One of the most - if not the most - critical resource your business relies upon is your workforce. Your employees are what keep your operations, well, operational. As a result, they are one of your most important resources to maintain as well. They are human beings, and without the correct treatment and management, even your best employee could burn out.
Integrated Business Technologies Blog
When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.
Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need.
Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.
While information technology is an important part of the modern business and its processes, it isn’t always the easiest topic for the average business user to figure out. In this series, we’ve been exploring how a managed service provider can add value to your business and its IT. Here, we’re focusing on how the managed service provider can serve as a knowledgeable consultant.
Information technology support has developed and evolved as the methods and equipment used have improved. As a result of this development, there are a variety of ways that managed IT providers can deliver additional value through their services. In this series, we’re exploring the many benefits a business can gather through managed services - here, focusing on the support available.
In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
This quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and while it may not have actually been said by the Founding Father, it still teaches a valuable lesson - especially where disaster recovery is concerned. In other words, you need to make sure you have a working disaster recovery strategy - working being the key point.
With cloud computing becoming a major benefit for organizations of all sizes, some have abandoned the idea of having on-premise servers at their place of business. This could end up being problematic, however, as data security and privacy of cloud-based resources have been known to be often less than reliable. If you are looking to host your own IT in-house, there are some issues you have to see to before you can start purchasing hardware.
Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your use of your computer much less stressful.
Collaborative work is pushing organizations forward faster today than ever before. With the use of more dynamic and option-rich technology, your organization can benefit from the improved productivity that comes from enhancing your collaborative strategies. Today, we look at some of the technologies used by organizations that prioritize collaborative work.
There are over two billion active devices currently using Android. Most of them that have been purchased in the past year or so have come with, or have been subsequently updated to, Android 9.0 Pie. With the introduction of their newest mobile OS, Google has ensured that their software powers more mobile phones than any other software in the world. Today, we’ll take a look at some handy tips you can use to get the most out of your Android Pie experience.
In the business world, productivity is everything, which means that many will try to boost their productivity however they can. Many swear by multitasking, or the practice of juggling tasks to keep themselves fresh and productive. However, evidence shows they are mistaken. We’ll go into why, and offer a few more effective alternatives.
The right technology can be a catalyst for change. While the right kind of change can be enough to drive innovation and push the limits of your business, the wrong kind of change--namely, employee turnover--can put a halt to productivity and force you to trace your steps back down the old, familiar path of onboarding and training. How can you use technology to retain top talent and reinforce the right message amongst your employees?
Windows 10 isn’t just a great operating system for getting things done--it’s also jam-packed with features that you might not even have known about. This week’s tip is all about some of the handy features that Windows 10 can provide for your office.
If your business experiences a technological failure, how many operations simply stop dead in their tracks until the problem is resolved? While it might seem like you have no control over your business’ technology (at least the issues that cause downtime), this is far from the truth. If you take action now, you can prevent issues from cropping up in the first place rather than reacting to them later, after they have already caused considerable problems for your business.
Data backup can be the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds. After all, if an organization suffers from a data loss incident so bad that it has to deploy its data backup, it wouldn’t be able to survive without it. With a data backup and disaster solution, you can ensure business continuity. But what does this kind of system need in order to succeed, and how can you make sure your organization benefits from a data backup system in place?
For the modern small business owner, there are situations that you are forced to deal with that are frustrating; but, in the course of doing business would be considered normal. Then there are other situations that arise where, every step of the way, the figurative floor falls out from under your feet and you are forced to react quickly. Some of these circumstances can be pretty spooky for your business. This Halloween, we’ve decided to outline three scary circumstances your business may have to deal with, and how to keep your cool.
If you look around your company, there’s a good chance that it has a lot of technology that you completely take for granted. No matter if you run a small retail store, a factory, or a multi-location office, your business needs IT to function properly. Today, we will take a look into several ways your organization can use technology to improve your business.
The Internet is home to a vast amount of knowledge. Undoubtedly you’ll find yourself revisiting certain sites more often than others to take advantage of the information contained within. Thankfully, the bookmark system is a great way to make this happen, giving users an easy and efficient way to navigate back to frequently-visited websites.
