-A quick aside from the author-
Hello everyone, good to be back at the Articles. For those of you who aren’t following our Facebook feed or getting our emails (if you aren’t, I do hope you’ll sign up), I have been occupied acting as a beta tester/analyst of the 2019 release for one of our AV partners. And I’m happy to say I was recognized this year as one of the top contributors for bug detection and usability tweaks. It took time away from writing these Articles but it allowed for me to insure you maintain a good, virus free, 2019. So with that said, let’s jump into our latest post!
We’ve seen many situations we would have preferred never happened. Sadly, many of them stemmed to software companies trying to do a bit more than perhaps they should be doing. That being the case, we thought it might not be a bad idea to start exploring the “IT pie” and who should be doing what.
I’ve said it before, but IT can be related pretty well to the medical profession in that there are different specialties. You might not want a doctor who specialized on your feet to perform open heart surgery on you. It might go ok… it might not. Even if it does go well, it probably wasn’t done quite to the level it should have been. IT works exactly the same. You don’t want a programmer to design your network. And you don’t want me writing your next program (trust me on that one… that program that you currently use and hate is leagues better than what I could write). But for some reason, we see time and time again that software companies think they know what is best for everything outside of their software. Their piece of that IT pie.
So what happens when the software guys start running everything?
It’s not good. On the lesser end, software guys love to turn off a computer’s local firewall (windows computers have them on by default. Mac’s have them and they are turned off by default… because that makes sense?). Is that a huge deal? Not until some computer within your network gets infected. Without a firewall, other computers become much easier to reach out and infect too.
Another popular demand is no antivirus or full immunity from their software being scanned. No antivirus is not a good idea. Telling the antivirus not to scan a program’s install folder means if that program is ever compromised, you’ll probably never know. It’s far better to let the antivirus scan everything and figure out why it detected something should anything be found.
On the disastrous end of things, I’ve seen entire network firewalls shut down and servers placed on the public internet. Disable your network firewall and everything you have becomes pretty easy to target from the outside. Stick anything on the public internet (no router, just a direct connection to your modem) and you’re asking for trouble. I’ve seen it go so far that the FBI became involved and seized servers. This is not something we ever want to have happen to anyone, client or not.
The main point here: It’s not a good idea to let your software team make critical decisions for your network and security.
Now don’t get me wrong here. We have nothing against software teams. In fact, we’d often be pretty lost without them. After all, there is quite a lot of software out there and we only work with a little of it. When it comes to doing more advanced work within the software, we’ll often call the software support group ourselves. Can we typically toy around with something long enough to get it? Sure. Do you want to pay us to figure out how to transfer your software and database to a new server so everything seamlessly works? Probably not when the software team can simply tell us. That is their piece of the pie and we are quite happy to admit we don’t know everything about it.
A Common Misconception
There’s an old saying that goes “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” In other words, the person who knows a little about something is usually believed by the person who knows nothing about it.
Software often comes bundled with the need for hardware. After all, that program needs to be installed on something, right? We’ve seen multi-thousand dollar servers sold to clients which were pretty much the equivalent of a $600 computer with a server operating system installed to it. Or systems with RAID arrays using different brand/speed hard drives (I know that one gets more technical but take my word for it that hard drives within a RAID array should be the exact same model of the exact same brand…). And the sad thing is, these groups often don’t know any better themselves. They are software people who have been told to push that specific hardware and believe it is necessary because they were told to do so.
Another problem we often see is that software support teams are called instead of actual IT professionals to troubleshoot problems which exist past the software. Much software does come with support. The problem here again is that the software team does not know how the rest of the computer works and how to troubleshoot anything past their software. They also often don’t want to admit they cannot handle something. Once the software is running again, the problem is usually declared fixed. We’ve seen this particular issue go far enough that near a decade of data was wiped out from a ransomware attack because the software company was called instead of us. By the time we were made aware there was a problem, it was too late. Had we been called initially, not a shred of data would be lost.
Software technicians can work magic on their programs. Don’t let that fool you into thinking they can do the same with the rest of your computer/network. There is a reason they work as a software technician and not for an IT firm.
What does CCT do then?
A valid question indeed. We have specialties within that IT pie in network engineering, video surveillance, full network/systems management and systems security. These are the areas in which we truly excel and can have things running beautifully.
Does that mean we don’t do anything else? No. We do quite a lot. Websites, for example. Do we make the most drop-dead, stunning sites you have ever seen? Well, no, we aren’t web developers who do nothing but create websites all day long. Do we still make a pretty impressive and professional site for your business? I like to think so. But that’s just one option. We have quite a range of services. You will find from our reviews and reputation that while we don’t explicitly specialize in them, we still do quite well. And rest assured, we won’t offer anything we can’t handle.
For software? While we don’t write it, we are quite good at researching different offers and reading past the sales pitch. We can analyze performance specs and user reviews to help you in finding the best possible solution for your needs. And actually, one of the big areas we look at is support. Like you, we don’t want to call in and wait days to get a response from some technician who is obviously reading from a support manual. We are always here and ready for consultation.
IT is a huge field with many different specialties which all work together to get the job done. The important thing is to realize which area you are working at and let the correctly specialized IT team take care of it. When the right team does it, things run great. When the wrong team does it? It gets bad. Fast.
If you are ever unsure about a problem you are facing, we are a call away and will be fully upfront with you if we are not the right team for the job. Never hesitate to shout. Your success is our goal.