For the modern business owner or executive, making smart business decisions has become a necessity. Margins are small, efficiency is key, and if we were to be completely honest, business is a day-in and day-out grind. In the course of doing business much is made of cost reduction and curtailing inefficiencies that lead to wasted capital. Much is made of collaborative systems that allow for remote access. Much is made of protocol, process, and performance. With so many moving parts in every business, there has to be the “glue” that allows for cohesive actions to be taken. That “glue” is software.
Integrated Business Technologies Blog
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.
If you’ve ever managed a major IT project, you’re probably well acquainted with Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Every project is going to have some rough patches. The key to overcoming these challenges lays not with the execution of the plan, but with the preparation. Here are four things to consider when you’re planning your next long-term IT project.
Have you ever tried to manage a major IT project yourself? If you have, you know that it’s a huge time sink and that there’s a lot involved with the process. We’ll discuss four of the best ways that you can save time and resources while managing your latest technology implementation project.
Social media is a phenomenon that has invaded the business world in more ways than one. While it might be a great way to endorse your brand and communicate with your local prospects, it can be a huge distraction for your in-house workers. A new study by communications agency, We Are Flint, claims that 84 percent of adults in the UK use social media, and two-thirds of them use it every day--be it at the office or at home.
Have you ever been forced to use a slow computer out of necessity? This is a practice that tries more than just your patience; it can also put a drain on productivity, and in turn, your business’s profits. Therefore, we’d like to ask you a very important question: can your business really afford to deal with technology that isn’t performing as intended?
It’s time to be realistic and admit that the office can be an extraordinarily distracting place. Constant meetings and discussions, phones ringing, and emails hitting the inbox can all seem overwhelming. With so much going on, how can you get the most work done while still remaining in contact with your co-workers?
Downtime is a critical problem with many businesses that have limited IT budgets. Organizations need to ensure that their bottom line is as high as possible, but if you’re constantly plagued by persistent downtime, your business is losing money when it doesn’t need to. We’re here to inform you about downtime, and what it can cost your business if it’s not addressed promptly.
Grammar is quite complex, and it can be a problem for some people who don’t write or compose documents on a daily basis. One way that you can correct your writing, as well as learn why your writing needs correction, is by using a free Google Chrome extension called Grammarly.
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.
Today’s workplace productivity has reached a peak, but thanks to this enhanced amount of work, the office environment can often feel hectic and stressful. This usually leads to workers skipping breaks just so that they don’t fall behind. While this maintains the semblance of productivity, it can often lead to a significant decrease in creativity and physical health.
You and your staff require certain software applications to get work done, whether it be your line of business app, your accounting software, or even Microsoft Office. This brings up a crucial question: do you know where all pieces of software you require came from, and are your licenses valid and up to date?
Can you imagine how much easier it would be to manage your IT problems if you had a dedicated support team who you could always count on to receive calls and answer any questions your team has? This would technically qualify as an internal help desk, and they could potentially save you a ton of money and time in the long run. Why? Because your team wouldn’t have to waste time digging through complicated systems to find answers to their dilemmas.
“Do you think this is a game?” In the past, a boss may have used this line to criticize an employee for not taking their job seriously. However, in today’s more creative work environments, many companies are using game mechanics to achieve their goals. This business strategy is called gamification, and it’s the most fun way to get work done.
Everybody loves a vacation from work, but nobody enjoys the stress of catching up when returning from said vacation. It doesn’t have to be this way. By taking a few precautions, you can avoid ever again having to say, “I need a vacation from my vacation.”
There seem to be thousands of different ways a user can customize their desktop experience. Almost every nook and cranny of a system can be adjusted, even right down to the icons on your desktop. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to adjust the size of your desktop icons.
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.
When it comes to service jobs, there are two kinds: Those where the work is highly visible, and those where work gets accomplished behind the scenes. Each service is valued and needed, yet, one may receive more attention and recognition than the other. Managed IT service falls under the latter category, and we’re totally okay with that.
Every business owner knows what’s expected of them when it comes time to onboard a new hire. When the training videos are all watched and the new employee is lined up to kick butt and take names, is that when your job as overseer ends, or is there more that you can do to get more productivity out of your staff?
Mobile is all the rage nowadays. Industry giants such as Microsoft and Apple claim to have mobile devices that make the PC obsolete. It makes for great marketing, but do mobile devices have what it takes to keep employees productive inside and outside of the workplace? The statistics say no, but the gap is closing. Here are three mobile myths all CIOs should consider.
When it comes to the workplace, people want more than they used to. It used to be all about the salary and decent working conditions, but that has significantly changed in the past decade. In order to attract the best talent and stay ahead of the competition, you want to provide optimal working conditions when possible. Thankfully, by providing your team with a few accommodations, it doesn’t have to be difficult for everyone to enjoy their workday.
