The challenge of simple IT: align the needs of the business to the budget, add capability without complexity


Here I am, two weeks into the new year. I thought I’d have more time to write, but I’ve been busier than I thought. So what am I doing with myself? Well, there are always opportunities.

One thing I really miss is consulting. New places, new faces, new problems to solve. I’ve made some phone calls, met some people, had a few interviews. Can I land a job as a consultant, or shall I strike off on my own as I did almost twenty years ago?

Or perhaps I should focus on landing a job with an organization that could use my particular skills: IT management, ERP, business process improvement, saving money while increasing capability, etc. To that end I sent out my one-hundred-and-third job application this morning. I’ve had a few interviews, with a few more coming up. Some tentative offers, but nothing concrete yet. Apparently there are more than a few highly-skilled but laid-off IT workers in the pool.

I have to be honest – I feel strange these days. I’ve never been laid off or fired in my entire career. It’s not a comfortable reality. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly how I feel; it changes moment to moment. Certainly anxiety is always present, underlying every decision I make and every dollar I spend. Yet so many of my friends and co-workers have been through so much worse, what right do I have to complain?

So I’m trying to make the most of it. Brushing up my skills at Codeacademy and Khan Academy. Working my LinkedIn network. Catching up with old colleagues.

Oh, I almost forgot. I didn’t quite manage to harpoon the whale. The last few weeks of my employment were a blur of project handoffs, documentation, last minute work and twelve-hour days. The all-on-one online backup and site-to-site synchronization solution proved as elusive as the famous white whale.

I ended up selecting two different solutions. I picked Crashplan PRO for online backup and got it up and running. It took about ten days to seed 500GB of data to their servers from ours. I also piloted a few laptops with the Crashplan client. Overall the interface is informative and functional and the retention options are outstanding. I liked it so much that I’m running it at home.

Site-to-site sync didn’t quite make it in time for my departure. We accomplished an initial seed over a weekend using robocopy. We picked GoodSync as our preferred solution, but my role in that saga ended on December 14th, 2012.

Back to the present. I’m doing some engineering work for a friend who’s running his own MSP business, and I’m preparing for a couple of big interviews. But most of all my wife and I are getting ready to go to Puerto Rico next week. Number-one son is getting married and I can’t wait to enjoy a change of scenery!



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