IT Guideline for Medium-Sized Enterprises
I often hear directors of medium-sized enterprises lament about IT technology being so complicated and costly. By way of answer I mostly give them the following very pragmatic guideline:
- For the critical applications, such as email and merchandize management, you had best engage a provider who installs the software for you. I, for example, stored my emails for the domain duerre.de (email@example.com etc.) with a provider for storage and processing power. The same is true for my wordpress applications (duerre.de, IF-Blog.de …). This is both economical and reliable.
- Merchandize management is also something you had better not try to do yourself. There are quite reasonable providers. It makes sense, even if it seems to be a little more expensive.
- Try to remain in the LAMP world (Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP) with your own applications wherever possible. You will then be able to do without a “Rootserver”. Instead, you can use the cheap space of your own provider.
- Stick to the OpenSource world standards and shun complex proprietary systems.
- Always use the most simple systems, preferably the leaders on the OpenSource market (for example mediaWiki for your projects and your knowledge, wordpress for your web activities).
- Wherever possible, use “browser based” software.
- Only use applications that are easy to install. Anything that starts out with complications calls for “hands off”.
- Do not let yourself be tricked by so-called “IT experts” and do not have too high expectations concerning automating and security. In this field, there is distinctly a danger of overkill.
- As a client, also consider using Linux or Apple (it also has a Unix core) systems.
- Try Open Office (Neo-Office).
- If there is something you do not understand: try Wikipedia!
- And in general:Always let your business common sense prevail and be wary of your own desires, perfectionism and dangerous advisors.
- Or in general terms: KISS (see also my article on “keep it simple and …?”).
If you deviate from this guideline, you might quickly find yourself facing a complicated and costly situation.
(Translated by EG)
This is my very private guideline for owners of a medium-sized enterprise. The entrepreneurs who are happy with their IT mostly stick to it.