Five things meerkats can teach us about business IT


Date: 7 June 2011


This is a guest post from Integral IT, a Yorkshire IT support company.

They’re the friendly faces of a website that frequently gets confused with a financial comparison site. What time they don't spend standing up on their rear legs, they spend sleeping or scrabbling about in holes. And lots of them live in the Kalahari desert.

However, you might be surprised to learn that we can learn a lot about business IT from meerkats too (is there anything they can't do?):

  1. Don't neglect the big picture. In a mob of meerkats (that's the correct collective term), you'll find one on the lookout, perched on a high point to watch for danger in the surrounding area. Similarly, you should ensure that someone in your company has responsibility for making sure any changes to your business IT fit your overall plans.
  2. You sometimes have to hunt for the best nuggets. Meerkats dig around in the desert looking for beetles, spiders and other tasty treats. In the same way, proper research can reveal software, hardware and other IT stuff that makes more sense for your company than the obvious choices.
  3. Keep your options open. A typical meerkat burrow can have 70 exits, giving them plenty of routes to escape from predators or cope with a cave in. The same goes for your business IT: don’t have any single points of failure. Take regular backups and get expert advice on how to keep your data safe.
  4. Ask the experts for help. Meerkats are sociable and live in colonies of up to 30 animals. They even teach each stuff (really – it says so on Wikipedia). In the same way, your business IT will benefit if you don’t try and go it alone. Ask other companies like yours for advice and find an IT supplier you can really trust.
  5. Meerkats aren’t toys. In fact, they're disastrous pets, and like to bite people. The same goes for business PCs. They’re for business use, not for messing around. So you need to make sure nobody does anything that could result in a crash or cause security problems - like installing dodgy software.

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