Business IT COVID-19 response

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by elvis, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. scrantic

    scrantic Member

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    Nah some just don't have internet in our case. Got a few people who have prepaid mobiles no data allowance and all sorts of cobbled together solutions so they can use their iPad at home but they have nothing else.
     
  2. Rass

    Rass Member

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    So my team was set up for success by the TL and manager who built the team about a year ago. It was designed to work in a distributed manner. All the staff work almost completely independently with two catchups a week via a fusion of Skype and in-person discussion and a reserved session each day if we need to "brain storm".

    We're some of the lucky ones. Other teams are very high contact and require regular mentoring sessions to do even the basic jobs. Everyone in my team has done at least a couple of days a fortnight work from home since starting, some work mostly remotely because they like to.

    Problems?
    1. Two people live in somewhat remote parts of their respective cities and get garbage xDSL services which can barely cope with voip if the sun isn't having sunspot activity.
    2. Other areas rely on us for advice, and those areas aren't good at working remotely... and tend to want you sitting at their desk as you baby them.
    3. The network isn't stable and has routes which randomly drop in and out, depending on which firewall/core switch/whatever is running as master at that point in time. So now and again, you'll lose access to something important and need to force a change to your vpn endpoint to do something. No-one but the networks team (90% outsourced to .... guess? where's currently on major lockdown?) can make changes to the core equipment..

    My biggest issue is that I don't have enough room on my desk, so I'm going to have to shift things around so everything sits ok and still has room for random pets to snooze on the desk.

    My partner works with a bunch of mouth-breathers who can barely use email, let alone work remotely (even though they are only required to use MS Office Online plus one custom web app), and the part of the organisation is struggling because of this. We've had a lot of conversations about it, and part of me is hoping that those parts of the business will fail because of their incompetence and they'll get the sack. My partner spends 80% of her day currently helping staff to do simple stuff from home. It's pretty much the kind of thing Elvis has described. And these people make good money. Like really good. Their boss is having constant minor meltdowns because she cannot micromanage everyone. So instead, the team has to send regular updates telling the boss exactly what they are working on and get approval to continue.
     
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  3. wazza

    wazza Member

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    This is one of my biggest time sinks when working from the office, and it magically disappears when I'm WFH (and even somewhat disappears when I set my desk phone to DND), I have some users who will call and want me to either stay on the phone with them while they go through the very clear (with screenshots, arrows and highlighting etc) procedure that they use on at least a weekly basis, but somehow haven't learnt how to do - either that or they'll ask that I come and sit with them to go through it, even though again they use it frequently and it's very clearly procedurised to the point a trained monkey could likely do it. When you put a small hurdle in their way, such as having to walk upstairs to see me or call me on the mobile instead of the desk phone, they seem to amazingly be able to do the work without assistance. I do quite frequently tell people I won't help them unless they explain exactly what step of the procedure they're stuck on and what error they're receiving, which more often than not solves the issue, for the same reason that "it always works when you're standing behind me" - yeah, that's because you actually followed the procedure step by step, rather than thinking you remember how to do it but forgetting something essential.
     
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  4. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  5. Myst

    Myst Member

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    Not quite there yet but leading to some exciting possibilities for us in the short term, Cisco SDWAN rollouts over regular residential internet circuits and Cisco Umbrella for Internet / Cloud offload so not all traffic goes over the VPN.
     
  6. Bradzac

    Bradzac Member

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    I bet their tax return says otherwise though.
     
  7. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Member

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    Before all this we actually had a policy, shared by our parent company, that internet in the form of 4g dongles etc will not be provided under any circumstances. If you want internet from the company you hotspot to your work provided mobile. Don't have a work mobile? Get one. That policy lasted all of 4hrs on one day during this covid19 thing after people started asking for them, overruled by our overlords. Mostly it was just for people who didn't have internet at all, until I got one clown Friday afternoon who let it slip that he'd have to work on his own wifi until we could get a dongle working for him. I said what do you mean your own wifi.. Err, ahhh, err.. Yeah I thought so. Most people have been pretty good though.

    Fun part has been getting the 4g dongles. Telstra are out of stock. Mostly we've been having to send people out to buy their own, stock in stores seems to be fine, but corporate purchases direct from telstra.. nope. Then we had the fun of Telstra telling us they could just shift the pre-paid sims onto our business account, then saying, oh no we can't do that. *rage*
     
  8. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    I've got a sneaking suspicion our Telstra bill will be an order of magnitude more wrong that it's usual level of wrongness.
     
