The act of “yak shaving,” also known as “bikeshedding,” is a specific kind of procrastination that can hold you back from getting the most out of your workday. This week’s tip is dedicated to explaining what this nonsensical phrase means and why it’s beneficial to keep your employees on track.
Integrated Business Technologies Blog
In order to build a profitable business, productivity has to remain consistent. If your business offers a service, and you are having a hard time managing all its moving parts, professional services automation (PSA) software may be right for you. Today, we will give a quick overview of what exactly a PSA is, and how it can serve as an extremely useful tool for businesses who operate in the professional services space.
Technology has fundamentally altered the capabilities of businesses. Cloud computing has provided access to enterprise-strength computing at small business costs, and now IT providers are more able to provide value than simple repair-and-replace services. The name of the game is value, which is why the value-driven IT services of tomorrow are here to stay.
Any project manager will tell you that there are countless issues that can get in the way of a successful implementation. To nobody’s surprise, business technology can aid project management by streamlining operations and making the entire process much easier for everyone involved. We’ll dig into the details about how project management software and value-based managed IT services can help you complete projects on-time and on-budget.
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.
Using pirated software or abusing your software licenses for your business is heavily frowned upon. However, many software companies, in an attempt to protect their products, have unleashed a practice that can actually reward those who let it happen in the first place.
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.
The modern small business will face several challenges in 2018. The world is changing, and with it, so is business. For many small businesses, this can either be looked on as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, or, it can be viewed as the beginning of the end. No matter what situations you are faced with this year, understanding what problems your business faces, and how to solve them is imperative to your small business’ success.
While many different people open businesses, the primary reason that they all do so is to make money. A positive cash flow is essential if the business is to generate funds that support a cause or provide a decent living. However, to collect this cash flow, a business must have their invoices returned. As it happens, this doesn’t often occur in a timely manner.
As a business owner, you walk a fine line between boss and friend. While you want to be approachable and have a company culture that’s friendly, you can’t have your employees be your closest friends. Being too close to your staff will blur your authority, breed favoritism, and make it difficult to fire people; but not being friendly will make for a cold working environment. How do you manage this social dynamic?
If you’re looking to save some money on IT, outsourcing your company’s IT services is a simple and effective method. This concept has grown tremendously over the past several years, and the saved expenses are one of its biggest attractions. However, businesses sometimes decide that it might be time to backsource their IT.
Civilization has passed through various ages, like the Stone Age, the Ice Age, Bronze Age, and so on. And now, we're progressing through another one - the Data Age. In fact, 90 percent of the world's data was created in 2013. With each new device and system comes an incredible amount of data that must be processed, stored, and catalogued. This is Big Data, and the way that your business works with this information will determine the success of your business in the Data Age.
Smartphones have revolutionized the way that we communicate with each other and increased productivity, but for some businesses, they are only making things worse. A perfect example of this is the restaurant business - in fact, one restaurant owner decided to take matters into his own hands, and has performed a study which examined their business before and after the mobile revolution.
Got a great business idea but lack the capital to make it happen? Many startups are looking to the Internet to find the funds they need to get their project off the ground. Known as crowdfunding, this tool presents entrepreneurs a chance to find supporters in unlikely places, and even find wild potato-salad-like success!
Every business knows about "spending money in order to make money." Dropping cash on advertising and hiring key personnel are classic examples of this. However, "spending money on risk prevention in order to save money by avoiding expensive problems, and thereby making money," isn't as well known. Perhaps because it's harder to explain.
Known as "The Most Connected Human on Earth," Chris Dancy is famous for utilizing hundreds of technologies and systems that work together to literally track and archive his every move. For Chris, it's not about bragging rights - it's about pioneering "a quantified life existence." What does a quantified life look like? To find out, we got a chance to talk with Chris!
