Is the XY Problem Giving You a Shellacking?

xy problem | | Industry Thoughts

The XY Problem is an issue for every organization — caused by poorly executed problem solving techniques. A person is trying to accomplish X, and they come up with a workaround using Y solution. Little did this person know, the original problem could be solved with relative ease — but figuring out their own solution is more difficult or less accurate.

The XY Problem gives I.T. departments a shellacking because you waste time solving the wrong issue. Usually it takes way longer to solve Y than it does to solve the original problem.

This article will show you how the XY problem can cause issues for an entire business proposition, which would cause major IT headaches (aka, get out of Dodge now!). It will also illustrate the XY Problem as a departmental issue. Finally, I’ll show you a few ways to identify if you’re dealing with an XY Problem. Continue reading

Do We Really Need an Employee Handbook?

employee handbook | | Industry Thoughts

At SmartFile, we’ve always prided ourselves on being a company that was agile and forward thinking. We weren’t afraid to challenge the “it’s the way it’s always been done” system. This philosophy helped us entice potential employees, because they wouldn’t be bogged down by bureaucratic red tape and policy that didn’t apply to most of them.
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Using Chrome’s Net-Internals (chrome://net-internals)

using chrome://net-internals | | General Information

Chrome has tons of tools, for the everyday user and for developers and sysadmins. One such tool is the little known Chrome net-internals application, which is accessible by typing chrome://net-internals into your Chrome browser.

What is net-internals? Per the Chromium Project, Net-internals is a “visualizer for the NetLog event stream. It can be used both in real-time, and also to load up post-mortem NetLog dumps.” Essentially, it’s a real time look at network data, allowing you to download logs and see visuals of network data. It’s often used for debugging purposes.

What network bugs can net-internals help you identify?

There’s several network issues or bugs this can help you identify. Here’s a good list from the Chromium Project: Continue reading

3 Tricks For Cooling a Server Room

cooling a server room | | General Information

Your CEO might not believe this, but cooling down your server room is important. Your servers and hardware aren’t impervious to heat, and if you can’t change the room you keep that hardware in, you might be in for some heat related trouble.

Per Dataroom.com, “for every 18 degrees F above 70 degrees, electronics reliability is reduced by 50 percent.”

If your server room is hotter than a summer day on planet Mercury, then try out these 3 easy tricks to cool down your server room!
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Using VBScript To Restart Remote Network Computers

using vbscript to restart remote computers | | Online Security

For large organizations, occasionally you’ll need to perform a remote restart of all of the PC’s on your network. This could be for a variety of reasons — updates, database crashes and/or security updates. To easily perform this, you can use VBScript to restart remote computers quickly and efficiently.

I stumbled upon this really cool script posting on SpiceWorks detailing how to use VBScript to restart remote computers on your network.

This VBScript that resets remote computes is nice because it gives the user a 5 minute warning. Per the script author, you just list the computers in a .txt files and can restart or shutdown the computers based on the commands you give:

This script reads a text file populated with computer names and performs the remote shutdown command on them. In the script as-is, the computers will restart after 5 minutes (300 seconds), and display a warning to any users currently logged on to save their work before their computer automatically restarts. Of course, the delay and message can be changed, and if you want the script to instead shutdown, replace the “-r” switch with “-s”. Create a text file with one computer name on each line and change the “C:\computers.txt” part of the script to match the path and filename of the text file. — Sam “skrysiak” Krysiak

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You’re Causing File Sharing Related Shadow IT Compliance Risks

unauthorized file sharing shadow it compliance | | File Sharing

Shadow IT is a popular term these days. Shadow IT describes an employee or a department’s use of non-IT authorized or controlled tools. The term has evolved to include unauthorized use of cloud sharing SaaS and PaaS tools, such as personal Dropbox accounts.

Not sure if unauthorized file sharing is a problem? 46% of employees store confidential company data on their own file sharing accounts. Here’s a few questions you should ask yourself:

Can I tell my CEO — confidently — where all our files are stored right now? Who will ownership blame when they find out that our employees are using their own file sharing accounts because we don’t have an easy way to manage and share files?

If you can’t answer those questions satisfactorily, you probably have a compliance risk thanks to your company’s Shadow IT practices related to unauthorized file sharing.
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