Manufacturing products is still a major part of the western economies; and, like other businesses, manufacturers are using information technology to fuel and manage their supply chains and business processes. We’ll take a short look at what IT manufacturers use, and how it helps them forge their business ahead.
Technology innovation in the workplace is something that is constantly shifting and changing, depending on what’s hot at any specific time. These days, it might seem like office technology innovation is stagnating, but we assure you that it’s still constantly improving. We’ll walk you through some of our favorites to improve data accessibility and workplace productivity as a whole.
For a moment, I want you to stop and consider something: Who do you turn to when your business’ toilets suddenly stop working? Who do you call for when the lights stop working? Most likely, an expert… so if you turn to the pros for these needs, why would you do anything different for your IT?
An engaged employee will be invested in the future of your company, as well as their own future that they can see within your business. Unfortunately, research showcases that the numbers don’t look so bright for employee engagement in the workplace. According to a 2015 poll from Gallup, only about 30% of employees find themselves engaged in the workplace, while about 50% say they aren’t engaged with their work, and 20% claim to be actively disengaged by their workplace.
If your business uses technology to be more productive and efficient, you know that as soon as you buy a piece of new technology, there is another one right behind it that has more power, or better features. This is true for consumers as well. This constant innovation is what has made technology a viable option for many small businesses. After all, if computers hadn’t been innovated on constantly, they’d still be the size of a room (or wouldn’t exist at all).
Even if we’d like it to last forever, business technology can’t possibly do so for a number of reasons. Due to the fact that businesses and their technology are constantly upgrading and changing, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll have to upgrade your technology at some point, whether it reaches its end-of-life event or just simply becomes obsolete for your organization. In fact, failing to update your infrastructure from time to time can have serious negative side-effects for your business.
For those who don’t know, the term information technology is an encompassment of the technology used in the facilitation of rendering, sharing, and storing data. Any piece of technology that is used to process, keep, send, and secure digital information, is considered IT. Today, we will look at some of the emerging technologies presenting solutions for businesses and individuals, alike, heading into 2019.
Information technology has always been a hotbed for future predictions. Whether it was Marconi’s grand plans for wireless communications or the bold prediction that every person would be carrying around a computer that fits in the palm of their hand, the future always looks bright when new technologies are considered. But, what does the immediate future of information technology hold?
How often do you see smart technology in headlines? The term is thrown around a lot, and it’s because there are countless products circulating in both the consumer and business environments. These connected devices range from smart forks to smart cars, so you can imagine that there are a fair number of useful (as well as useless) applications of this technology. How has it changed in recent months, and what will smart technology look like in the future?
The sad truth about computers is that when they inevitably break, you have to get them fixed; or, you have to order a new one. When PCs started to be utilized for mass productivity, however, businesses had to find a better way. It’s been years since the first managed services provider hung out their shingle, and over that relatively short time the managed services industry has grown to be a $150 billion-a-year industry. The combination of IT becoming an important part of nearly every business resulted in the obvious demand for affordable IT support. This trend has seen many businesses cutting IT staff to make way for outsourced managed services, and all it provides. A problem that both businesses, and the MSPs that they hire, face is that computers eventually break.
Technology plays a pivotal role in the way modern businesses function, and as a result it carries some element of risk. An example of this is how companies store electronic records. While the implementation of measures that are designed to provide greater ease of use and organization for a business’ employees make business move faster, it also makes it that much easier for a hacker to locate and steal data. Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, are vulnerable, as they may not have dedicated IT security.
Every business is searching for ways to improve productivity. There are now quite a few methods being used to boost the amount that each employee can accomplish, many of which revolve around technology. Admittedly, some of these methods may not be attainable for the average SMB… yet. However, as technology advances you may find yourself able to leverage some of these productivity-enhancing tools to improve the look of your bottom line.
It doesn’t matter where your business is located--chances are you’re susceptible to thunderstorms. Lightning storms are very unforgiving, and they can lead to all sorts of problems for unprepared businesses. We’ll discuss some of the ways that your organization could be affected by a lightning storm, as well as how you can take measures to mitigate these dangers in the future.
Whether you like it or not, millennials (those reaching young adulthood around the year 2000) make up a significant portion of the workforce. Appropriately leveraging their skills is going to become a big part of succeeding as a business, but millennials are known for their tendency to hop from job to job as opportunity calls. How can you keep your top millennial talent from jumping ship? You can start by offering the latest technologies.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply solely to millennials. Anyone would get frustrated from having to deal with last generation’s technology. Employees that have technology that works for them will be much less likely to leave, so it’s worth keeping in mind that an employee satisfied with their technology will more likely be a loyal employee.
A Future Workforce Study by Dell and Intel shows that 42 percent of millennials are ready and willing to leave a company that has no interest in providing them today’s standard of quality technology. The report was based on a poll of 4,000 full-time employees from all types of businesses, scattered throughout 10 different countries. Another statistic from the same study shows that 51 percent of millennials believe that virtual reality technology and the Internet of Things will be major contenders in the workplace in the near future, and that they will make face-to-face meetings practically unnecessary.
Some folks believe that this trend comes from the fact that employees are generally consumers themselves, and especially with today’s youth, they understand that the best technology on the market is likely to improve the way that a business functions. Therefore, millennials might not immediately understand the woes of a corporate IT budget. It might help to explain to them the situation, and to assure them that you’re doing everything you can to resolve the issues in the near future.