Can you tell the difference between the two words, Internet and Intranet? The difference is much more than simply two letters. Both are valuable marketing tools, particularly for small businesses, but what exactly differentiates them from each other? The key to understanding this is a simple English lesson.
Trivia time! Do you know what device was invented in 1892 that changed the face of offices around the world? If you guessed the fax machine then you're close, but you need to think further ahead by almost 50 years (the first fax machine was patented in 1843 by Alexander Bain). More influential than even the fax machine is the file cabinet, established in 1892.
As the top American collegiate men's and women's basketball teams are poised to take the court to decide national champions in 2014 NCAA tournament, local businesses are in a competition of their own; to turn a profit. There are three ways your business and your favorite team share a similar path to success.
When it comes to working from home, everybody wins! In our last article, we looked at how employees win because working from home saves them time and money from commuting. Employers are another group that benefits because working from home makes doing business more productive and more efficient.
One of the best ways to leverage technology in order to make your business more profitable is to take advantage of the latest trends. 2014 presents business owners with dynamic new trends that are improving operations and providing the competitive edge. Over the next week we will highlight three of the most important trends that your business can take advantage of, beginning with Business Intelligence Analytics.
As technology keeps leading us into the future, it can be easy to lose sight of traditional leadership methods. Since the newest gadgets are so appealing, it's tempting to have technology automate our decision making as a crutch. Can technology really replace the old school business leadership practices?
Businesses that are aggressive will grow quickly, and in the same way, businesses that have an aggressive continuity plan will survive the worst disasters. You need to aggressively be prepared for any disaster, even the scenarios that leave your company without computers.
If you've never taken advantage of remote support to remedy an IT problem, then you're likely doing IT support the hard way by having a technician physically take care of every issue. While it's always nice to chat with your friendly tech, you may be able to save yourself a whole lot of time and money by taking care of the issue with remote support.
The importance of backing up your company's data cannot be stressed enough. Data is your business' most valuable asset, as evidenced by the fact that companies unable to access their data for ten days after a major disaster (like Hurricane Sandy that hit the mid atlantic and northeast U.S) will not survive the next fiscal year. Here's how to protect your business with data backup.
Thanks to cloud computing technology, many businesses are taking advantage of having a mobile workforce by allowing their staff to work from home. Working from home can be beneficial by making workers more productive, saving employees' time and money from commuting, and increasing worker satisfaction, but how can you know for sure if work is really getting done?
As your company grows and enters into more competitive markets, your ability to access reliable and accurate data is of the utmost importance. Ginni Rometty; CEO, president, and chair of IBM, shared her insight on data management in her speech on October 2nd at the IBM InterConnect 2013 event. Here are three benefits of successful data management according to Rometty.
What would happen if your business experienced a disaster and your sensitive information was erased? If you don't have a business continuity plan in place that includes data backup and recovery, then it's highly unlikely your company will survive. To protect your business, you will want to consider and choose one of these three backup solutions.
In a recent survey of small businesses, only 13% of respondents believed themselves to be susceptible to a disaster resulting in data loss. That means 87% of small businesses must be located in a fortress where they are protected from every natural disaster--yeah right! No business is immune from disaster; therefore, every company needs a disaster plan.
TULSA, Okla. – Broken Arrow-based Integrated Business Technologies (IBT) today announced it has been named one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America by Inc. Magazine. IBT ranks 1,906 of 5,000 on the 2013 Inc. 500l5000 list for the second year in a row.
As a business owner, your position of leadership is crucial to the success of your company. If you've been appointed a leadership role, you are undoubtedly making key decisions and setting the tone of your office culture. You want to be a leader worth following.
When your network's security is doing its job and keeping your business safe, it's easy to not think about it because you don't feel the heat from any threats. Just because you're not feeling the heat, however, doesn't mean you're out of the kitchen. Even if you enjoy strong security, you will still need to perform regular security maintenances.
