When did the Sunday Scaries, the anxious dread that precedes the beginning of the work week begin for you? The calendar is full, the to-do list is over-populated, and leaders fill multiple roles leading to burnout and negativity. It is no wonder that the modern professional is not excited to jump out of bed on Monday. A single hire could change this for your organization.
With such heavy workloads, energy toward creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is nil. Business leaders need energy that allows traction toward working ON the business, and not just IN it – spinning plates and wearing so many hats. A technology consultant may be the answer to “smarten” your tech to work for you, so you can work on the business you (used) to love.
What Is Technology Consulting?
These days, a Technology Consultant does much more than manage printers, assist with helpdesk repairs, or install networks; after all, technology is woven into every aspect of business. A consultant serves as a sounding board from whom you can ask questions, who will learn about your business, your goals, and how you implement technology. A good Technology Consultant is NOT an IT consultant; they look at a much broader picture, identifying efficiencies in processes, assessing risk, controlling costs, and advising on compliance and liability. Delegating these roles to experts will help you get back to the work you enjoy and may even help profitability.
A study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that the use of emerging technologies reduces costs. For example, the adoption of artificial intelligence, security analytics, and encryption saved companies up to $1.49 million compared to those who did not use these tools.
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I admit it- I am spoiled by Amazon. While I purchase locally when I can (Instacart, Grubhub, Doordash, Shipt, and such when I cannot go out in person) I also appreciate being able to procure a hard-to-find item and have it delivered in sometimes only a few hours.
Other industries that compete with Amazon have worked hard in recent years to catch up with the fleet-footed fleet of smiling vans. All companies on the fulfillment- side of the tech supply chain are suffering since the advent of COVID-19, and so are the hope and dreams of all would-be technology buyers. Since the shutdowns of 2020, our clients have seen radical changes to how quickly machines arrive at their offices: what may have taken at most a week to fulfill now can take multiple months to deliver. Ouch.
Large scale organizations with immense buying power are even having trouble obtaining the technology items they need- the bottleneck at manufacturers has yet to move. What is the strategy for small and midsized businesses to procure laptops, docking stations, monitors, and, well, anything with a chip so they can keep working? We have a few thoughts.
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Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a security feature offered by many websites, applications and devices that dramatically improves account security by requiring multiple pieces of evidence (your credentials) when logging into an account. There are three main categories of credentials: something you know, like a password or pin number, something you have, like a security token, verification text, call or email, or something you are, like your fingerprint, your voice or your face. Using our wall metaphor again, MFA is like having a second and third very high, slick wall. All good, right? Safe and secure! Or maybe not…
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The economic shocks of 2020 are drastically affecting the technology budgets of 2021 and pencils are being sharpened. 2020 saw bootstrap, instinctive, reactionary, financial decisions. Many organization’s plans for 2020 were thwarted by the pandemic and were put on hold. There is now no such thing as business-as-usual processes; executives need budget processes streamlined in order to react quickly and strategically with a more proactive than reactive stance. With so much uncertainly going into the new year, how should companies address and prioritize their technology budgets for 2021?
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Stalkerware is a term that is used for applications that are sold, usually by legally registered companies, to monitor children or track employees. The term “stalkerware” was coined for its wide use to monitor intimate partner’s or spouse’s activity without their consent. These apps are designed to run undetected and track or record user behavior and activity and may remotely control devices without the user’s consent or knowledge. They exfiltrate data like location, contacts, take screenshots, call and text logs, browser history, and even record phone calls. Some types of apps that are location services are expected, for instance, the Find My function in Apple phones to geographically locate devices and people, but this differs from stalkerware because it is a native application where the user is in control of who they share their location with. Stalkerware apps are especially insidious because the companies who design and sell them fail to protect all the data that is collected- opening the victims for double damage: not only do they have no privacy but much their personally identifying information for sale on the Dark Web as well leaving them open for attacks.
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In March, nearly two-thirds of Americans worked remotely due to the novel coronavirus. June has arrived with the country largely opening back up for business but seeing a different business landscape. Many questions emerge, with one of the most important should employees return to the physical office- at all? Is it worth the risk of infection to meet in the office when Zoom has worked so well? How will the open office plan, so popular for communication, fare in light of social distancing? Will handshakes go the way of the rotary phone? Employees are conscious of the prospect of carrying the virus back to their families; business owners are examining the expense of outfitting offices to appropriately accommodate the protection of employees while staying productive and avoiding liability. What about the fact that employees are enthusiastic about the perks of working from home, and may resist returning to the office? With all these things accounted for, many businesses are extending the work from home option as a longer-term or even permanent strategy for their workforce. Whatever the reason, there are considerations businesses should take if they are considering a long or longer-term work from home arrangement for their employees.
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