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How to approach a company-wide upgrade

I need some advice concerning the upgrade of a company's computer systems. Assume a company is a traditionalist in information privacy, security and the application of new technologies.

[1] How you would approach the upgrading of systems and what would the process entail?

[2] What hardware requisition would provide the kind of environment that the company has always operated on while blending into the new technology age?

[3] What software is necessary to ensure that they can operate in this secured environment?

[4] How might the new data processing department be set up, taking into consideration that the business is now poised to embrace the Internet fully?

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What you are asking for is a complete analysis and redesign for your business, without giving this consultant much to work with. This is not the type of question that is appropriate for "Ask the Experts." It very much sounds like you need to hire a consultant that understands Business Process Re-engineering, as well as network and security architecture. You probably won't find one person that offers all those skills, so you should look to hire a firm that not only has management consulting skills, but also network engineering skills and network security skills. That way, they can put together a team that can help you the most.

This was first published in June 2001

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