When rushing to adopt new proprietary technology in an emergency like now, be VERY cautious of future liabilities, post crisis.

The danger of treating acute pain with morphine is a long term, destructive, expensive addiction...

Many tech solutions are entirely analogous - by design. Their proprietors are delighted this crisis provides an opportunity to sneak past sensible procurement processes.

@lightweight Yes. But sometimes you *will* need to use morphine or some other proven painkiller - especially when the alternative is a crowd of people trying to "sell" you various strangely-looking ingredients and insist that you just get out of the comfort zone, overcome your laziness and roll your own painkiller just like everyone should do to ensure their independence... 😐

@z428 yup. The point is that each person has a duty to those affected by their decisions to be informed, and aware of their liabilities and other options. Most people don't bother raising the shroud of ignorance. And, remember: marketing (like a casino) never works in your best interest. See davelane.nz/marketing


@lightweight Agreed. Yet there are situations in which falling back to "household names" seems the only viable solution, and the *core* (only?) problem being that alternatives are far from being "household names" or even viable products that are available and reliable. Experiencing this with Microsoft Teams at the moment: Introduced responding to the crisis and the need to get close to 40 people to work from home all of a sudden. There were no real "easy-on" alternatives, there wasn't ...

@z428 the real problem is that this was such a shock for so many people. It's not like no one could've anticipated this sort of situation and developed a contingency. Like global heating, we all knew this would happen eventually. It just shows how useless most of our strategic planning and liability management practices are.

@lightweight I think it depends. We're actually (maybe also because of the overal level of digital / remote work in our particular domain) pretty much behind in this field of technology, so until earlier last week, remote work for the vast majority of the staff (except developers, sales and tech support) was *supposed* to be on-site, no one from the actual business team even *wanted* to work remotely for particular reasons, so planning was to consider such options merely for load-balancing ...

@lightweight ... aspects or one or two people working from home then and now in a mid-term future, which is somewhat different than having *all* the staff working from home by tomorrow. 😉

@z428 any business that didn't have a contingency plan for this has poor leadership. Seriously.

@lightweight No. A business that has no contingency plan has a poor leadership. And, assuming a small and "grown" organization, change needs time. You fix your most important issues first and those that are less likely later - but "less likely" doesn't mean "unlikely" as we learn. 😐

@z428 living in Christchurch, NZ (quakes, fires, floods, and mass shootings in the past few years), I know a bit about "less likely" disasters. I also ran an IT company that provided disaster recovery for our customers. We were one of the only ones that kept all our systems up through all of it. (We also built the IT systems for the gov't's earthquake recovery organisation).

@z428 the organisations who were most badly affected by the quakes, in particular, were the ones totally dependent on proprietary software, followed by those employing proprietary cloud services. They were typically out of action for weeks, even after all the local infrastructure was back up and running... Their problems were non-technical, e.g. trying to find access keys, trying to migrate configs ot new machines. The companies with locally-managed open source tech were running immediately.

@z428 the "household names" don't have that status because of the quality of their software. They have it because they have hundreds of billions of $ extracted from exploited customers, some of which is spent on marketing at an unprecedented scale. Sadly, marketing works... because people are oblivious to how ruthlessly they're being exploited. It's a vicious circle... which I'm keen to break.

@lightweight Partially agree. Of course, you're right, marketing and marketing budget matters. But: A lot of wannabe-alternatives are in a rather bad shape, brought up by communities that not necessarily care about requirements such as "usability", "accessibility" or "integration" and spend much more time discussing technical issues, at worst re-implementing complex protocols just because they prefer a different programming language. Marketing *definitely* is a problem, but we're an easy target.

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