Peter Groom's Blog

As a Consultant, IT Assessor, Troubleshooter (and many other names that I have been called) I am asked so many questions about a huge number of topics ... and frankly, I can't remember the answers to all of them. They range from stalled business growth, management or IT turnaround challenges through to people, process and IT & technology requests.

So I thought that I would put them down in a blog, mostly to aid my memory, but if they are useful to someone else then that is great too. That means that these posts list how I solved a particular issue or challenge and although there may be a correlation to whatever someone else is facing, technology in particular moves on at such a rapid pace that my solution may no longer be suitable. If so then please get in touch via the "Contact Peter" tab and if I can help then I will.

Using php and curl to scrape a web page

I often use web scraping code, of which the below is an example snippet, for looking at technology as part of an IT Assessment, Due Diligence or Review. For this post, I am assuming that the latest stable version of php and curl are installed and working. Below is some generic web scraping code that works well for most web sites.

IT Due Diligence, IT Assessment or IT Strategic Review template

Below is a list of areas that I generally cover during an IT Due Diligence process, which can also be known as an IT Assessment, IT Strategic Review or just an IT Review. Personally, I see an IT Assessment as validating an IT Strategic Plan whereas an IT Review is more focussed on the overall IT service & department. 

10 ideas to help with mental health & wellbeing whilst working remotely from home

Working remotely or from home can be lonely so here are 10 ideas that can make all the difference. If you are new to working from home then it can be a big change. Despite being a technologist, I am going to ignore the technology in this post ... and instead, focus on the human aspects i.e. mental health and wellbeing. In particular, I have a list of 10 things to do that will make people feel less isolated in these difficult times. So, here goes:

Installing Docker in a mixed Operating System lab environment

I recently had to help a technology high growth business with the installation of Docker across their mixed Operating System estate. I figured that it would be useful to set up a small environment in my lab, to assist with the process, the inevitable debugging and potentially, the documentation. This post lists the steps that I took and hopefully, others might benefit from it too.

Reviewing the Technology team during an IT Due Diligence assessment

I get asked this question a lot so I thought that I would share my thoughts on this emotive topic. Any suggestions or comments are always welcome so please feel free to add them via the form at the bottom of this page. To be clear, whilst this is a critical aspect of IT Due Diligence, it is only part of the process. In fact, there is another post in this blog covering an IT Due Diligence template, which lists all of the topics that I like to cover as I carry out the assessment.

One pagers for investors can also help with the IT Due Diligence

It is common for entrepreneurs to create a one pager for their business and idea, in order to gain a face-to-face meeting with potential investors, usually venture capital businesses. This is particularly so in the startup or the early stages of a high growth (often technology) business.

Pitching and pitch deck advice from the IT assessor in the room

Let me be up front, I am not a key member of the audience, when an entrepreneur/founder is pitching to a VC or PE fund. However, I have been honoured enough to be invited to sit in on a few of these, so I thought it might be helpful to someone, if I shared some thoughts on what seems to work.

Installing Ansible in mixed Operating System environment

Ansible is a very powerful IT automation platform which can manage significant numbers of devices, from a central instance. Installing this into my Development environment has proven to be highly beneficial, but due to the mix and age of the server estate, it was not particularly straightforward. Below is what I had to do, in order to implement it.

Setting up Selenium automated testing for a default Joomla installation using Python and Chrome

This blog post documents the process I went through to get Selenium running on a headless Linux server in my lab environment. I find Selenium extremely useful when checking web site upgrades and major changes and I have included at the end of this post, the code I use to check a default Joomla installation.

10 questions to help you know if your IT department needs some help?

An IT function can struggle for many reasons, ranging from an overwhelming workload or a rapidly changing market through to having significant technical debt or a lack of skilled technical staff. Below are 10 questions that I have asked many times over the years, to help business owners, CEOs and Chairs understand whether their IT department could benefit from external assistance.

How could Peter help?

As an IT consultant and technology advisor, Peter is often used for his significant digital/online transformation, troubleshooting, assessor, due diligence and turnaround experience, particularly if the word "impossible" has been used. With a reputation as a fixer, firefighter and troubleshooter, Peter takes on the most challenging of situations and brings to bear his extensive IT, digital & technology turnaround experience, coupled with his skills as a CEO and Board level advisor. 

Available to help on a full time, part time, ad hoc or fractional basis as necessary. Equally comfortable working onsite or remote, depending on the challenge.

Why not get in touch for a free, no obligation, completely "off the record" chat ...?

 

Specialties

Peter Groom has significant experience in delivering and scaling online/digital services, as well as system migrations and upgrades. Well versed in E-Commerce platforms, both off the shelf and bespoke and using public, private and hybrid clouds. Highly experienced in delivering business value as a technology consultant, IT assessor and digital advisor, where IT and technology are seen as an enabler (think of it as "Lego") and often in high pressure turnaround environments.

Delivers innovation by using proven technology in one sector and applying it to a business challenge in another sector. Has an excellent track record as an IT consultant, firefighter and troubleshooter, of delivering "against the odds", initiatives whilst also bringing the organisation along on the journey. Extensive troubleshooting experience across many global markets, where his assessment and due diligence expertise prove essential, together with his CEO & Board level advisor skills.

His focus on pragmatic outcomes has delivered significant growth for his clients, across a multitude of sectors and continues to do so. In fact, it is this focus on practical actions, particularly from IT Assessments and Due Diligence, together with his guarantee that he will (if the client wishes) deliver those results for the client, that set him apart from many others. 

 

Contact Peter

Email Peter Groom, IT troubleshooter & digital consultant

 

Call Peter Groom, IT firefighter & online firefighter and fixer +44 (0)7710 745360

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