  9. Bradzac

    Bradzac Member

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    Do you mean there's a profiteering opportunity for 4gx devices in this current pandemic?!

    Hmm...

    it's a joke people, I'd sooner donate it to someone in need than try and make money off it.
     
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  10. wazza

    wazza Member

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    Our company policy is that at this point WFH is voluntary and you need a suitable environment, including adequate and working internet/desk/security etc, don't have any of that then our offices are still open and you're still able to work from them. Think we've given out 1 4G dongle on the quiet, and unofficially okayed a couple of people to hotspot their mobiles, on the premise that if we end up with massively high mobile data use we'll put a stop to it.

    I've kind of stopped caring about how wrong our telstra bill is - have told them 6mths ago that we're no longer paying *any* of it until they get it right, as at this point over 50% of the bill is wrong and there are things on there that have been billed incorrectly for years (talking in the thousands to 10s of thousands wrong in each instance, not just a few $$) - and they've had many people try to fix the bill but none have done any more than make an insignificant dent in it.
     
  11. chook

    chook Member

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    I wonder how many businesses will suddenly realise the services that IT actually deliver and how much work they actually do? Probably a few for the first week or two then they will just be the annoying people you call when the printer is out of paper.
     
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  12. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I've already seen a lot of heartfelt thank-you messages going out to various IT departments. People aren't entirely oblivious to how isolated they'd truly be without technical hand holding.
     
  13. wazza

    wazza Member

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    I can be a bit of a pessimist sometimes, but I agree - short term they may think "IT saved our asses" but longer term all will be forgotten. Hell look at Maersk, IT Team saves their asses after NotPetya annihalates their business, less than 1 year later and they find out by accident that they're being outsourced to India - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/03/maersk_redundancies_maidenhead_notpetya_rescuers/
     
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  14. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    That's been largely my prediction through this whole thing. Every time someone says "we'll learn so much from this!", my response is that I've seen too many disasters happen where everything was ignored and forgotten 12 months later.

    Bushfires? What bushfires?
     
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  15. bcann

    bcann Member

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    IT is always seen as an expense line, because nobody ever measures the savings they supply, because its not a metric bosses get bonuses on. And once you outsource to a 3rd world, eventually people stop using their services because of how hard it is to deal with them, so problems just fester, but it proves those right that outsource to the 3rd world, look calls eventually go down, so we must be doing something right.... thats of course when shadow IT pops up and shit like notpetya wipe out places due to pisspoor shadow IT practices, which were forced by shortsighted beancounting/bonus stocking stuffers.

    Been there, done that, enjoyed the popcorn and fireworks not long after i left.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
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  16. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    As a business coach said to me a long time ago: "with $4.50 and potential, you can buy a cup of coffee".

    Working for anywhere that is run by bean counters (as opposed to run by business people who consult with their bean counters) is always a nightmare. Selling potential is impossible, but all business is a risk until you get paid after the work is done. Knowing what complex mix of things will bring in the cash is hard, and no one department can figure it all out alone. Finance are no better at running a business in their own than IT. Any place that ignores either entirely, or is ruled by one entirely, is doomed.

    I hope that we'll all learn lessons about remote access, local support, BCP and digital supply chains after this. But I expect we won't.
     
  17. Bradzac

    Bradzac Member

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    Totally agree.

    Here's an anecdote: When I was consulting, the worst of every shit show I walked into were structured so most high level decisions were driven out of a single department.... and it was almost always Marketing.
     
  18. chook

    chook Member

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    I think that it depends where IT reports, to be fair. If they report into the CFO then they are an inconvenience and a cost centre. If they report into a CIO then they are business enablers. I will never again work for a company where IT reports into the CFO.

    There will, as always, individuals who appreciate the work IT does and keeps doing. Organisations as an organisation though, that is questionable.
     
  19. driver

    driver Member

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    No one here can travel interstate now.

    Can anyone recommend an IT contractor in Sydney to do adhoc remote hands? eg gear install & uninstalls.

    Probably more physical than technical work (as that's done remotely).
     
  20. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    If the CIO and CSO aren't (a) equal and (b) also on equal footing to the CFO, run. Run as far and as fast as you can.
     
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