The way we work is evolving – ever more applications and tools are being added to the knowledge workers arsenal. Trello, Slack, Teams, Hangouts, JIRA, Confluence, Office365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, DropBox - the list feels endless and that's before mentioning any industry or profession specific applications. Each user has an identity (or user account) on each of the applications. A typical small business with 30 users may be using just 5 different applications and this results in 150 individual user accounts!

We’ve all seen the media coverage of the latest ransomware attack – not least because it hit one of the UK’s biggest institutions – the NHS.  Headlines have focused on operations being cancelled and hospitals sending patients home.  So what was the attack, what damage did it do – and should you be worried?

Last week the team at Intrepid went to see modern day philosopher, author and leadership guide Simon Sinek speak in central London. We’ve always been interested in the way Sinek views todays' workplace and what he has to say about modern human motivations for choosing a career path and company.

We’re celebrating a month in our new offices!  We moved into The Office Group’s Euston space in April, and we’ve really enjoyed being a part of their collaborative workspaces.  It’s a great creative environment, and being able to network with other new businesses and companies has been a real benefit.  We’re even able to bring the Intrepid mascot, Milo into the office to help with HR!  If you’re passing through Euston, pop in and say hi!

Intrepid have moved!
 
Over the past 6 months, the Intrepid team have outgrown our office base near Aldgate, and as part of our continued success, we've relocated to new, modern office facilities next to Euston station.  Perfectly situated for our clients across London and the South East, the new offices provide a base for our fast growing team of consultants, software developers and IT support engineers.

One of the newest members of the Team is Alexander Smith who has joined us as Senior Systems Engineer from Endava.  With over 20 years’ experience in IT, most of which spent working on Microsoft operating systems and networks, Alexander’s primary focus will be to help maintain and improve the physical and virtual infrastructures of both Intrepid, and our clients.  We’re really excited to have him on board.
 

The tech world has been ablaze this week of talk of AWS’ 5 hour outage on Tuesday.  The failure of their S3 buckets in the US-East-1 region left a range of hugely popular websites completely inaccessible, including some of those we use here at Intrepid, such as Trello and Slack.  Whilst we have workarounds, for some companies, having such a widespread outage in one region meant that all their internal systems stopped working, and businesses were stranded for the duration of the failure. 

This is the first time that a major ‘cloud’ outage has created such widespread disruption, and with it, the first real signs of negativity about hosting in the cloud.  Businesses nowadays are being told that being totally cloud hosted is the lowest cost, most effective, and most secure way to go, but are not necessarily fully aware of the security and uptime constraints.  

In the age of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and a more tech savy workforce, IT managers are facing new challenges.  Shadow IT is the term used to describe technology and online solutions a workforce might use that aren’t approved or controlled officially.

Almost all companies struggle with Shadow IT in some form another.  Once companies open the door to cloud based solutions, employees increasingly have the technology know-how and skill set to exploit the situation to use those personally preferred solutions that may be perceived as ‘easier.  The ‘democratisation’ of IT services mean that IT is no longer a mystical world accessible to only a few, and the growth in experience of ‘cloud’ based services for personal use means that people are no longer ready to accept the IT solutions imposed on them.

One of the most popular posts on our previous site was this piece on how our Managing Director, Alex, uses the David Allen 'Getting Things Done' (GTD) methodology to manage his workflow and processes.  This was originally posted in 2014, but the themes, technologies and techniques outlined below are just as valid today as they were a few years ago.

Getting Things Done

I've always had a desire to master David Allen's Getting Things Done personal productivity system. I first read the book in 2007 and I've had several attempts at implementing a practical solution that works for me.

I found my cognitive capacity was often maxed-out as I found myself churning over stuff that wasn't the actionable, wasn't relevant or wasn't really the current focus. This meant that I was under-performing on the real stuff I was trying to do. I set myself to building a process, combining the productivity tools and applications available to me, which would enable me to implement the GTD methodology in my everyday life.

We were really interested to hear the news last week that Atlassian, the enterprise software company that develops tools for developers, project managers and content managers, had picked up project management tool Trello in their latest shopping spree.

As users of both JIRA, Atlassian’s flagship formal process management tool, and Trello, a lower level but more flexible project management tool for small businesses and consumers alike, this move obviously interests us here at Intrepid, not least because of what it means for process management.

We’ve just launched our new website.  It’s taken a lot longer than we originally planned.  That’s not because we haven’t got great processes, or talented developers or copy writers, but rather because we tried to do it ourselves, and a fundamental truth became apparent.  Clients kept getting in the way!

And of course, that is how it should be.  But it rather enforced the lesson that we constantly tell our clients – you focus on running your business, and let us worry about your IT and software maintenance.  Because when it comes down to it, if it isn’t your core business, it will always slip down the priority list.  And building our own website is rather a case in point.  Over the past month or so, our client priorities have always come first – whether planned or otherwise.  Just as it should be.  But it’s meant it’s taken us a lot longer to get to launch day!

So next time you think ‘I’ll think about upgrading my server soon’ or, ‘I need to making upgrading my hardware a priority’, think about how working with a company whose prime focus is delivering efficient and effective IT or software systems could make your life easier.  And let you focus on doing what you do best – running your business.

As a CIO or IT Manager, you may think you have a sensible road map for the replacement of your hardware and software. However, even the best plans can go awry when one of your vendors suddenly decides that one of your products is going End of Life (EOL).

Your strategy has been designed to maximise return on investment for the capital costs you’ve committed, but all that is swept aside when a supplier decides to stop supporting or maintaining a product.

We’ve seen a rash of these decision lately, as mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies have all taken their toll on product life cycles. So what can you do about it?