It's convenient to have an in-house IT technician. If your computer freezes up, you can call the IT department and they will swoop in and save the day. This is how in-house IT is supposed to work, but it's hard to hire anyone that's 100% reliable. We think it's actually more advantageous to outsource your IT; here are 5 reasons why.
Your IT infrastructure is a lot like a puzzle. There are many pieces of technology that connect to form one big solution. If just one piece of the puzzle is missing, then the picture is incomplete and the solution will not work properly. Good thing we're great at piecing together IT puzzles!
Managed IT services are designed to be an affordable solution to keep an organization's IT infrastructure running smoothly and minimize expensive downtime. To help you better understand how managed IT services can save your business money, let's look at five modern IT methods that our IT services are founded upon.
Upgrading your network and shopping for new technology can be a daunting task. Technology is expensive and it's an investment that will help your business grow, but that's only if you purchase what you need. A poor technology purchase can actually be a budget buster. To maximize your new technology purchases, it's worth it to partner with IT professionals.
When you break down our IT Company, you will discover that we are about more than just computers. In fact, everything we do with technology is basically one big effort to help your business perform better and save you money!
You wouldn't make a major technology purchase without first researching it. A person who gives you advice is essentially putting their reputation on the line. When it comes to technology and our IT services, we will confidently offer you our expert advice in order to help provide you with the best solution possible. In business, this is called a guarantee!
When your technology breaks, your business goes to a bad place called Downtime. It's a place where productivity comes crashing to a halt, revenue is no longer generated, and repair bills mount. You don't want to go to Downtime. The solution to prevent downtime is to have your technology professionally managed.
An IT service company specializing in solutions does several things well. A business that's solution-oriented won't easily take "no" for an answer. Finding solutions means moving mountains for clients and providing service that goes above and beyond. One may think that we only fix computers, but our solutions-approach to service means that we do so much more!
You don't need us to tell you that running a small business has its inherent difficulties. There are all types of factors that could literally destroy everything that the hardworking people in your organization have accomplished. The problem is that these situations aren't limited to just disasters such as flood or fire. Below are three factors that may wreak havoc with your small business in 2013.
As your business grows, so does the need to expand your network. If your IT infrastructure is not meeting your company's growing needs, then shopping for a new server is in your future. Servers are highly configurable and customizable to meet the specific needs of your business. Here are 4 things to consider when shopping for a new server.
Many businesses are migrating their computing needs over to the cloud. In a worldwide survey, Gartner found that 60% of businesses have increased their budgets for cloud services through 2014. Yet, cloud computing may not be right for every business. For companies that would like cloud services, but may have cloud anxiety, going with a private cloud is a valid option.
There are many challenging aspects that come with running a business, but which aspect is the most difficult? According to a 2012 survey of small business owners by The National Federation of Independent Businesses, managing costs is the most difficult responsibility. We can help; our managed IT services turn technology into a predictable expense.
As a business, you do things differently than the mild-mannered consumer. Like paying bills, it’s not like a business can sit down for half an hour every month, write a few checks, and then be done with it. Businesses have employees whose major duty is paying bills. Technology is the same way, and businesses have different technology needs than consumers.
Managing your business is demanding. Staying on top of your employees, your inventory, shipments, payroll, and a hundred other things can be draining to say the least. The last thing you need is to add to your leadership burden. Let us manage your technology vendors for you! Our vendor management service will relieve you from these three management stresses.
Many small businesses are switching their phone systems to Voice over Internet Protocol and seeing dramatic savings over traditional phone plans, especially when it comes to long distance charges. Once the switch to VoIP is made, small businesses are discovering there are more benefits to VoIP that make their business appear bigger and more professional!
Have you ever felt like your business is missing out on a big opportunity simply because you are unaware of it? In order to see a hidden opportunity, you need a fresh set of eyes. You need the help of an expert who knows what to look for, and you need regular input. This is exactly why we offer business technology reviews.
