02
Aug 12

Small Business and IT Outsourcing

Lately, due to the elections I see the word outsourcing a lot. President Obama and Mitt Romney are acussing each other or being big outsourcers.

Politics apart, for small business outsourcing the whole IT department is something to be considered with caution. A business with just a couple employees probably can’t afford a full time IT person in staff, but for 10 or more employees an IT guy is a must.

Sure some parts, and probably most of the IT functions can be outsourced, but having an IT person overseing it all is not only better for resolving problems, but also goes a long way to prevent them.

I have seen  some SB bring back their IT departments after finding out the hard way that response times of outsourcing companies are just not good enough. Having your whole staff waiting hours for your IT support to arrive to premises is not cost efficient, you still pay your employees those hours while your income is frozen, and your clients may loose their patience if this happens more than once.

While for politicians talking about outsourcing is a way to get votes, for business owners it’s a way to save money, a way to save the jobs of their employees. Outsourcing is not evil, it’s just a way to be more efficient to stay in business, but as with everything, too much of a good thing can be bad.


05
Sep 11

Apple restrictions hurting them

There is no doubt that Apple has brought huge innovations to the technology world, but these days Apple seems to be moving from its cool Apple guy mantra to the big bully corporation.

There is already a big portion of iPhone users that are tired of Apple’s restrictions, and this has given birth to a new parallel industry of Jailbreaking and Unlocking , but Apple does not seem to be willing to allow any innovation that does not come from inside their walls.

On the one hand Apple has worked very hard to create this new iPod/iPhone/iPad market and they are not willing to ease their tight grip on the business, and on the other hand users feel the devices they have paid for are theirs and they can do whatever they wish to with them, even though they implicitly signed a users’ agreement with the purchase.

At the end I think the free market (and Android) will force Apple to reconsider their practices or they will be left behind. In less than three years Android has surpassed Nokia, Blackberry and now iPhone in US sales.


05
Sep 11

Fake Apple stores in China

It is almost normal to find replicas of Apple products like this fake iPhone in some countries and on web stores. Last July a new kind of replicas were made evident by a blogger living in China: Fake Apple Stores!

These stores located in the city of Kunming were so carefully done that it was difficult to tell them appart from the real ones, if not for the fact that Apple does not have any authorized retailers in that city.

After this issue became viral, the Chinese government ordered the stores to close, but why were the stores allowed to open in the first place? It is not like they were small shops that could be overlooked.

China has been named one of the worst countries in copyright theft prevention for several years in a row, even though their copyright laws are very similar to the ones in the U.S. It is clear that at least for now, complying with these laws is not a high Chinese priority.

Sources

BirdAbroad. “Are you listening, Steve Jobs?.” BirdAbroad. N.p., 20 July 2011. Web. 5 Sept. 2011.
< http://birdabroad.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/are-you-listening-steve-jobs >.


30
Aug 10

What you need to do after firing the IT guy

Been a good IT employee requires you planning for you not been there. An accident, illness or an alien abduction can happen any moment. You need to plan ahead of time for this as part of your disaster recovery plan.

A good IT guy should document procedures, passwords and all he does so that who ever replaces him can take over the job.

Owners should request this as part of the IT guy duties, but medium and small businesses frequently miss to take care of this before hand. More often than not employers find themselves in hot water when they decide to fire the IT guy. They fear he could take revenge. They may be right.

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