Ethical IT

Ethical:IT

IT solutions without bias.

Every small business is told that they need a USP (Unique Selling Point) to differentiate them from the competition…well our USP is that we don’t do any selling!

We need our clients to know that we do not gain financially by choosing any particular solution for them. If we buy goods and services on their behalf the original supplier invoice is always provided and we pass that cost through without any mark-up. The price our clients pay is the price we pay. (Plus we often negotiate substantial discounts on their behalf.)

We do not hold any commercial 3rd Party relationships with any other IT vendors that could potentially introduce or be perceived to introduce bias into any IT choices we make for our clients.

We always seek to simplify IT installations and where possible create self service fixes for common problems.

We are not “Gold Partners” “Certified Providers” or “Agents” for any other companies.

With this approach our clients know that our only focus is their business goals.

 


Putting our clients in charge

We view the practice of some IT providers of holding client data and intellectual property as collateral for continuing business as unethical. We encourage our clients to own outright in their name, capital items and items that are critical to the Intellectual Property associated with the business. (i.e. web hosting, domain registration, etc). We advocate back-out positions and portability of data used in applications to prevent vendor lock-in.

We are also critical of the (usually) unintended consequence of tool dominance. This happens when a business buys an IT solution to solve an operational problem. However after implementation the client discovers they have to substantially change their methods of working to accommodate the needs of the new system. This happens usually as the result of a bad combination of sharp selling practices and inexperience at procuring IT solutions.

If you have ever purchased an IT solution and felt misled by aggressive sales techniques then we think you would appreciate our approach to identifying and implementing IT solutions, starting with your business goals. With our experience we are able to challenge the claims of IT solution providers and to understand what are the real outcomes of a proposed system. Through a thorough understanding of current IT solutions and a combination of Requirements Engineering (RE),  business analysis, gap analysis and systems practice, we seek to fully understand the needs of the business and expected outcomes of any system before and during the procurement phase. With this approach our clients stay in charge, are able to make better informed decisions and have outcomes that are closer to their expectations.

 


No surprises – keeping our costs in check

We do not “run the meter”. Clients are only billed for actual work done. Times, dates, hours worked and work activities are always shown clearly in our invoices. We will agree expected levels of work beforehand and will always seek your approval if for some reason we think we could exceed them.

We do not charge premium rates for working weekends, overtime etc. (i.e. no incentive to work on a Sunday v’s a Monday) We charge either a flat hourly rate, day rate or half day rate depending on client preference.

We are contactable outside “office hours” because we know that small businesses do not just operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm…and neither do we!

 


Discretion and trust

We become involved in many aspects of our clients businesses and frequently have to see and access clients  personal  and confidential data. We are also often involved in discussions with clients about business and personnel changes long before they happen. We treat this confidentiality with the utmost care, respect and privacy as a moral obligation way beyond the requirements of legal acts like the 1998 Data Protection Act and the incoming General Data Protection Regulations. (GDPR)

 


We make it easy to get rid of us!

We know this sounds a bit strange, but we also know that the businesses sometimes have to make changes and for one reason or another our services may no longer  be required. So we aim to make any potential transition as easy as possible by continually documenting all aspects of our customer’s IT environment in an IT Manual which is held by the client. We are also willing to work with companies to ensure a smooth transition. We do this for the following reasons;

  1. We do not hold clients data, information or knowledge hostage in return for continued business. We believe that the client should always be able to put his/her hand on data that is critical to the operation of their business.

  2. We respect the sovereignty of  our clients to make operational decisions in changing economic environments. (Take-overs, outsourcing etc.) and that respect flows through to the desire to make any IT transitions as smooth as possible.

  3. It keeps us on our toes, knowing that we can easily be replaced.