I have been in "IT" for over 50 years – it was called "mechanisation" when I started – and an international consultant for over 40 of them. So it is really about time that I step back a bit and spend some time with my long suffering wife and family. No more 5am starts on Monday morning and late dinners at 10pm on Friday and all the admin at the weekends on top.
So what now? The hope has been that my son Neil will take over but he is a busy man with his own major projects that occupy him full time – and with a young family as well – and thus his takeover will not be in the immediate or near future.
The issue we have been wrestling with is how to maintain continuity both in terms of customer support and future product development.
Alas there will be no long duration consulting projects – unless you are located in the Alps/Rockies or Canaries/Caribbean! I will do my best to handle any short duration appraisal and advice-type projects as they arise.
Our methods and tools are pretty stable, so I will continue to provide support to current users in two ways – our "hot line" will continue to address urgent method and tool problems and we will make a lot of our methodological guidance and training materials available on-line here on the website.
Our methods and tools will continue to be available to new customers but there will be some changes. As far as methodology is concerned much is written down and portions of our publications and training materials, particularly those addressing start-up, will be available via this website – have a browse and give us a call and we will direct you accordingly.
With the Toolkit, it is well documented too, but for software support we will want each customer to acquire and understand the Enterprise version of the Toolkit. This is effectively source code and an architect with a good grasp of Microsoft Office and Visio should manage to maintain a client inventory without too much difficulty.
We've never had a catastrophe but should you have one we will do what we can to fix it.
I'll be continuing to research the technology and come up with new things. My latest idea is to make the Explorer version of the Toolkit run on a $100 Windows tablet – it does now on a $250 tablet, so it just a case of shrinking the database!
So there we are – these are our ideas – let's know what you think and any suggestions will be most welcome.