Keeping your business’s technology as up-to-date as possible doesn’t have to be challenging, and it poses several benefits that can give you a competitive edge. These days, you can take advantage of the best technology solutions “as a service,” meaning that you pay for them on a month-by-month basis. You get specifically what you need, without the hefty up-front price tag that often cripples budgets.
Think about it this way; if your server unit experiences a hardware failure, what do you do? If your IT budget is exhausted, and you can’t afford to replace it immediately, you experience downtime that can further cripple your business. One of the best ways you can combat this is by preventing problems from happening in the first place through proactive management and maintenance. Furthermore, we can create an IT roadmap for you that lets you plan for future upgrades, so that your promises to procure new hardware and software solutions for your staff aren’t empty.
To learn more, reach out to ISC at 502.292.5097.
All businesses need to use some sort of technology to keep their operations moving forward. Yet, it’s often difficult to gauge how new solutions will function with your current systems. You need to take your options into careful consideration before making such an important choice, and only an analysis of your current setup will help you ensure the success of your new technology.
Here are a few concepts that technology-acquiring decision makers should consider: functionality, interoperability, and flexibility.
Interoperability and Functionality
It’s essential that your technology solutions play well with others, but this is something that may be difficult to judge--especially if you’re not in the business of managing technology. Often times, running your business falls second while you’re stuck dealing with technology responsibilities that no one else can handle. If this happens, you probably don’t have the time needed to properly research a solution and may just implement it without a second thought. This is a dangerous practice and it could have unexpected effects on your current infrastructure setup, including access to mission-critical data and downtime.
You can never be too careful, and it always helps if you have professional technicians ready and willing to help you identify a good choice for your IT infrastructure. Only someone with the necessary knowledge of the latest technology should be making the decision to implement new hardware and software solutions. Otherwise, it is possible that your exciting new solution could become a hindrance.
Scalable, Flexible Solutions
Cloud computing and communications solutions are designed to offer organizations the flexibility they need to stay competitive and agile. Businesses using scalable solutions can tailor their services to meet their specific needs. Compared to costly, expensive service bundles, this flexibility is much desired. Think of it like the “cord cutting” phenomenon which cable television is experiencing today. Users don’t want to invest in costly cable bills when they can get all sorts of content to view through online services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Think of it like paying for 100 channels and only watching three of them.
Some of the many IT solutions that are both flexible and scalable to meet your needs include:
- Cloud services
- Virtual helpdesk and support
- VoIP telephony
- Hosted email
- Productivity suites and software as a service
This type of flexibility is something that’s built into our brand of managed IT services. We want our clients to feel that our solutions are specific to what they need. This assures business owners that the solutions they implement won’t be outdated in the near future, and can be adjusted to accommodate growth.
Another important topic to touch on is how difficult it can be to implement technology solutions when you’re not entirely sure what you need in the first place. An IT roadmap can help your business get the most out of its technology, taking into account where you want your organization to be over the next few years. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to us at 502.292.5097.
Replacing your aging or broken-down hardware is a part of doing business, and one that few business owners want to think about before it must be done. Hardware is expensive and tricky to replace without experiencing at least some downtime. That’s not to mention arguably one of the most important questions you have to ask yourself: What do you do with your old technology that’s filled with sensitive data?
Nobody likes talking about impending disasters or expenditures, but the failure of your mission-critical technology is something that you need to keep in mind, especially when planning your IT budget and expenses for the next few years. What happens with your old technology is of equal importance.
Plan for Your Technology’s Inevitable Replacement
When it comes to your mission-critical technology, having a plan can go a long way. You don’t want to be caught unaware, as a hardware failure can strike at any given moment. It helps to be prepared for untimely technology troubles by having an IT roadmap; a plan which details your technology expenditures over the next five or ten years. You should account for regular technology tune-ups and replacements, as well as emergency maintenance that’s impossible to predict.
Wipe All Hard Drives and Devices
It takes a lot more than a traditional factory reset to ensure that all of your business’s data has been removed from a hard drive. Before throwing your old PC out, make sure that this data concern has been addressed. Only a trained technology professional can provide the thorough scrubbing that a used hard drive needs before it’s thrown out. ISC can give you a hand with this delicate task.
Properly Dispose of Your Devices
Once you’re confident that your data has been removed from your hardware, it’s time to get rid of it. This is easier said than done, though. The world has a serious e-waste problem, especially in some developing countries. Hardware components contain precious metals that, in great quantities, can cause damage to the environment. Furthermore, developing countries that receive the bulk of this e-waste will use dangerous methods of isolating these materials, which further damage the atmosphere. It’s recommended that you contact ISC to properly and safely get rid of your e-waste for you.
Of course, if you’re just routinely upgrading your workstations, and there’s nothing really wrong with your old hardware, you might consider donating your outdated technology to local charities or nonprofits. Doing so gives your reputation a boost within your community, and can open the door to potential clientele. You can even keep it hanging around your office for use in the event that a workstation becomes unusable.
Does this process sound like too big of a pain? Whatever you do, don’t just throw out your old and ailing technology. Instead, contact ISC. We can work with your business to build an IT roadmap to plan out future technology acquisitions, as well as help you wipe your old technology and dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Tablets are definitely becoming a staple in the consumer electronics world. For the longest time, the tablet PC was an expensive, clunky device that just didn't wow consumers. Some businesses had adopted tablets back in the day, but they were difficult to use, hard to support, and they simply didn't perform for the price tag. However, like many consumer electronics, Apple reinvigorated the tablet market with the original iPad, and now it would seem tablets are here to stay. The question is, are they right for businesses?
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