The way that business is conducted today, the right technology is more of a necessity than a privilege. There are plenty of benefits that it can bring that an organization requires in order to stay competitive. For our tip, we’ll walk through a few ways that your business can be improved through the adoption of certain solutions.
The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.
Do you have cords, wires, and adapters just sitting in a cupboard or drawer, with no purpose other than taking up space? Of course you do. The average person will replace old or broken devices, and find the new devices aren’t compatible with the old cables, leaving them stuffed in a junk drawer or in a random box that they’ve kept “just in case.” Every home or business has the same scenario going on: lots of wires and cables left over from all the e-waste they have discarded over the years. If you want to get rid of your unwanted cables, here are a couple of tips on how to do so properly.
As incredible a tool as the Internet truly is, for every website that is beneficial to the workplace, there is another that is certainly the opposite. Naturally, it is these sites that your employees would most likely want to visit if left to their own devices. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the temptation and block these websites. For this week’s tip, we’ll talk about a few ways to do so.
Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a problem with your PC. While it might not be something system-breaking, it’s still important to find the root of an issue before it becomes a major problem. One of the best ways to diagnose an issue with your computer is by logging in using Safe Mode. We’ll talk about when and how you can use Safe Mode to your computer’s benefit.
It’s imperative that your organization’s software is managed properly. If you can’t do this, then your operations can suffer in the long run. While this might sound like a lot of work, software management isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you break it down into compartmentalized tasks. Ultimately, you can group it into three major steps: leveraging available assets, testing strategies, and understanding the software.
Nothing lasts forever - especially your business’ technology. However, you shouldn’t just get rid of your old technology willy-nilly. This is mostly for two reasons: one, many of the components in our technology are really bad for the environment; two, carelessly disposing of technology is a great way to put your data at risk. In order to protect your data, you need to make sure that your old equipment is properly disposed of.
It’s critical that you protect your business’ important assets, including perhaps the most important of all: its data. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing a solid backup solution. But what’s the best way to approach data backup? After all, every business is going to have different needs. We’re here to tell you all about these different needs, and how your organization can implement a reliable backup solution based on yours.
At the end of the day, do you shut down your computer or do you put it into sleep mode? Depending on what you need from your device the next day, you might want to consider which option benefits you the most. Here are some of the pros and cons of both approaches so that you can pick which one best suits your situation.
What one organization considers a disaster might be much different than what another business might see as disastrous. Perhaps one sees the loss of a few hours and a few files as something that can be recovered, while another sees every lost moment and each iota of data as a catastrophe. Whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be able to do two things: first, gauge how serious a given data loss disaster is, and secondly, establish what must be done to get back in action following said disaster.
There are plenty of technical terms and solutions that, while heard of frequently enough, it may not be completely clear what they mean or refer to. A proxy server is an excellent example of such a solution. This week, we’ll examine this tech term and review how utilizing proxy servers can help your business.
There are plenty of benefits to allowing your employees to work from home, but that doesn’t mean you can just implement it without consideration and planning. You have to have a system in place that allows you to enjoy the benefits of remote capabilities while mitigating some of its potential risks.
Your business relies on its data to succeed, which lends itself to the fact that your organization needs to have some sort of security measures put into place to guarantee its safety. 2018 is thought to be the year of ransomware, so it stands to reason that your business should prepare to deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with ransomware is to make sure that your company has a plan to restore data affected by said ransomware.
It’s no secret that a business owner has more than enough to deal with, regardless of that business’ size.
Whether the business has 10 employees or 100, the business owner has to deal with the stress of managing the minutiae of everyday operations, along with any other issues that may pop up. As one might assume, financial concerns can contribute considerably to that stress.
If your work requires you to store medical data, you should be aware of how important your data security is, as a problem could potentially put your business at risk of closing up shop permanently. Security has to be a priority with so many regulations setting compliance standards that must be followed. How can you balance the effectiveness of your business without undermining its security?
