Wants Vs. Needs
I am constantly approached by friends and co-workers who want advice on the tech field. Most of the time their questions end with ‘what should I do?’ While it's nice to know that they want my opinion, I’m always uncomfortable with making their decisions for them. Granted, not everyone is Tech Savy. My reply to them is almost always the same “What are you trying to achieve?” or “what is it you want it to do?.”
Most times it comes back to wanting the best in order to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology. Therein lies the problem, why would you pay more now to have the best, then chances are that within 8 months that technology is going to be outdated. For example, one friend wanted the ‘absolute best in Wifi’ for his house I replied ‘OK’, if you have the money and that’s what you want… go for it. Personally, I don’t need WIfi that could run a Starbucks during rush hour and I certainly don’t want to pay for it.
So where to start? Most of us have tech friends who are more than willing to help. Try asking them how certain things work, ie… switches, routers, Wifi, Bluetooth, etc.
A good starting point is to watch CURRENT videos on Youtube or the platform of your choice. You can always call Multiple Vendors and get their opinions. Please call more than one, that way you can be properly informed. Another area where there is a huge lack of knowledge, the area of infrastructure. By this, I’m talking about cabling.
Almost everybody wants the best, this is smart. Now you have to ask yourself, HONESTLY, what do I really want to achieve and how long am I expecting it to last. Most companies go with Category 6e cabling. They are planning to be around for some time and they’re planning ahead for technology to change. Being realistic, unless you are running a bank, hospital or data center. You could probably get by with a downgrade and save yourself some money. This is accurate with almost all IT issues. A small to a mid-size company doesn’t need to compete with the Big Guys when it comes to technology and chances are, your needs are going to be quite different from theirs.
Just remember to do some basic research. It makes you smarter, it saves you money and before too long, people will be asking for YOUR advice.