New technology is what our industry is all about. It is the wave that drives us all forward. Without new technology there isn't often a way to work faster, to be more productive, and to do more stuff.
New technology often brings simplification, and now also brings simplification for those installing it. Not only can we give our clients more power, more resources, more options, but the effort needed to make the move is less and less.
So this is all great yes? Well no.....
With technology easier to implement more than ever before there is one aspect that increases. The unwritten assumption that those installing new technology understand that technology. Sadly, there is also more opportunity to wing it, to blag it.
It's more important than even before that your technology partner knows not just how to but why. When things go wrong if you can only follow the instructions, and have no understanding of the history of how we got to this point, then ultimately you will be found wanting.
A great example is telephony, and the move to IP phones. Basically phones are just becoming another device on the network, previously a phone system and an IT system may have shared some cabling but not much more.
So this week a customer’s appointed Telecoms Company installed a new VOIP system. Easily done, just follow the instructions. Give us an IP address and we're off. Well, they were off - as once the phones went in, the applications on the network effectively stopped.
The installers view was this. The current telephone system was 24 years old, so this customer weren’t a great user of technology. So the phones, or rather the network devices used as switches, sold in were the cheaper models. These however slowed the network down by a factor of 10, reducing network speeds from gigabit to 100Mpbs – preventing the line of business application from working.
Ironically, a simple phone call before the off who have identified their assumption, or their lack of understanding, and we’d have saved us all some hassle. Experience and understanding is key, technology may be getting easier to deploy, but what is it you are actually doing again?