As a business adopts certain “best practices,” it is important for business leaders to consider why they are adopted, and more importantly, are they really for the best? There are many problems that subscribing to false best practices can produce, and so it becomes important to identify, adjust, and resolve them.
Losing Internet can be a large problem in the business world, as we all become more and more reliant on it. Downtime of this kind can be immensely frustrating. However, not all hope is lost, as there are ways to troubleshoot the cause of an Internet outage.
If you use the Internet every single day, you’ll start to realize that you can use it more effectively for achieving your goals. In cases like this, it’s important to look at ways you can improve your overall use of the Internet, as it’s the key way you access important information, applications, and contacts. Here are some day-to-day tips that you can use to help improve your mastery of the Internet.
Black Friday: it’s the name given to the unofficial first day of the holiday shopping season, and is associated with the generally unparalleled deals on consumer products. Many consumers use this day’s incredible deals to justify spending their day buying (and often fighting over) a limited amount of goods. However, have you ever considered that Black Friday can also be a good day to both advance your B2B operations and take advantage of some deals yourself?
If you are a dedicated user of Google Calendar, you’ll have realized that it’s recently undergone a significant improvement. Google has pushed out an update that has really polished their calendar in terms of both visual appearance and functionality, which is something that you’ll really appreciate, especially if you are a G Suite user. How can you use this new version of Google Calendar for your business?
BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, policies have proven to be a highly effective way for companies to save money. However, these policies need to address some of the shortcomings, potential costs and issues that comes with employees bringing and using their own devices could present to your business--not to mention security concerns.
If there’s any experience that’s universally shared by the modern worker, it’s the sensation that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Fortunately, there are some habits that can be developed that can help to mitigate these feelings by enhancing productivity. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss some of these practices to help boost your office’s time management capabilities.
Putting together your workforce is something that requires painstaking attention to detail. You found workers who are willing to work as hard as possible to further your organization’s goals. Yet, you have to remember that even the most perfect employees are still human, and that they can make mistakes and can put the organization’s data at risk. User error is a common problem, and it is one of the most important things to keep in mind while you set up your information systems.
In order to function properly, any business will need to procure certain pieces of equipment. Some of this equipment will be specialized to the business’ purpose, while some will be the sort that may be more commonly found in offices everywhere. This equipment must be procured from somewhere, and this is where vendors come in--but who in your organization is responsible for your vendor management?
A crucial step of setting up your business is the implementation of a physical infrastructure, including cabling and electrical lines. Unfortunately, the same setup won’t work for two very different businesses, so you’ll need to put considerable time and effort into the cabling process as a whole. Here are a few ways that you can make the process easier.
While you are probably spending a fair amount of time thinking about your business’ security, can you confidently say the same about those that you’ve employed? Unfortunately, your workers may not put much thought into network security. This could very possibly lead to some severe issues potentially harming your business operations.
The average employee and business owner relies on various hardware solutions to go about their day-to-day duties. These hardware devices--think keyboards, wireless mouses, external microphones, and any USB devices--utilize drivers which allow for inter-device compatibility. What happens when these drivers aren’t installed or kept up to date? Your technology suffers, and so does your productivity.
Do you remember the day that you purchased your current workstation? Maybe it was last week, last month, last year, or several years ago. At one point, it was pristine, untouched by the demands of the workday, but those days have long since passed. Over time, your computer collects all sorts of stuff on it, from unnecessary files to outdated, unused software.
There are many ways to share a file between two computers. Being familiar with multiple options will certainly come in handy, especially when your preferred method of file sharing isn’t an option (like when you can’t find your flash drive, or maybe you lose Internet connection). For this week’s tip, here are four options to help your business more effectively share files.
Whether you are looking to prevent theft, curb employee time-wasting, or get a handle on workplace efficiency, security cameras are a solution that prevents and protects you from a wide variety of issues.
Meetings: they’re known in the business world as a necessary evil. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a few adjustments, you can create the ideal conditions for effective and efficient meetings.
