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.
Now that you're working from home, there are a few security best practices to follow to help make sure you and your company are protected from cyber security threats. For example, have you thought about the security of your home network with all of your "things" connected to it? Don't forget that working securely has as much to do with your actions as it does with your IT environment, so don't let your new work location let down your guard.
During these unprecedented times, many companies are now being challenged to deliver their products and/or services, perhaps using new (and as yet, untested) mechanisms to do so. While some businesses have been forced to close their doors, those who have the advantage of staying open and allowing staff to work from a remote location can't ignore the security implications that go along with having less control over their corporate business and technological environment.
On March 18, 2020, the World Health Organization reported 207,855 cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 8,648 deaths from this virus. The pandemic has spread to 166 countries and territories, which is almost everywhere in the world. The recommended solution for businesses, schools, religious institutions, public agencies, and non-profits is the same: start practicing social distancing as soon as possible, and that means that many businesses have had to send employees to work from home.
More than a decade ago, the U.S. economy was hit by the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. In the early months of the recession, American businesses lost an average 800,000 jobs per month as the economic growth declined at more than 8% during the 4th quarter of 2009 and the 1st quarter of 2009.
Have you ever stopped to think of all the ways that Information Technology (IT) weaves through your business? You might think that IT is just your workstations, servers and printers but these days, office lighting and environmental controls could just as easily be part of your IT systems. Now, think of how your business operations run. Could you serve your customers without IT?
Technology gives us the ability to market our businesses in many ways. One way that has been around for decades is the “on-hold” recording for your phone system. It’s one of the most underappreciated methods for showcasing your company and making sure callers have a good experience.
The signs that IT is holding your business back can be blatant or subtle. On the blatant side, you could actually see your people struggling. They’re slowed down by technology tools that crawl instead of hum. Operations stop with unexpected downtime. Then there’s the subtle side, where you might just be looking at your numbers and wondering why your business isn’t as profitable as you think it could be.
It can be hard to know if you have the right people working on IT for your company because IT problems look like… well... IT problems. You might have issues that aren’t getting solved; disappointing results from technology investments; or complaints from employees that their technology tools are slowing them down.
When you think about getting a better handle on data management for your manufacturing, distribution or logistics company, your train of thought might take you immediately to getting new software. While this is a step in the process, putting it at the front-end is the wrong place because data management isn’t about the software. It’s about changing the way that your employees and your business operates on a day to day basis.
As you look at your numbers, do you feel like there’s a disconnect with how much business you’re doing and how profitable your company is? It might not occur to you to point your finger at data management when you’re trying to figure out why your bottom line isn’t responding as it should be. If you aren’t capturing the right data, or if you have to grab data from disparate locations, there could be important questions that you can’t answer, or that you aren’t answering accurately, and this could obstruct your success.