- This comment has been censored and removed due to the pending revocation of the 1st Amendment.
So with all the recent fuss over AI and some respectable folks being scared to death of it, I happened to stumble on this great article on waitbutwhy:
It's a long two parter, but well worth the read. If you want the tl;dr part, skip to part 2 and search for "Robotica". With that in mind, we're going to end up with a planet of mile-high stacks of Magic: The Gathering cards.
So there's a small subset of IT managers out there who get stuck with lousy budgets. I do a bunch of consulting and get into different businesses and some managers play a game:
Step 1: ask for a bunch of money as a capex expense to migrate servers. Let that request get denied.
Step 2: do it again the next year. Let it get denied again.
Step 3: wait until it's absolutely critical - show management articles on the pending doom that will happen - request a lot more money.
Step: Use all the extra money on all the extra IT projects they can't otherwise get approved easily.
I saw a large site that had a lot of XP workstations and the IT manager didn't push too hard to get Windows 7 licensing. Right before XP went out of maintenance he got a large expense approved to not only upgrade to Windows 7 but to actually replace all of the workstations. I saw the same thing with Windows 2000 and a company using that as an excuse to get into virtualization and purchase all that hardware.
First off, backups are the solution to this - don't let important things be stored locally. (Not that it matters, the new hires always like to reinvent the wheel.)
However, a bunch of things need to be solved from an HR perspective. You need to make a checklist for HR on how to handle IT things. Things like, "Get the PIN code to their iPhone" or "Make sure social media accounts have documented passwords" that'll make your life easier.) Basically you have 6 different situations:
- Senior/Upper Management - resigns - be nice. If some knowledge might be needed later, HR should have a policy to hire that person on a consulting/1099 basis if needed. Even if they're disgruntled, it should make them happy to hear that. Treat them with respect, cut off IT access as early and quickly as possible, but realistically that probably means their last day. Get their laptop and phone (if its not BYOD) their last day and check and double check accounts (VPN, Dropbox) they might have set up.
- Senior/Upper Management - fired - be careful. If you're terminating senior management and they've been there a while, you need to specifically ask HR if they're going to be malicious. They probably won't (I've never run into it), but cut off account access immediately and redirect emails to somewhere appropriate. Tell HR that severance needs to be withheld until you know things are ok if you think it's appropriate.
- IT staff - resigns - be nice. I always like to try to treat them like I would senior management. I've hired many a former employee on a 1099 basis later.
- IT staff - fired - be paranoid. Ok, this is where you do everything BEFORE HR sits down with them. Accounts cut off, especially remote access, change admin passwords, etc. Have them go clean something the hour before you all them in and quietly take care of it all. When a regular employee quits, you don't worry about them walking into the lobby later with a laptop loaded up with vSphere Client and wirelessly deleting VM's. Check backups.
- Staff - resigns - be nice. If you can handle the situations above, you can handle this. I agree with the other post about cutting off access as quickly as possible - take away shared Inboxes, etc.
- Staff - fired - be careful. Get the laptop and phone, turn off access.
I remember working with a telecom guy who installed a campus wide fiber network. When he was terminated I was slightly concerned he was going to take a pair of boltcutters to a fiber ped.
I disagree too. My grandfather died of cancer when I was young and he spent A LOT of time with me those last few years. I look back and I know he did it to pass some wisdom on to the next generation, but unfortunately it's thirty years later and my memory of that stuff is pretty thing. The stuff I remember isn't as much as I want it to be. There were also some things I was just too young to understand and I wish he would have had a way to let me know. I love the book idea above - I really wish I knew what he enjoyed reading. He also had some pretty formative events in his life and I wish I knew what he thought of those.
Now, just be realistic - record these videos late at night after she's gone to bed or in school.
Do you really want more efficiency? Even the simplest technology adoption would help immensely help that group of self-serving luddites. How about using email to mail copies of documents in advance of actual signed copies? How about using electronic records for managing cases? How about sharing information between jurisdictions? How about better surveillance equipment so we can simply have better evidence? WHOA.. wait.. maybe not some of those.. Hm.. maybe this is a slippery slope and you should be careful what you wish for.
If you can't afford to pay for a real solution, you should be prepared to invest an exceptional amount of time in a custom solution, most of which you probably won't bill them for. If they can afford to pay you the proper consulting amount, then they should pay for the right software. If you're willing to dedicated an exceptional amount of time, you can make something like SVN work. To do it with something like SVN - to do the training, to set up the automation, etc - it will likely take WAY longer than you think. And then it will likely fail. Or, it will work and you will be forced to support this until the end of time. If you're getting paid, that's awesome. If you're not, it sucks.
So what I recommend is:
- stay away from this project if they won't pay the right amount for a solution
- kindly recommend that they use Google Drive. It's dumb, it's simple, it provides some extra backup for them for cheap. Let them set it up. (Note: there may be regulations involved that prevent them from using a service like that. IANAL.)