Developing a Solid Technology InfrastructureYou should hear voices. If you can’t hear anything, check thatyour computer volume is turned up and un-muted, and the “UseMic” radio button is selected. Or you can use a phone to listen tothe same audio by calling XXXXXXXXXXXX.
Logistics: Audio Via PhoneSpeakers not working? Prefer the phone? Dial in: 773-945-1010 257-723-187 (If you can’t see this panel, click the “Show Control Panel”Choose “Use Telephone” button)
Logistics: Ask QuestionsAsk questions! Otherwise I’m speaking to a black hole! Click to open the chat window Raise your hand and I’ll unmute you Not hearing anything? Call 773-945-1010, access 257-723-187
Having Trouble?You should hear voices. If you can’t hearanything, check that your computer volume isturned up and un-muted, and the “Use Mic” radiobutton is selected.Or you can use a phone to listen to the same audioby calling XXXXXXXXXXXX.
Staff Shouldn’t Be Sharing ComputersBuying fewer computersmight save a tiny bit ofmoney, but it will waste ahuge amount of time.
You Should Buy Staff New ComputersNew computers aren’t soexpensive. And havewarranties.Old computers = oldproblems. And lots ofsetup time.Refurbished could makesense for client facingcomputers
Laptop or Desktop Computers? Laptop: vs. • Mobility • Modularity Desktop: • Value • Durability • SecurityThe Bottom Line: Desktop unless mobility is paramount
Don’t Buy More Than You NeedAim for mid-priced computers Prioritize memory over hard drive space Resist upgraded sound and video Computers aren’t a long term investment
Mac or PC? Mac • Beloved by designers Mac vs. • Some cheaper software for design and video editing PC • Much cheaper • Easier to find support • Easier to network and run in a business environmentThe Bottom Line: PCs unless you are doing design-heavy work
How Long Does a Computer Last? 2 to 3 years 2 to 4 years
What Kind of Replacement Cycle? In bulk Ad-hoc• Simplifies planning and • Smaller outlays of budgeting. cash• Foster consistent • Allows for purchasing infrastructure. flexibility.Can make sense for larger Often convenient for smaller orgorgs
How Many Printers Should You Have?Rule of thumb: But yes, it depends:1 Per 20 • How fast are the printers • How much do you print?People • How spread out is your office? • Is there a need to keep a privacy firewall between staff members?
Your Printers Should Be NetworkedThey should beconnected to the networkrather than a computer.That way, they can becontrolled by a server andshared by many. And one network printer costs less than many individual printers.
Inkjet or Laser Printers? Inkjet • Cheaper to buy printer • More expensive to operate vs. • Slower than lasers • Lower printer quality Laser • More expensive to buy • Cheaper to operate • Faster than ink jets • Better print qualityThe Bottom Line: Choose a laser printer over ink jet.
Other Printer Considerations• Q: Color or Black & White? A: B&W unless you frequently Black & run out to make color White copies• Q: Wired or Wireless? A: Wired. Wireless is unlikely to be worth the extra expense Look into duplexing and make sure you factor in toner prices
Do You Need Other Devices?Scanner Fax Machine Copy MachineA single scanner (if Can you use online How frequently doany) is likely to be replacements, like you need copies youenough eFax? can’t make on the printer?
You Need Phones Reliable phones are absolutely mission critical
VoIP vs Plain Old Telephone Service Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) uses tradition telephone company lines for phone service. VoIP uses Internet technology for phone calls. Cable companies often provide VoIP phone service.
PBXsPrivate Branch Exchange:• Let you have more phones than phone lines• One organizational phone number• Centralized voicemail• Easy transfers within office If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
New Phone System: Don’t Go It Alone Hire a consultant to help with: • Selection and planning • Installation • Configuration and maintenance
Mobile Phones Only give out mobile phones if the need is clear.If you do…• Develop a usage policy. Communicate it clearly• Consider smartphones• Get insurance
Overall Hardware Replacement Cycles 2 to 3 years 4 to 5 years Less frequentMore frequent 2 to 4 years Until you tire of it
Networking Can Seem Scary How Do I should need a we server? connect to theWhat about backups? Internet? What What about should we sharing do about files? security?
How Should We Connect To The Internet?Internet Access• DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)• Cable modem• Higher-end (T1, fiber, frame relay…)
Do You Need a Server?• Servers can centralize file storage and printing.• Servers can control user access to files and printers.• Larger organizations need more sophisticated servers. Consider a server if you have two or more staff.
Do You Need a Firewall? Firewalls: • Hide machines on your network from the Internet • Keep malicious information from reaching your network. You need a firewall
Do You Need a Router? • Robustly connects multiple computers and printers • Let your network “talk” to the Internet. The router and the firewall are often the same device. You likely need a router. But you don’t need to spend a ton -- just look for something well reviewed
Do You Need a Switch?Each network deviceplugs in to a port on theswitch.On smaller networks, therouter, wirelessrouter, firewall and switchmay be the same device. You don’t need a switch unless you find yourself running out of ports.
How Can I Give People Remote Access? Cloud-BasedApplications and File Storage GoToMyPC Remote Desktop Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Thinking About Backup• What should I back up?• Which backup software should I use?• Where should I store backups?• How do I know my backups work?
Backup Methods A CD in your sock drawer is not a backup method Can back up to: Flash drives Cloud-based storage Hard drives Tape
Cloud File Storage Can Be A Great OptionFile storage, remoteaccess and file backupin one solution. Butget vendor assuranceson security andaccess/ownership Caveat: You need a reliable Internet connection
Productivity SoftwareYour staff need software Microsoft Officefor word-processing andspreadsheets to do theirwork Open Office or Libre Office Check out TechSoup for huge discounts on Microsoft products
Email and CalendaringMicrosoft Outlook (and Exchange) Google AppsGoogle Apps can be a very interesting and viable option
CollaborationDo you need software to help you manage projects or collaborate? Project management tools? Google Apps Collaborative documents or wikis?
What About “Cloud” Software?Rent access to a systemrather than buyingsoftware.You access it via a webbrowser, and thevendor maintains it.It’s likely as secure asanything you have onsite.
Pay Attention to VersionsIf all are using the same software version, they’re much easier to support
Keep Up With UpdatesMake sure all staff areup-to-date with securityupdatesLarger orgs shouldconsider tools to “push”updates out to everyone
Make Sure Your Software is Legal Understand your software’s licensing Track software installation and license count. Licensing violations can be expensive
You’ll Need Humans to Support All This! Someone needs to: • Help your staff with questions or problems • Troubleshoot technical issues • Make sure software updates are installed • Make strategic decisions about new investments • Purchase new hardware when needed
Reduce the Support NeededIf you don’t have IT staff, plan your tech to reduce support • Keep infrastructure simple. • Use hosted (cloud) solutions where feasible
Should You Do It Yourself? Outsource your help Outsource strategy desk but keep but have someoneHire staff to Outsource strategy in house in-house to help staffhandle all IT the entire IT functions function Hire consultants A director is for specific, point responsible for projects decisions but all work is outsourced
When Should You Hire?Think about IT staff when:• Staff requires regular, on-site support• Complex IT or software infrastructure• Organization is growing• Vendor management is a key issue
When Should You Hire A Consultant?Consultants (or long-termvolunteers) can be veryuseful to• Setup and implement new systems• Provide scheduled support and maintenance• Provide remote help- desk support• Help with short term projects Contractors can complement regular IT staff
When Should You Outsource It All? You can hire firms that will take on the entire IT function. When does this make sense? • You have little tech experience in-house • Technology is not a strategic advantage • You need lots of specialists