Tag Archives: business tips

Tips for Keeping your Business Technology Running Smoothly

In a time when even the most basic jobs require some kind of IT related knowledge, the need for the management of business related technology cannot be ignored. Business technology management can entail everything from your phone lines to expensive servers located in the server room of your organization. Even small businesses need some kind of maintenance for computers and other IT equipment.

Unfortunately, the worldwide workforce has struggled to keep pace with the growing need for IT related knowledge that has accompanied the cutting edge technology around us. A small example is the fact that most people have little or no knowledge of IP addressing and cannot even release an APIPA (Automatic Private IP Address), which can be one of the most common reasons for internet disruptions. The lack of employee knowledge about such minor issues means that companies require hiring some form of IT support.

While some medium sized and large corporations hire and maintain their own IT departments, this is not a financially feasible option for most organizations. At the same time, not having IT based advice can lead to heavy expenditure on unwanted items. For instance, in the wake of virtualization, one can easily create virtual servers and save an extravagant amount of cash on the acquisition of physical computers. However, in order to benefit from such luxuries, one needs to hire IT based support or advisers.

A simple solution to the above mentioned problem can be to hire an IT based service provider. This way, one can outsource IT support to an organization that can provide such a service at an economical cost. Some service providers deliver on call, remote support to a number of companies and therefore, charge a small amount for their services. Similarly, acquiring an IT based advisor, such as a specialist firm, can also help reduce costs. Such companies can offer valuable advice that can help your existing IT department or support provider.

Furthermore, some companies also provide a virtual CIO. A virtual Chief Information Officer is naturally more economical than hiring a full time CIO who can have a salary package as expensive as $160K a year.

Outsourcing IT based service and acquiring third-party advice can not only reduce costs but also help in running the business technology of your organization in a smooth way. It will probably take many years for upcoming workforces to be able to understand the complexity behind cutting edge business technology. Until then, the hiring of a reputable service provider seems to be the only viable solution for businesses in the short run.

Two Reasons to Manage a User’s Workspace in the Office

There are many reasons to manage a user’s workspace. Following is a look at two: (i) ensuring company security; and (ii) increasing employee productivity.

Managing a User’s Workspace to Protect Company Data

Employees are most company’s most valued asset. But, as the 1970s R&B hit by The Persuaders touted, “There’s a thin line between love and hate.” A most valued employee today can be a firm’s biggest enemy tomorrow.

Corporate espionage costs companies hundreds of millions of dollars per year. One of the most famous cases happened at DuPont in 2005 when one of its scientists stole $400 million in intellectual property. How did he do it? By accessing sensitive scientific information from the server which contained the firm’s electronic data library.

Although most employees are loyal, hardworking and trustworthy, it’s cases like this that highlight the need for companies to manage user workspaces by monitoring and controlling who has access to what and when.

As one executive said in an article in SC Magazine, a publication for IT security professionals:

“There are people who when it comes down to securing their critical information assets, their strategy is hope . . . hope is not a strategy. You have got to have very clear policy, you’ve got to implement controls [i.e., manage user workspaces] on that policy and then you’ve got to audit usage.”

Managing a User’s Workspace to Increase Productivity

Corporate espionage aside, a more common reason many companies manage user workspaces is to help them to do their jobs better. This has become increasingly difficult in today’s environment. System upgrades, the ability to share desktops and remote application infrastructures are just some of the reasons it’s difficult.

But companies realize the need to allow employees to personalize their workspace. How Employee A works may be different from Employee B, who is different from Employee C.

To overcome this, many companies use technology that allow them to manage a user’s desktop to a certain degree, while still allowing employees the autonomy to independently craft their user settings to meet their personal workflow needs.

Run With The Big Dogs: Three Ways to Make Your Small Business Shine

At the heart of all entrepreneurship is the spirit of an adventurer. Defined, it is the ability to take a chance on your ideas and gamble that it will be a success. While many of these ventures succeed, a great number of them also fail.

Small businesses today operate in a fiercely competitive economy. In order to stay on top of your game, it is necessary to focus on key aspects that nurture success. Using the following three tips, you can implement practical strategies that will ensure that your efforts are well rewarded.

Tip #1 – Have a smart marketing strategy.

Great marketing does not always have to cost a fortune. Small businesses struggle to establish an identity on par with their larger counterparts. Having a smaller budget means that it becomes more vital to advertise and promote with focus.

It starts with developing a marketing plan that outlines specific goals. You must have a direction in which to follow. A good plan doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to address the following:

  • Who your target is – Research who your client is and what their interests are
  • Decide on a media and track your results – Print ads, internet marketing, social media, direct mail, mobile media, and publicity marketing are all avenues to explore.
  • Develop a budget – Know how much you can spend and what kind of return on investment you need to see in order to stay profitable

Tip #2 – Outsource your technology needs to a reliable technical support company.

For any small business, reliability is essential. However, an in-house IT person can carry a heavy price tag. For this reason, it makes sense to contract with a company that offers troubleshooting, operating solutions and data security. It gives you the same advantage that larger companies are able to enjoy, but at a fraction of the cost.

Professional technical support companies should offer all of the following:

  • Troubleshooting and repair
  • Installation, upgrades and configuration
  • System protection from malicious malware and viruses
  • Data backup systems that are inexpensive and secure

Tip #3 – Differentiate your business with top notch customer service.

Friendly, responsive and fast customer satisfaction does two things: it keeps your customers coming back for more, and it builds your brand through word of mouth. Your reputation is priceless, so protect it vigorously. The following are all ways to build newsworthy service:

  • Offer quality products or services, and value laden pricing strategies
  • Form relationships with your customers and know what they want from you
  • Use customer complaints as a springboard to institute changes that foster good will