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.
Most small business executives agree that cyber security threats are real. From malware to phishing scams, many have gone through the pain of losing data, money, productivity, or all of the above. If you haven’t suffered a loss yet, you should count yourself among the lucky. You know that your company data should be secured as much as possible, but cyber security is an expansive topic with many areas to cover, so where do you start?
To get some insights into what we can expect in 2018, I reached out to a few Southern California executives in varying fields and asked them what their predictions were for the year. Once I gathered the data, a few themes emerged. Not surprisingly, many of them had to do with technology, or the impact technology is having on other areas of business. Here are a few of the trends we can expect this year:
Optimize your business's IT function, understand proper - and cost effective - IT staffing, and learn from the mistakes others have made.
Working remotely is the new normal for many business people today. But with everyone spread apart, how do you keep everyone on the same page? And how do you create a cohesive team when some of the team members don’t get to interact with each other on a regular basis? It's a common challenge; one that I face too.
You’ve had an IT manager for the last 15 years, and he’s (or she's) just told you that he’s retiring. He knows your business and your systems intimately – he might have even built them! So, how will you fill his shoes? How will you get what you need once when he’s gone?
Collaboration and connectivity are increasingly important in today’s world. It seems like every day there is a new tool or system for taking, sharing, and collaborating on notes. Each of these promises to make everything we have documented accessible any time, anywhere – and for the most part, that’s possible.
Information technology (IT) exists to help us be more productive and to make life easier. Software tools are critical for businesses to stay ahead – or at least on pace – with their competition. The challenge is that many still see IT as an obstacle; a necessary evil that all-too-often finds itself in the wrong column of the company balance sheet.
Every business wants to reduce its costs. Over the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of Southern California business executives and many of them are concerned about what they’re paying for IT Support Agreements. The conversation goes in one of two directions: either their provider is doing a good job, so they feel like it must be easy, or they aren’t doing a good job and the executive feels like they’re paying a lot for little gain. If you’re happy with your current IT services vendor but it seems like your costs are going up, it’s natural to evaluate where your money is going, and to look for ways to bring expenses down. Is there a way to reduce IT support contract, or IT services agreement, costs? Here are a few things to dig into to answer that question.
We’re living in a time where cybercrime and ransomware attacks are announced like the next big box office hit. They’re making an impact worldwide, and it’s causing many businesses to suffer downtime, loss of business, and increased costs to recover from attacks. One of the most common types of scams affecting businesses is referred to as phishing. Phishing attacks are generally emails that entice users to perform an action, like clicking a link to an infected webpage, opening a malicious attachment, or even wiring money.
By now you’ve likely heard about the massive ransomware attack that plagued companies worldwide in May, called WannaCry (a.k.a. WannaCrypt, Wanna Decryptor or WCry). WannaCry is a type of virus known as ransomware. WannaCry targeted Windows computers that were missing certain patches, or security updates. This virus got to those vulnerable computers through the Internet, or by users interacting with malicious emails. If successful, the malware encrypted files and asked for a ransom in cyber currency, Bitcoin, for the decryption key. It would also install a back door that must be removed after encryption.
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.