Since the dawn of the Internet, email has been that thing you love to hate. Email was meant to be a dynamic tool capable of replacing the odd fax machine and postal mail. Today, some workers dread even opening their inbox due to how much time they have to invest in it. Some might even wonder if there’s a better way to go about their work day.
Black Friday is widely regarded as the most competitive day for American retailers, and for consumers standing in line to take advantage of rock-bottom prices, the general consensus is that all of this competition is great for their wallets. In the same way, your business can benefit from a healthy dose of friendly competition.
As long as computer software has existed, it's been plagued by bugs. Like real bugs, software bugs are an infestation and can cause major problems for businesses. When assessing software bugs, one question comes to mind; "After decades of dealing with bugs, why are they still an issue?"
There is consistent conversation about the security of your data and the best ways to minimize the risk of losing it. At some point in this conversation the topic of mobile devices comes up. The general consensus is that the more places your staff can access their work, the more they can get done, and how could it not? With smartphones becoming as predominant as coffee mugs, and the nature of mobile devices that have the capability of hopping from one network to the next, how can you ignore that the devices themselves are a data-loss risk?
Everyone is well aware of how mobile technology is changing everything. Therefore, it's a matter of time before we see new tech drastically change the office layout. This is what's happening in forward-thinking offices with a trend called "hoteling." If your business enjoys mobile technology and you want to get the most collaboration out of your staff, then hoteling is right for you.
Automation is an increasingly sought-after convenience in the workplace, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks. Some professionals foresee a world which has fully automated assembly lines, but most are only concerned about what this can do for their assets. Instead of freeing up menial positions for others to take on more meaningful existences, could automation destroy these jobs completely?
As a business leader, you know that you should read more about the latest industry trends and helpful management concepts. How's that going for you? For many business owners, finding time just to run their business is difficult enough, making book reading a luxury. We've found that you can do both by learning how to speed read.
The office is a unique place designed solely for the purpose of getting work done. Therefore, no matter how your workplace is designed, there's always room to improve it in order to squeeze out a few more precious minutes of productivity from each worker. As productivity goes, every minute saved adds up!
You're on vacation with your family and your smartphone notifies you about a work email entitled "URGENT!" What do you do? Checking the message could mean hours spent putting out a fire at the office. Ignoring it will give you more time with your family, but you'll be distracted and stressed the whole time thinking about the worst-case scenario.
The first step toward properly running a business is realizing that you aren't the average consumer. You don't spend half an hour a day writing checks to pay for your bills - in fact, some of your employees probably do just that all day. The truth of the matter is that everything to a business owner is on a much larger scale than the average consumer - that includes purchasing your technology.
Spell check makes spelling super easy. All you have to do is regurgitate a string of letters that halfway sound like the word you're thinking of and the red squiggly line will take care of the rest. Admittedly, spellcheck has turned most of us into lazy spellers, which is why it's crucial that your spell check settings are adjusted properly when using Microsoft Publisher.
When it comes to productivity, the latest technology can be a huge boon. A proper word processor can increase your productivity drastically if you know how to use it. However, one of today's most ingenious writers - George R. R. Martin - is still stuck in the Stone Age of word processing technology!
In our previous blog article, we introduced you to Chris Dancy, aka "The Most Connected Human on Earth." We told you Chris' story, how the former IT manager lost his job due to corporate downsizing and then turned to quantitative technology to find relevance in an ever-changing work environment. Today, Chris utilizes hundreds of different technologies and systems as part of his "quantitative life existence." In part two of our interview with Chris, he explains how you too can be a connected human.
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!
When life throws you for a loop and you are contracted with much more work than you are used to, perhaps it is time to upgrade your workstation. One of the simplest ways you can do this is by hooking up multiple monitors. With too many windows open, your desktop becomes cluttered and your workflow impeded. Stop getting lost in your work and hook up an extra screen today!
You may think that you're awesome at multitasking, but according to cognitive psychologist Art Markman, "You are your own worst judge of how good a multitasker you are." This is because the same areas of your brain that monitor performance are the same areas activated by multitasking, which means that it's difficult to accurately evaluate your own performance.
We've all wasted time surfing the Internet, but as we know, there are unfortunately extremes to every action. Wasting time by mindlessly browsing Internet pages can certainly become a problem when it claims huge portions of your time at work, killing your productivity. Can you not seem to get away from surfing the Internet?
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.
Remember when a family's home had only one phone line and someone else would pick up the phone in the middle of a call? There would be a click, a pause, the caller would then ask, "Is someone on the other line?" A hasty hang-up click would then follow. With VoIP, you can listen in on phone calls without being detected!
First introduced by Xerox back in the 1964, the fax machine, or Long Distance Xerography as it was called then, was the hottest office productivity tool of its day. This new technology saved workers from having to send documents via mail, which dramatically improved office communications. Nearly fifty years later, and the fax machine has become a hindrance to office productivity.