Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Today's Video Interview @ CLA

I rarely get asked to do video interviews.  In fact, today was only the second time!

While at CLA Dallas 2011 I was asked if I'd help Azusa Pacific's online course development team by answering a couple of questions in a video interview.  Are you kidding me?!! Of course!

The two questions were IT related.  Here they are along with a summary of my response:

Q:  What types of internal controls should ministries make sure they have in place related to information technology?
  • In addition to current firewall and anti-malware solutions, their networks should be configured to lock accounts after a number of unsuccessful login attempts.   This helps protect against hackers and bots.
  • Passwords
    • Contrary to popular belief, requiring that passwords be changed every 60-90 days in ministry settings actually lowers security.
    • Passwords should be at least 7 characters long and include at least one of each of the following:
      • Lowercase letter
      • Uppercase letter
      • Number
      • Common punctuation
  • Data should be organized in departmental folders that are only accessible by those with appropriate roles within the organization
Q:  When should an organization consider purchasing new accounting and database software?
  • Most ministries change their software for the wrong reasons.  A couple of the most common wrong reasons are:
    • The current software doesn't meet 100% of our needs.  The mistake people make is believing there are 100% solutions available.  That is a myth; 100% solutions do not exist.  If you can find one that meets 80%, that's good!
      • Regarding the percent of needs not met: if possible, adapt your business practices to close the gap rather than requiring the software to close the gap.  The organization will have a much higher likelihood of being happy with their software.
    • The solution is too complex.  Investing in training, which is a lot less expensive than changing software, will likely overcome this issue.
  • The two most appropriate reasons to change are:
    • The company has gone out of business or has been bought by a company that will no longer support the solution.
    • The ministry has come to recognize needs their solution cannot-- and will not within a reasonable time-- meet.  Before pulling this trigger, however, contact the current provider to see if they already meet the need (and you just don't know it) or if they are planning to within a reasonable timeframe.
That was fun!  But was my nose too shiny?

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