How Large an IT Staff Do You Need Is there a standard ratio of IT Staff to Total Employees?

groupeI came across a question in the Spiceworks forum asking what should be the ratio of IT staff to total employees. This question reminded me of a conversation I once had with one of my clients. [Read more…]

Getting management approval for small changes 3 tips for convincing your manager that your course of action is correct

HandshakeA colleague called me yesterday and asked for some advice. The organisation that she works for has a small network at the main site (/24 subnet) with a couple hundred users and their DHCP scope was running at around 90% allocation. She wanted to change the subnet to a /23 and increase the scope size.

Their change management process requires management approval, but because the IT manager was on pre-retirement leave, the approval had to go up to the executive level. Justification was shown using the current allocation and historical data on how the network has grown. Still, the executive doesn’t see the need for it, and want further justification for the change.

The executive is not an IT person, but even so, I can’t see why he was blocking such a simple change.

My colleague wanted help convincing the executive. [Read more…]

Why choose an independent consultant over a large consulting firm 4 advantages of the independent consultant

Independent ThinkingI’ve been so busy these past few weeks that I didn’t take the time to write and publish new articles. This sometimes happens when you’re the “chief cook and bottle washer” at your company, and have to prioritise tasks accordingly.

It’s tough sometimes being an independent IT consultant and solo-practitioner. It’s even tougher when many prospects are only interested in hiring the large consulting companies and vendors. [Read more…]

The Value of Knowledge Work The intangibles are sometimes the most important part.

Human head with questionWhen I was working for a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) a long time ago, there was a rule of thumb that sales used whenever they were selling equipment – the service charge should not exceed 10% of the cost of hardware and software supplied. At the time it never struck me as odd, but much later on, at another VAR, I heard that same statement, and I wondered, “How did they come up with that formula?” [Read more…]

What are your goals for IT in 2014? 3 questions to set better goals for IT

goalsThe new year has rolled around again, and most people have gone through their annual tradition of making New Year’s resolutions, and goal setting for the year ahead.

Most businesses and departments would have already gone through their goal setting exercises already (at least those with a financial year ending in December), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t review your goals for the year and make adjustments. [Read more…]

Office Politics can hurt your IT Here's what you can do about it...

Office-Tug-of-WarOffice politics are present in every organisation with more than one employee. And in every instance, it has the power to poison the company from the inside out, killing it slowly.

I’m sure you’ve also seen it happen at the department level – power plays between employees. I’ve seen it before where staff members will not do certain tasks, see issues but will not resolve it, or worst, sabotage efforts of another to make them seem incompetent.

Such negative activities reduce the capability and productivity of the department. And in the IT department, it can be hazardous for your data, which can become pawns in this dangerous game of chess play.

So what can you do about it? [Read more…]

ARM: Breaking Monopolies and Giving Choices

ARM_Cortex_A15_ChipMicrosoft had a virtual monopoly on PC operating systems for a long time. Then high-capacity, low-powered microprocessors powering smartphones and tablets came along and became a disruptive force and changing Microsoft’s worldview. Now Microsoft is struggling to change their business and their model to compete in this new world. [Read more…]

Facts about FATCA How we in the Caribbean are likely to suffer for it!

Business woman working with tax documentsThis morning I attended a breakfast meeting at the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce on the Foreign Asset Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). For those of you who don’t know, FATCA requires foreign financial institutions (FFI) to identify any account holders who are U.S. citizens and to disclose their account information to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). US payers making payments to non-compliant FFIs will be required to withhold 30% of the gross payments from January 1st 2014. [Read more…]

Choosing your mobile web site? Two options to pick from.

Mobile_WebRecent statistics have found that one-fifth of web traffic is viewed from either a mobile or tablet device at the end of the first quarter of 2013. This is double the amount of the traffic at the same period last year, which means more people are browsing the Internet from their mobile devices. It is necessary for websites to be mobile friendly and have content specifically formatted for those devices.

There are two ways to have a mobile friendly site – a mobile website or a mobile responsive site. Believe it or not, there is an argument among web-developers as to the merits of each. [Read more…]

6 Business lessons that I learned from losing weight and you should learn them too!

In shape & moneyAt the beginning of 2012 I was overweight, not by much, about 35 lbs. So I decided that it was the year that I lost weight and became healthier. By the end of that year I lost 15 lbs and thus still overweight.

I reviewed my program and implemented some new processes to help me, and by the end of March (within three months) I lost the final 20 lbs that I needed, and currently maintaining that weight.

This experience has taught me a few things that can be used by businesses to improve and help them reach their goals. Here are some of the lessons I learned. [Read more…]