Make sure IT departments are up to scratch
But saddling tech professionals with multiple roles might short circuit best intentions
Ahmed Al Zarouni, Special to Gulf News
IT departments should have specific tasks that cannot be mixed and matched – just like it won’t help to bring in a pharmacist for an open-heart surgery
Many think the functions of an IT department are one and the same, and all technicians can perform any function.
You will find a technical support officer assigned to the tasks of systems security, software development, project management, data analysis, systems administrator, database admin, strategy, etc.
These have, unfortunately, caused IT departments to come with the lowest rankings. Thus, instead of working according to a clear strategy and planning, they will be a burden on the organisation.
IT departments should have specific tasks that cannot be mixed and matched – just like it won’t help to bring in a pharmacist for an open-heart surgery.
While IT departments generally oversee the management of infrastructure, they also offer technical services. There are divisions that oversee the development and management of software and apps. Another could be responsible for seeking new solutions and innovations.
A special division handles information security… and this will be the focus of our conversation.
The organisation may not need all these separate functions due to its relatively small size, but certainly, it needs persons specialized in such tasks, even if it is only one person to each division.
The functions of the information security officer are independent and it’s a area that needs continuous effort and follow-up. It is necessary to appoint an information security officer or engineer at the very least, with the task of monitoring and supervising the security and integrity of the systems, monitoring gaps and reports on periodic penetration testing, as well as tracking data traffic and any attempts of hacking, and taking immediate action.
Depending on the size of the institution and its working time, it may need an information security team or at least one manager to contract experienced information security institutions.
The absence of at least one specialized person is dangerous, just as a body without an immune system.
Neglecting institutions’ Twitter accounts
There is no doubt that social media is an important facet. It requires department personnel to access social media, including Twitter, if they are interested in developing and evaluating their services. They should have direct access to the comments, suggestions, strengths, and weaknesses in their administration.
This work shows that the manager is a leader and interested in developing and providing the best services and taking effective decisions. Ignoring public opinion is one of the worst practices any institution can engage in.
We have seen the collapse of corporate giants for this reason, such as what happened with Nokia and others as a result of ignoring the desires of customers. We see many accounts that have been forgotten or not accessed at all by some institutions and managers. This is indeed a frightening indicator.
Buying smart TVs
Buying a television set without applications has become a thing from the past. But people sometimes get confused when buying TVs because companies mislead by branding their products as “smart TV” while, in fact, it uses an unknown operating system with poor applications, an inferior app store, updates are almost non-existent.
In this regard, I will highlight three of the best available systems, the first of which is the Tizen operating system for Samsung TVs. It is the finest TV system and features a majority of apps such as Shahid, Awaan, Netflix, Apple TV, and others.
The second is “Android TV” (the name may change to “Google TV”). This system is made available by a group of companies that misleadingly claim theirs is an Android TV, but in fact, it is a system based on the open-source Android and not dedicated to TV. So you find a lot of flaws.
The best companies that provide a genuine Android TV system are Sony, Philips, Xiaomi, some versions of Hisense, and Toshiba. Confirm before purchasing.
The third smart TV system is “webOS” for LG TVs. It is good in its design.
It is worth noting against the use of basic accounts on anonymous systems such as Android Box devices. Approved devices such as Xiaomi Mi Box and Nvidia ShieldTV should be used for non-smart TVs to benefit from smart TV services.
Get those cable connections done
Today, a house without network extensions is like a house without electricity. There are points that we need to take care of, such as providing an underground “trunk” for the cables within the borders of the house walls for future extensions.
This trunk should be also extended to the roof of the house to install cameras from the top of the house and a network inside the kitchen. It should be also extended to the adjoining and external rooms as well as at the door to install smart bells in the future.
It is necessary to ensure these cables are “Cat 6” or “Cat 7” if the price difference is small.
Some devices, such as phones, computers, smart TV, and other devices need to be restarted from time to time, for several reasons including memory dump and app updates.