  Do it for your employees, do it for the longevity of your organization.  I tell my clients everyday that I would much rather see them spend a thousand dollars every two years then two thousand dollars every four.  It’s that simple.

Beatty, from Fahrenheit 451, said, “[fire’s] real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences."  Upgrades never offer that.  So don’t tech your employees to advancement, but prepare them properly for the times ahead.

Rule for the road:

Develop a balanced ship and avoid the technological leaps and bounds.  With that attitude, growth will come more easily and you will never fall too far, too fast.

Computer Troubleshooting
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