This page is intended for small Organisations just considering venturing into the digital world.

It is not intended to be of great benefit to Organisations that already have a significant investment in their own networks.

BUT

It may be of interest and benefit to a small to medium sized Organisation that already has a presence in the digital world that is seeking to develop a stategic plan for their way forward !!

I read today an article in a magazine that listed What you need, why you need it, and where to get it from.

I have taken the liberty of producing it below. It will act as a starting point for this discussion.

WHAT ? WHY ? WHO FROM ?
A Network To enable files, printers and applications to be shared Belkin, 3Com, Dell, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear
Internet router To share your internet connection - most also provide basic firewall protection and some VPN (virtual private network) remote access. Belkin, 3Com, D-Link, Draytek, Linksys, Netgear
Server To maximise file and print sharing and to host applications such as EMail and database servers. Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM, NEC
Small-business server software from Microsoft and Novell
Office productivity Word processing, spreadsheet and presentation graphics are all must haves for the switched-on small business user. Microsoft, Corel, Sun
Security No need to ask - a must-have, with anti-virus protection the top priority. McAfee, Sophos, Symantec
EMail An invaluable business tool - as essential as a phone system, either managed yourself or hosted online. Microsoft, Novell, MDaemon, Kerio, Gordano plus a wide range of hosted alternatives
Accounting package Easier and more professional than a spreadsheet - can save money by filing online. Sage, Intuit, MYOB
Website Your shop window - metaphorically or, with an ecommerce application, literally. Microsoft, Apache or a hosted service
I think that the following two things have been missed !!
One or more PCs The thing that staff use to work on when necessary Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM, NEC
Connection to the Internet An Internet Connection gives you access to the rest of the world
AND
Them to you- where you think it appropriate
Any Telco or Cable Network company

Two thoughts occur to me when I go through the list, well three actually !!

  1. If an organisation is going to the sort of set-up that the list implies, it is going to need to have an IT professional on the staff.
    That and the cost of the Hardware and Software plus salary for the IT staff person is not going to be trivial.
    Do the benefits provide sufficient cash to pay for it.
    The set-up is a very sophisticated, some would say complicated one, there are more simple, less expensive set-ups to be had.

  2. If you look at the "Where from" column, you will see that no single supplier appears on every line.
    In my experience, when a system plays up if you dont have a single point of contact, each one will blame the other and it will be purgatory to resolve the problem.

  3. I need to go through the an alternative suggestion to that presented by the table above.



WHAT ? WHY ? WHO FROM ?
One or more PCs The thing that staff use to work on when necessary Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM, NEC
Connection to the Internet An Internet Connection gives you access to the rest of the world
AND
Them to you- where you think it appropriate
Any Telco or Cable Network company
The first and most simple step is to obtain a PC and a Connection (preferably Broadband !!) to the internet
This page is not complete yet - still more to go in here - will be there soon.