The IT Support Learning Hub
The most educational business technology blog for Southern California executives, featuring insider tips, articles, and videos on how to get the best IT results.
Have you ever wondered why cyclists ride close together in what appears to be packs? You see it all the time on your local streets and in bicycle races all over the world. Riders with their heads down and wheels really close together are “drafting”. Most of us have made assumptions about why they do this but have never taken the next step to find out just what the benefits of drafting are.
Did you know that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)? The Department of Homeland Security describes this nationwide initiative as "a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.”
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
I spend most of my time with business owners and executives discussing where they want to go and how they are supposed to get there. I relate easily to these conversations, and I like to challenge the executives with ideas that will help them reach the goals they have outlined. From a quick chat and a few details, I can step right into their shoes and we are off running toward a plan.
The Cloud is awesome, right? I love what the Cloud has to offer. We all use it even if we don’t realize it – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Amazon, to name a few. Even the technology that many of us now have in our homes is made possible because of cloud computing – smart thermostats and home automation, video doorbells and security systems.
Not a day goes by in the IT world without talking about cyber security. IT professionals are constantly discussing protection methods, access controls, new and existing threats, and ways to reduce risk. To most people who use technology, security measures just get in the way of being able to use or access whatever you’re trying to access. Things like complex passwords, password expirations, and multi-factor authentication are complex ideas that frustrate and confuse people who are just trying to log in to a website or system. In fact, a significant percentage of support calls to manufacturers are related to passwords and system access. Yep, security is a nuisance that gets in the way, and we don’t like to be bothered with it. Nevertheless, cyber security and IT security are crucial.
May is normally one of the more forgettable time periods of the year. The rush of the new year is over, tax season is behind business owners, and summer is coming but not quite here. Typically when executives reach out to me, they’re nonspecific about what they need. They say they “just want IT to work,” or that they “don’t want to think about IT at all.” Those calls usually result in a meeting with the executives where we discuss the specifics of IT and how it can help advance the company if managed well. The calls this month were much different.
Think about a time when your significant other asked you to clean the house. You woke up early with a mission, but as the morning wore on, you found yourself outside mowing the lawn. You weren’t neglecting work – in fact, you were doing lots of work – you just had a different idea of what needed to be done. By the end of the day, your yard looked great, but the laundry wasn’t folded and the dishes were still dirty, leaving your significant other frustrated that their request hadn’t been fulfilled.
Have you ever wished you were better prepared for something? It all turned out okay, but I had a moment like that this week. Some of you may know that I’ve been a private pilot for about 10 years now. I didn’t fly much in the first few years, but the last two years have been much more active. The reason is mostly because we now have data center operations for our clients and ourselves in Las Vegas, as well as employees in Central California, Arizona, Colorado, and Louisiana.
For those who may not know, I travel all over Southern California, and a good part of the United States, consulting with executives regarding IT Department performance. At some point during these executive discussions, the subject of cost comes to the forefront of the conversation. I really enjoy discussing the cost of the IT Department because it is usually a highly sensitive area and tends to be lumped into one number. The CFO of a distribution company in Los Angeles recently engaged me to help him with an IT department cost comparison.
Whether you follow basketball or not, you might have heard about Zion Williamson’s shoe blowout, 33 seconds into the February 20th game between Duke and the University of North Carolina. Williamson, a freshman who plays forward for Duke and is the projected #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft, fell to the floor when his Nike shoe ripped apart. The result was a mild knee sprain that took him out of the game.