Showing posts from 2014

Managing health and safety shouldn't be difficult

We hear time and again from business owners that managing health and safety is difficult and takes too much time. The fact is, managing this basic business requirement isn't that difficult and when properly organised will take only a little of you or your staffs time.  There are some basics to get right first. These are your obligations under law and are the minimum you must do: Health & Safety Checklist: Take out employers liability insurance. Make sure you display the certificate where your employees and contract staff can see it. Assign a competent person to manage your health and safety requirements. A competent person need not be an outside consultant. Any member of your staff who understands the workplace and the health and safety requirements can be viewed as a competent person. Create your health and safety policy. This is a plan on how you are going to manage your health and safety. Create your risk assessment . This is a list of anything (a hazard) that

Keeping it simple - If it needs a training course it's already failed.

We hear a lot about cloud computing and how it will empower every business, large and small. About how it will change how these businesses work and grow in the future.  While I agree with some of the messages that cloud computing brings, I also see problems with the reality. A lot of cloud applications come to the SME market from the larger enterprise companies and bring with it a complexity that is not needed by the SME. Cloud computing or web servers (or whatever name you give to it) at their most basic level need to just work for the business. The SME typically doesn't have an IT department and can't invest time and resources into getting applications up and running. It usually uses contract staff that come in and out of the business and full time staff fill in for those that are absent for any length of time. For the small or medium size business, web applications bring a promise of increased productivity, flexibility and a cost reduction that they could never enjoy p

Build any application in 5 minutes with no coding needed

Business applications, web or mobile tend to take a long time to design, code and test. They can also cost a lot. Even simple web applications take time and resources which means a lot of businesses either do without or fall back to the age old staple - the mighty spreadsheet. One such example was a local company that built a travel request application - This took them almost 2 months from specification, to design and then implementation . They then had to wait for the software developers to schedule the development. Add in the ongoing support for the application and the costs mount up. And all this for only one app. We set about to change this by building an application builder to give any business the ability to build a form, add in whatever fields required, create business rules around those forms all in something that can have their application up and running in under 5 minutes. But we went a little further by making the forms builder integrate with other applications such as t

Why cloud computing is killing the T in IT

2 days.  That's all it took to migrate our applications and database from our Windows server to Azure and that included some coding to re work the encryption parts.  That's 2 days to go fully cloud hosted. We now have no system admin, we have no database admin. We don't have to keep windows or any other OS patched and up to date, we don't have to monitor the database servers, carry out server maintenance,watch disk space. That's all at an end. What cloud and Azure has helped us do is focus on delivering the application to the customer, which is after all, what our business is all about. We shouldn't be putting money into managing infrastructure or employing teams of IT support specialists. We are now free to focus on the customer and the application and leave all the T in technology to our cloud provider. The question is: What does this trend do for all the IT managers and IT specialists out there? As more and more business moves from on-premise solutions

Eating your own dogfood

There's a term in software or IT and it's called Eating your own dog food, or to put it another way - be your own customer. If you produce a product, be it software or hardware, then you should use it yourself.  I've been a proponent of cloud applications for business for a long time. The reduced costs in terms of licenses, (almost) zero IT costs for support all make the cloud pitch such a big win. You would think that I use it every day. Well I haven't. Yes I use applications on the web every day but most of my life is spent on a laptop along with the necessary local applications such as MS Office and other "traditional" apps. Add in my big hard drive with it's mountain of documents and other files and I'm nowhere near as cloud based as I should. So it's the start of a new year and I am trying an experiment. I'm going cloud. Not only am I using my wonderful apps from Apptimi to manage my day to day business, but I'm also moving eve