Have you ever felt like your long commute is draining the life out of you? If you commute long distances to work, then there may be something to the phrase, “My commute is killing me.” Research has shown commuters die younger than those who live closer to their work. This is yet another reason to work from home.
Cloud computing is a hot business technology. Research firm Gartner surveyed businesses worldwide and found that 60% have increased their budgets for cloud services through 2014. Gartner also predicts that the cloud services market will increase 18.5% this year. Are you looking to migrate over to the cloud? Here are a few considerations before your business goes cloud crazy.
Your electricity bill is the worst. This is because you know that it could be smaller if you only made a few adjustments to how you run the office. Little tricks like turning your lights off will save you money, but to really make a dramatic cut to your bill, you can virtualize your servers.
Typically, the only way that spaghetti improves the office is by providing a low cost meal during a lunch break. As it turns out, spaghetti can be used as more than lunch; spaghetti charts are a great productivity tool that can improve your workflow, eliminate transport waste, and save you money.
There are many advantages that come with switching your company's traditional phone system to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP uses the Internet to handle all of your communication needs; this can streamline your communications and save you 50-70% compared to a traditional phone plan. Not only can VoIP save your business operating costs, it can also make your company more efficient.
As an IT company, we get excited about the newest computer hardware and software. We try to convince everybody that upgrades are great, but some people cannot be shaken from their devotion to what is familiar and refuse to upgrade their tech. In our experience, here are the three biggest reasons why upgrades are avoided.
We are not guaranteed a life without problems. Problems will happen and your plans will be ruined (okay, it's not ALWAYS that bad!). While you can't totally eliminate problems from life, you can greatly reduce them by being proactive. This proactive problem solving approach also works great with technology!
Computers have been designed to be easy and intuitive to use. Just about anybody can figure out how to open files and browse the Internet, but PCs are still complicated machines that require technical knowledge to fix and maintain. When it comes to the technical stuff, it's better to leave it to the pros.
Many tech-savvy professionals have labeled tablets merely "content consumption" devices. This may have been true initially, but now with the productivity applications that have been developed using cloud computing, tablets can now be used to do more than just watch videos and surf the web. In this respect, the mobile computing revolution has finally made it to the workplace. Employers and employees alike are beginning to utilize mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones as a compliment to their standard office technology to improve productivity.
At work, it takes discipline to avoid distractions and stay on task. Thanks to mobile devices notifying you of every update from every friend, distractions at the office are at an all-time high. By scheduling the times to check your messages, you can stay connected, lessen distractions, and maximize productivity.
Remember being told as a kid that, "Nobody likes a know-it-all?" As an adult, while it is still true that nobody likes a braggart, it turns out that everybody loves an expert! Every professional is an expert within their field; and whenever a problem crops up that you may not be a know-it-all in, then you call in another expert.
Business growth is a double edged sword. It is great that you are increasing revenue, but you now have to deal with growing pains. These growing pains are often felt with your technology. Is your network cobbled together with random computers and your wires are one big tangle ball? Integrated Business Technologies can help relieve these IT growing pains with network mapping.
Despite having more paperless solutions at our disposal, it looks like offices will always have the need for a printer. Maybe you are not quite ready to take the great paperless leap, but you can reduce the amount of resources and power consumed from using your printers with the help of a print server solution.
Studies have shown that fatigue-related productivity losses and workplace accidents can be extremely detrimental to a company's production, and ultimately, its bottom line. In fact, a 2010 study done by internationally-renowned fatigue management expert Dr. Mark Rosekind and his colleagues found that fatigue-related losses at four U.S. corporations they surveyed totaled about $2,000 per employee annually. There are some options open to an employer to make certain that he or she gets the highest level of productivity from his or her employees.
Every business is striving to grow, but with growth comes new challenges like hiring new staff. If you have a growing business model, then you likely achieved this by adopting smooth procedures. The same principle applies to growing your staff; and with solid on boarding procedures in place, you can get more performance out of your staff.