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.
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.
I have a question for CEOs and business leaders: How are you doing with managing IT? The reason I ask is because people in your role have great business minds but, for the most part, aren’t technically inclined. By that I don’t mean that you can’t operate your smartphone, but that you aren’t familiar with the intricacies of a network with all its connections, and how everything works together.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
Most of us have tried to accomplish a task or goal and failed. Sometimes we start over and try to do the very same project in the very same way, and we’re still a little surprised when we fail again. Continuing with this process just takes us round and around in circles, and the result is that nothing ever gets accomplished. In fact, most of the time after we try a few times, we are in a worse position than when we started.
A massive technology ride is gaining speed as we get ready to move into 2019, and it’s going to cause a major disruption for those who ignore it. Microsoft has given us a lot of time to get used to the idea that support for some of our favorite desktop and server operating systems will end in early 2020.
Have you ever tried to go to sleep in a noisy place? Let’s say you’re on a plane and you want to catch some zzz’s before arriving at your destination. You try to drift off, but you hear the people talking in the seat behind you, the baby crying four rows ahead, and the high-pitched squeal of your air vent. Although you’re trying to sleep, your mind focuses on the noise in your environment, causing you to arrive at your destination just as tired as when you departed, plus annoyed and irritated that your plan to be well-rested for your meeting (or vacation, or your day) was disrupted.
I like watching professional magicians. I recently had the opportunity to see David Copperfield live at the MGM Grand and, I must admit, I found him absolutely amazing. When you watch him up close, it’s impossible to tell exactly what he does to create his extraordinary illusions.
In a recent blog article, Marty Kaufman recounts the story of meeting with a business owner who was panicked and in crisis mode because of a cyber attack. If we could backtrack to the days, weeks and months before the attack, we would probably find that the business owner did not pay much attention to cyber security at all because he didn’t think that a data breach could happen to him. Well, it could, and it did. We can’t go back in time and undo all the damage that has been done by this cyber attack, but we can help other executives avoid stumbling over some common misconceptions that unknowingly increase cyber risk.
Just recently, I learned about a local business that experienced a cyber attack. All of the employees were sent home to work from their personal computers because the owner was afraid that using their business systems would make matters worse. This business owner called and asked me to come over to talk with him about the situation. As I sat in his conference room and discussed what was going on, he was actually being attacked while I was there! Bank accounts and financial information were being compromised real time.
Threats from malware, complicated projects, and out-of-date equipment are front and center in executive conversations with Information Technology (IT) support firms right now. This past month, demand for my consulting time has been at an all-time high. As I advise business leaders and managers who are trying to get better results from IT, the first part of the discussion usually consists of defining exactly what IT is.
I bet most of you don’t wake up in the middle of the night sweating about Internet Bandwidth – my team and I do. Over the course of the last few years, the Internet and connectivity have become one of the most important topics of business conversations. Why, you ask? Today, almost every organization uses the Internet and its associated bandwidth for mission-critical applications. Companies are using cloud based-applications ranging environmental control systems (thermostats) and billing software, to ERPs and Shop Floor Control systems. Software manufacturers and the users of these systems (you and your employees) have become completely dependent on Internet availability. We expect it from jacks on the wall and from Wi-Fi systems, and we’re lost without it. Even a little blip in business Internet performance today interrupts voice calls, manufacturing production, billing, warehouse management, distribution systems, medical office patient processing, etc.