The ACCENT 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.
November is my favorite month of the year. And why wouldn’t it be? The craziness of the holiday season hasn’t 100% kicked in, we spend time being very thankful, and football is in full swing! ‘Tis also the season for companies to begin their strategic planning for 2018. For me, I enjoy the activity, excitement, and optimism that comes along with planning for a new year. During this season, I also spend a lot of time with business owners and managers. Our goal is to figure out what they can do to improve the performance of Information Technology (IT) in their business. These conversations almost always stem from three separate situations:
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to chat with an amazing manager at a very successful distribution company. The manager called to ask if I would give them some quotes on some very important IT security tasks that she needed done quickly.I listened to the request and let her know that we could take care of the issues. Then, I asked her if it would be okay if I stopped by to discuss the problems in a little more depth. With some reservation, she agreed to a quick in-person meeting. When I arrived at her office, I immediately noticed an immaculate shop with technology being used as a competitive advantage. It was evident by the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) all over the facility that the systems were tightly integrated. Awesome! We sat down, and I asked her to give me a brief overview of the problem she needed handled and how I could help. This was when I began to understand what was going on.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
I was with a group of business owners a few weeks ago and the topic of company culture came up. As with any discussion of culture, it was an interesting and quite perplexing discussion. Some were curious what culture was all about, and others wanted to understand how to create a good culture at their organizations.
Over the past four weeks, I've met with lots of business executives -- spending hours discussing things from information technology (IT) to taxes, and everything in between. Turns out, business people are just about as frustrated with IT support as they are with taxes!
Our country may be going through some interesting times, but the economy is doing well. And when the economy is strong, businesses seem to be more open to hiring. That can put a company like ours in an interesting position. You see, Accent Computer Solutions is a provider of outsourced IT services. If a strong economy means companies are hiring again, you’d think that outsourcers would be in trouble. Luckily, that’s not the case. Not only are we seeing job growth in our business, our clients are expanding as well.
It’s a fact of life: we put off making decisions. Some of us are more decisive than others, but the fact remains, we all procrastinate from time-to-time. Whether it’s in business or in our personal lives, we all do it. But why?
This month has been significant in terms of the way business leaders have come to me for advice on getting the best technology results. As I reflect, I realize that there were two distinctly different ways in which people reached out to me. The first was a business owner that was looking to advance his manufacturing system.
We have all done it. Met someone who does (fill in the blank profession) and asked them for “10 minutes” of advice. Just like your co-worker's dentist husband can’t tell if you need a root canal at the company holiday party – the IT world isn’t quite that simple either. As it turns out, like your potential root canal, that “simple IT thing” can be much more complicated than you thought.
We have this notion that all the bad stuff on the internet takes place in a dark room. Some faceless guy in a hoodie hunched over his computer screen, discreetly, but effectively, wreaking havoc on the world. That, ladies and gentlemen, is from watching far too much made-for-TV police dramas. The truth is, the “bad guy” isn’t usually just one person. It’s more likely a group activity. Consider it a mafia of digital hackers working to get their hands on top dollar information. Beyond Chrome and Internet Explorer -- a.k.a. the “regular web” or indexed web's -- search engine capabilities, there is the Deep or Dark Web.
I got the opportunity to run the iconic Boston Marathon this month. Held each year on Patriot’s Day (April 17), the Boston marathon is a “bucket list” race for many serious distance runners. The qualifications for entry are stiff. All 30,000 entrants (less 3,000 charity spots) had to run a qualifying time in a sanctioned marathon. There are people all over the world who work for years to earn a cherished spot in their respective age group.