08000 433 006 james@cloud-genius.com

Why Technology Should be Boring (Salesforce)

Most people don’t want to live on the bleeding edge.

When the pioneers were landing on the Americas and exploring new frontiers, life was exciting.

There were herds of wild beasts that could trample you, new peoples who might want to kill you and so on.

Similarly, in the early development of the steam engine and the internal combustion engine explosions were not uncommon.

On the IT frontier, I have to admit to be excited by technology. My first computer arrived as a solder-together kit. It could lose all its data if it was wobbled in the wrong way.

Most people don’t want to live like that. It is not a good way to do business.

It also explains why so many NHS computers were still running Windows XP, which allowed them to be attacked by ransomware. (It’s a bit more complicated, but…) They were not on a more modern operating system because upgrades break stuff. (See below…) Some IT companies like that sort of thing… it is exciting helping customers out of a fix and they generally appreciate it.

BUT

People want their homes to be safe.

They want their public transport reliable (and safe).

Safe cars? To quote the Simpsons ‘unexplained fires are a matter for the courts’.

The point of all this? Salesforce has just performed a major upgrade.

What has it broken? Nothing!

What was the disruption like? There wasn’t any.

What incompatibilities has it introduced? Erm… none?

Boring Salesforce. I did notice it was slightly quicker. There was a slightly different signing-on animation. There will be improvements, that I will have to check over before rolling out to clients. But, everyone is on the latest version with its improved security. No cavalry riding to the rescue, just business as usual.

Ensuring that disaster recovery is not a DISASTER

Everything goes wrong.

It’s obvious but many of us work as if our IT equipment is faultless. That it will never go wrong. We act shocked when all the information that our business requires to operate disappears with the failure of a hard disk or a USB stick or a theft. This normally means the end of the business, too.

So it is refreshing to know that some IT suppliers take a sensible approach.

For instance, here is a recent email from Salesforce.

What is a site switch and what action is required to prepare?

Each Salesforce instance is built and maintained in two geographically separate locations. An instance is actively served from one location (the active site) with transactions replicating in near real-time to the other completely redundant location (the ready site). During a site switch, we swap the locations of your ready and active sites; the ready site becomes the new active site and vice versa.

So if one of their data centres fails you continue working based of another data centre.

None of your data is stored on your computer, so a theft does not matter.

If only everything in life was as reliable as Salesforce. (And when it fails it still keeps on working!)

As I say to our customers: if two data centres fail, you probably have even more important things on your mind than your data.