Owning any piece of technology in today’s day and age is like a playing with fire. While it’s a great tool that has allowed civilization to grow and make great strides toward a better future, there’s also significant risk involved with owning such an expensive piece of technology. If it breaks down on you, you’ll be left with both a dent in your pocket and possibly even a chunk of your data missing. Here are three ways that even the average PC user can improve the performance of their technology and extend its life cycle considerably.
It seems that you can find absolutely anything while shopping online, but unfortunately, this also includes cyber threats. No deal is worth the risk of a hacking attack, but some best practices can help you stay safe while searching for that great bargain.
It’s quite possibly the most infamous screen image in computing: the Blue Screen of Death. Encountering this screen will often cause two thoughts to run through a user’s mind: what just happened, and how can I fix it?
Email is a central part of any functional modern office, but if you aren’t proactive in keeping your inbox under control, you could be wasting time on unnecessary messages or spam. If you want to get the most out of your workday, it’s imperative that you take back control of your business email inbox. Here are three ways that yourself and your employees can clean up your inboxes and waste less time throughout the work day.
You may have heard of digital eye strain. The Vision Council defines it as “the physical discomfort felt after two or more hours in front of a digital screen and is associated with the close to mid-range distance of digital screens.” As annoying as this condition is, in some cases, it has actually developed into something far worse, like temporary blindness.
With the opportunity to track metrics becoming more readily available for all types of businesses, some organizations invest heavily into time-tracking software and other KPIs that they believe will help their team be more efficient in the workplace. However, this might be having a negative effect on the quality of work being performed. Irv Shapiro, CEO of DialogTech, suggests that, instead of tracking time, employers should be tracking results.
Businesses these days practically need to expect disaster, as even the most careful and calculated security practices could result in a data disaster. Some businesses don’t fear for their data enough, and this leads them to neglect planning for threats such as hackers, natural disasters, and user error. As the business owner, you need to stay informed about how best to handle these situations.
The Internet has long been a great tool for business, but you can’t take advantage of it without putting your sensitive data at risk of threats, like hackers and malware. Granted, when it comes to cyber security, even the most cautious business will have a lot on their plate. We’ll go over eight of the most important security best practices, and how you can implement them for your business.
For every business, it’s essential to be prepared for any unforeseen problems that can disrupt day-to-day operations. One easy way to do this is by keeping an extra workstation on hand.
If you’ve ever tried to wake up before 6:00am, you know how difficult it can be. Crawling out of bed can be pure torture, and the thought of working for another eight, ten, or even twelve hours can be soul-crushing. Despite how difficult it can be to wake up, getting out of bed early and starting your day on a positive note can set the tone for your entire workday. Here are six ways that you can make your mornings less painful and build a productive routine.
One of the best ways businesses are providing employees with the means to be more productive with their workstations is by issuing them multiple displays. There are various advantages and disadvantages to using multiple displays that you should be aware of.
When you call tech support, you’re probably going to get the same response every single time: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” There’s a reason that this happens so often, and it’s because restarting your computer is a great, low-tech way to resolve some basic issues with your system. However, it’s still good to be cautious about more serious issues that a reboot won't fix. We’ll walk you through what a reboot does, and it can be effective at fixing minor issues with your PC.
There are some workdays where distractions are abound and you can’t even remember what you’re supposed to be doing. In trying times like these, you need all the help you can get, just to stay focused and on task. Here are four simple adjustments to your work routine that have been proven to do wonders to increase productivity.
A clean computer is a happy computer. Just like any other piece of gadgetry, a computer requires regular cleanup sessions that allow users to get the most from them. In fact, January is known as Clean Up Your Computer Month, so what better way is there to ring in the new year than making sure your computer is in tip-top shape?
We’ve all run into the trouble of keeping our smartphone’s battery preserved for as long as possible. Many people think that the apps themselves are what bogs down the battery and drains its charge, but we’re here to tell you that this is not the case. Instead, let’s determine what really drains your device’s battery.
Wireless Internet access is a luxury that seems commonplace, but there are many who experience trouble with their connections on a daily basis. Sometimes the problem stems from familiar issues that could happen at any minute, but other times the issues might not be so obvious. Either way, you should be aware of the most common disruptions to your WiFi signal, even those that you might not consider problems.
