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.
Cybersecurity is much more than an IT problem these days - it's become a general business problem. Before we dive in, let's remember that cybersecurity is not just a topic for large corporations. It affects EVERYONE, especially those in the small to mid-size business (SMB) market. The revelation of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities reminds us that cybersecurity affects everybody, individuals and businesses alike. Statistics are pointing towards hackers focusing a lot of energy on SMBs this year. Why, you ask? Good question.
In today’s fiercely competitive, technology-fueled world, there is one thing that businesses must provide their customers to survive: a great customer experience. This cyclical process begins with the sales cycle, follows through post-sale support, and then repeats itself when the customer is ready to buy again. It involves selling more, fulfilling orders faster, and offering the best customer service.
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
In the good ol’ days, backing-up meant saving files on a disk or tapes. Could you imagine doing a terabyte of data manually? Backup systems have advanced significantly, but their importance remains the same. What backup do you currently use? How is the continuity of this approach? Can you access it on demand? If you can’t answer those questions, it’s time to check out image-based backups.
Is your system getting slow? Have you outgrown your current equipment? It might be time to upgrade your network infrastructure. If the questions of “how” and “who” come to mind, we've got you covered. Outsourcing some of all of your IT management gives you a team of professionals who are responsible your network, including any projects that may come along. Many small businesses are thinly staffed in the IT department. Sometimes with 1 or 2 people. Or even more commonly, the IT manager doubles as operations manager or controller. These folks already have a lot on their plate.
Businesses rely on the Internet today more than ever. Especially for companies that use the Cloud. Having a reliable, fast connection can mean the difference between processing 10 orders today, or 100. How do you pick the right Internet service for your needs?
As an owner or business executive, have you ever contemplated your business objectives and come to realize that your technology is in the way of your plans? Have you had a great idea about improving business operations or productivity and found out that you just don’t have the right computer systems, or that it will cost a ton of money to upgrade? Would you like to know what the new trends are and how they could benefit you? Technology planning helps answer the above questions and many more that you may not think to ask. The primary goal of a technology plan is to support your business plan objectives and to keep productivity and compliance issues front and center. Here are the five steps to creating and executing a successful strategic technology plan.
Information technology (IT) is the foundation of operations for many companies. It can propel the organization to a new level when utilized effectively. On the other hand, if IT isn’t managed properly, it can quickly become an expensive anchor to growth.
Technology is a great enabler. Think of all the ways that your business is able to thrive, grow and serve your customers better – ways that didn’t even exist 18 to 24 months ago. That being said, technology isn’t perfect. For all of the power that these systems bring, software will have bugs, hardware will fail and the Internet will go down. Having a plan for when that inevitably happens is what separates the companies that are able to continue business as usual when the unexpected occurs, versus those that lose productive time due to IT problems.
I see it all the time: Businesses create their strategic plan for the year where they lay out their goals and objectives for each department. It’s BEAUTIFUL, yet it gets derailed somewhere along the way and you wonder why these goals aren’t being met, or why it seems like the teams keep running into roadblocks. Why is that? IT management (or lack thereof) could be unintentionally sabotaging your plans.
We all have things in our lives that are “fine” or “as good as it gets.” And for some things, that’s all we need. But you also know that feeling when you’ve accepted the status quo, and then you experience what it COULD be – the kind of results you never even knew were possible. I had an experience like that last week.