• How “The Flash” Taught Me a Lesson in Information Technology

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    Being a fan of the CW’s “The Flash”, I am quite intrigued by this whole multi-dimensional world idea. I mean, if there are already 52 different portals leading to different dimensions in Central City alone, then how many must there be around the rest of the world? The thought of that is pretty cool, but what sucks is when the realization hits that our dimension somehow wound up without superheroes.

    I’m not quite sure how it happened, but apparently we wound up in a universe where the only superheroes are inside the pages of comic books (or their various movie or TV counterparts). What kind of insult is that? All of these other dimensions have awesome heroes like Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman and even Superman (at least were are not on the earth with Ultraman and Owlman), yet in our world we end up with squat. Or, at the very least, average people who stand up to be something greater than they are.

    A Pragmatic Approach to Information Technology

    The question I have in regards to “The Flash”, however, is one of a more pragmatic nature. Now that season 1’s Harrison Wells is gone and he left S.T.A.R. Labs to Barry, who exactly is financing the team? Oliver’s team is obviously funded, but for Barry’s? Who is paying for Caitlyn and Cisco’s salaries, so they can afford all that coffee they drink? Side note: it’s actually amazing that they aren’t all connected to the Speed Force considering the amount of caffeine consumed on that show. I guess, regardless of who is paying his salary, it’s nice to have Cisco on the team, because they use a lot of tech and you know something is going to break sooner or later. And how do they keep all their files and information secure? What do they use? What is their backup plan if an equipment malfunction lets out all the prisoners they have in the basement?

    I guess they could call Felicity over in Star City, but that seems a bit of a stretch considering she is running Team Arrow AND Queen Industries/Palmer Tech as their CEO. As awesome as Felicity is, she is only one person and cannot be in two places at once (unless, of, course they go and get versions of her from different worlds, bring all of them to her and hope that they are all tech geniuses). This is a bit of a stretch, even for the multiverse theory, but it leads to an important point for companies out there that are too small for their own, fully functioning and fully staffed IT department.

    Is a Single IT Tech a Good Investment?

    The world of information technology is becoming more complicated and specialized every day. The varied technologies out there, the expectations for people to be able to help with any device created/purchased, the general unwillingness to stick within the recommendations of said IT staff, and the constant desire for corporate profits all lead to one massive problem for smaller, growing companies. How can they stay competitive yet have all they need to be successful?

    Think about it from this perspective: to hire a single IT guy into your company, you are looking at a starting salary range somewhere between $30,000-$60,000 depending on their experience and specializations. For example, do you need someone specifically to manage your Microsoft Azure SQL server? Or just someone to reset passwords for you? On top of that you have the additional costs of the benefit package, insurance, paid time off, etc… And then what if you do hire that Microsoft Certified high-end tech and someone in your office goes out and purchases a Mac suite? Regardless of how much experience one person has, they are only one person and cannot be logically or reasonably expected to be fully versed in every type of tech (let alone all the different programming languages).

    This Issue Exists in Other Areas, Too

    For many years, I worked in the world of website development and had to face this same issue all the time. “Can’t I just get one web guy to do my website for me? Why do I have to pay for a team approach?” The simple answer is this: do you want a creative designer who has an artist’s skill set and mindset writing programming and mathematical code on your site? Of course not. So why would you want to have a highly qualified SQL programmer climbing through your drop ceiling to run wire? There is no way they can do both jobs with the same proficiency and efficiency. That would be the same as asking Oliver Queen to actually show up for work all day in the office. By the way, the same is true for both situations: either hiring an IT guy on your staff or outsourcing to a one-person IT firm.

    The solution is clear and simple, especially for the small to mid-sized businesses that can’t afford to waste money: outsourcing your IT to a firm of multiple tech specialists is the best/cheapest/most profitable way to get the support for the variety of needs and technologies your company has. By utilizing a multi-staff firm, you are able to take advantage of skil lsets of numerous individuals while only paying for the level of support you need.

    Making the Best Information Technology Decisions for Your Business

    Qualified experts will be able to help you budget for expected and unexpected needs while offering timely service, leading you to a strong infrastructure for your information technology. A firm that knows what they are doing will help you see things from a business perspective and be able to see the finances involved and the profitability of smartly using technology. They will be able to respond in short order to pressing needs and can be a vital cog that keeps your business running smoothly.

    I am certainly not saying that every IT company is perfect; as shown earlier even Batman and Superman have their own bad counterparts. For the sake of your business, you need to research, interview and review potential IT firms in your area to ensure you are hiring one worth their salt. A good decision there will lead you up, up, and away. A bad one, well… let’s just hope you don’t end up in Iron Heights Prison (yes, a bad IT decision or firm can lead you unknowingly or unwittingly to illegal practices that will get you caught and you will be ultimately responsible).

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