Today, just about everyone has a digital camera in their pockets, which has led to an unprecedented amount of picture taking compared to the days when photos had to be developed. Having more cameras has turned us into a more visual society, but not every amateur photographer understands how to best manage all of their photos, which causes problems.
How many email accounts do you have? At the very least, you have one for work and for one that’s personal, and if you’ve been doing email long enough, then you may have a few accounts left over from years ago which you rarely check (like your email address from college). Is there a way to combine these scattered accounts into an email address of your choice?
Today is Disaster Preparedness Day! This means that there’s no time quite like the present for preparing for potential future data emergencies. While the type of disasters vary immensely depending on your business’s geographical location, every business needs a disaster recovery plan implemented as soon as possible.
With so much nasty content just begging to get viewed on the Internet, it’s understandable why a content filter needs to be integrated into your company’s web viewing protocol. Still, it should be understood that your content filter isn’t going to keep all questionable content away from prying eyes. Therefore, the only way you can really know with certainty that your Internet users aren’t doing anything sketchy is to actively monitor their activity, and check for any suspicious websites.
The Internet can be a dangerous place thanks to the anonymity it provides. Yet, this anonymity is limited, especially if you take part in questionable Internet browsing activities. Take, for instance, the hack of Ashley Madison, a website dedicated to cheating on one’s spouse. This July, a hacker group called the “Impact Team,” infiltrated the site and is now threatening to expose these cheaters.
It’s been confirmed that Samsung is getting rid of both its removable battery and MicroSD slot for its newest line of Galaxy Note devices. This is a sad day for Galaxy fans that have always preferred the Android device over Apple’s iPhone for its customizable options such as these. For Samsung, it’s too early to tell if this will affect sales or not, but one thing’s for sure: a lot of phones will be destroyed before users “get it.”
Presentations are always an important part of being a business owner, be it for a trade show, webinar, conference, or sales demonstration. If they scare you to death, don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, up to 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety (glossophobia), meaning that they have a tough time getting in front of a crowd and showing off their knowledge. Despite this fact, you can kick glossophobia to the curb by being proactive about your preparations.
Your business is literally assaulted by thousands of threats a day, and they could ruin your organization's goals in an instant if not for your defenses. With such powerful security measures at your disposal, we don’t blame you for lowering your defenses; however, it should be mentioned that your network security doesn’t protect you from all manners of threats. Attacks like phishing scams have a tendency to bypass your security measures, which makes them dangerous.
The key to a productive workday may be the tomato. Not in the sense that eating more tomatoes will make you smarter; instead, we’re talking about the classic tomato-shaped cooking timer that counts down from 25 minutes. It turns out that 25-minute-tomato increments could be the most effective way to accomplish your work.
Your business relies on its IT to get things done, but if disaster were to strike, would you be able to recover efficient operations without having to deal with the numerous headaches that are associated with downtime? Even if you have instituted a reliable backup solution, your business could still be hurting if your backup failed. Here’s how you troubleshoot this scenario.
2015 isn’t the year to go without backups. If there’s anything 2014 showed the world, it’s that businesses can fall victim to data breaches when they least expect it. You want to be prepared in the event of a data breach or data loss, and the easiest way to do that is by taking advantage of an external backup. Unfortunately, even an essential solution like data backup can be forgotten amidst the everyday operations of the average business owner.
New technology is meant to improve upon its previous design. This is technology 101. Despite this well-known fact, many business owners are hesitant to adopt new technology, choosing instead to continue using older equipment in an effort to save money. A better approach to technology for your business is to have a long-term replacement plan.
As a business owner, you've probably had the misfortune of letting a valued (or not-so-valued) employee go. The reasons might vary, but one thing is consistent: they're gone, and could potentially use their newfound residual malice to strike your business right where it hurts. How can you prepare yourself against former employees you may have once called "family?"
It's no secret that social media has opened a lot of doors for businesses that may not have been there a short time ago. LinkedIn in particular has been an immensely useful tool for people looking for employment, and for employers to find prospective hires.