Looking back at the past few years, it’s little wonder that many people have become more concerned about their health—particularly when it comes to the workplace and spending extended amounts of time in the vicinity of other people. This makes it important that you do everything you can to make your workplace a healthier and safer-feeling place to work… but how?
k_Street Consulting, LLC Blog
In the post Prime Day space, you might realize that you have purchased quite a few consumer electronics from the web retailer, and if you did, we hope you found some great deals that you can write home about. But before you throw out your old devices in favor of the new, we urge you to think about the approach you are going to take, as improper recycling and disposal of devices could have negative effects on both the environment and your personal data.
If you work with technology, then you are likely to have a good idea of what innovation is and isn’t. Innovation is born from creativity, and while it’s not often associated with business IT, there is something to be said for how technology professionals solve problems in a creative fashion, solving problems with solutions available either in-house or on the market. Today, we are focusing on how this creativity can be an asset and how you can foster creative thought in your office.
It’s fair to say that, across the board, times have been particularly tough as of late for businesses. On top of businesses having to fight through the socioeconomic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain issues, they also have to juggle more data than ever.
In short, businesses need reliable and cost-effective ways to manage their critical technologies.
Innovation is a driving force behind business, and it has been for essentially the entirety of human existence. The pandemic has brought about an era where businesses are producing solutions that have many new features, but these features don’t necessarily enhance or add anything to the customer experience. Let’s examine how this desire to stay profitable flies in the face of true innovation and doesn’t provide useful or practical products to consumers.
How seriously does your business take data backup and disaster recovery? You might not be able to predict the future or what might occur, but you can at least prepare for it to mitigate the damage it could potentially bring about. Today, we want to share some of the best practices you can implement to combat even the worst disaster scenarios your organization might encounter.
Businesses are rarely successful without the ones steering the ship having the ability to make great decisions. Whether it’s managing your workforce, supporting your customers, or procuring the right equipment to best facilitate productivity, good decision making will be at the heart of any organization’s success. Let’s examine how you can make better decisions as they pertain to your technology solutions.
Businesses that utilize technology often try to make it last as long as possible to avoid the costs of overhauling their entire infrastructure. This can cause a lot of damage in the long term, though, especially if this practice leads to keeping technology longer than necessary. Let’s examine some of the variables that go into technology refreshes and how you can know when it’s time to do so.
If your business is trying to limit costs, then printing should be one of the first things you look at. Paper documents have historically been important for businesses, but they take up a ton of space in the office and are incredibly difficult to regulate effectively. Let’s go over how you can decrease the resources you spend on printing and maximize efficiency elsewhere in your paper practices.
It’s important that attorneys have access to the important information and tools needed to enable them to do their jobs. When they can do so easily, they are able to bring in more revenue, take on more clients, and provide better services to their clientele. What kinds of technology do lawyers need to improve their practices?
Remote work has only grown more popular with time, to the point where it is now common for employers to offer it in some capacity. While the pandemic may have expedited this shift, it is clear that remote work has become a new normal in some industries. Today, we thought we would address one of the hot-button issues about remote work: keeping your staff engaged and productive.
The pandemic forced businesses to reexamine the way that they operate, but even though the pandemic is, unfortunately, still ongoing, many have returned to conducting business as usual like they did before it began. One part of business that will not return to normal anytime soon is the supply chain, as these issues will likely persist into the future.
Businesses are different than ever before and that means that their employees have to do things differently. What do we mean by this? Well, as companies have been toying with the notion of removing the restraints of traditional work and allowing a larger percentage of their staff to work remotely, it changes the strategies somewhat. Today, we’ll identify a couple of ways remote teams need to lean on their technology and two steps you can take to get significant contributions from collaborative platforms.
When your business experiences a significant disruption, a disaster recovery plan is critical to getting back to normal. Some disasters are the result of external threats, while others come about from internal problems with your company’s operations. Here are some things you should consider when looking into potential disaster recovery solutions to help you get through a data disaster.
When you run a business you have so many variables to balance and so little time to do so that technology inevitably becomes an essential cog in your ability to manage everything. Unfortunately, technology isn’t cheap and the technology that you think you need may not be a viable purchase this year. Today, we thought it would be good to identify three strategies that can help you save money, while also getting the benefits that technology brings.
Widespread remote work is a relatively new method of operations for most businesses, but even with the limited amount of time it has been in play, the benefits it contributes have been made abundantly clear. Working on the assumption that remote work won’t be abandoned as quickly as it was adopted and instead may see some growth, let’s hypothesize what impacts it could bring to society as a whole.
If you have tried to replace any hardware over the past couple years, chances are you were either met with significant disappointment or a hefty price tag. There is currently a hardware shortage—particularly for business electronics—and the entire business technology industry is reeling from it. If your organization depends on technology, as many do, you need to understand how this shortage could impact your day-to-day operations.
Look, nobody likes picturing the worst-case scenario that could befall their business—even doing so might feel a bit like memorizing a divorce attorney's number as you write your wedding vows. However, failing to have some strategy in place could very well lead to your business’ downfall. What does it take to properly plan and prepare for the possibility of a disaster, and the associated recovery you’ll have to undergo?
You might think that remote work for specific positions is taking off, and while this is true for some, it’s not necessarily the case for all. Knowledge workers, for example, are seeing fewer and fewer new job postings, as evidenced by a report from Braintrust. This report analyzed 150,000 new job postings and had some surprising results on the remote work front.
Has your business implemented the next iteration of the Windows operating system yet, Windows 11? If not, you’re not alone; adoption has been progressing at a snail’s pace, and according to industry professionals, it’s not going to ramp up for quite some time. Still, recent surveys and polls indicate that Windows 11 adoption is far lower than expected, and there is even some discrepancy between reports.
There are plenty of companies that have implemented remote work policies to combat the isolation forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses even had to resort to downsizing or shutting their doors completely because they could not adapt to these circumstances. Today, as we enter 2022, we thought we would take a look at the role security plays in an effective remote work policy.
As time passes and your business accomplishes great things, you might find yourself in positions where your network cannot handle its normal everyday workload. When there is so much network traffic and data transference, it can be difficult to identify where and why this slowdown occurs. What is a network bottleneck, and how can you resolve this issue?
Have you ever felt the anxiety of missing out on something for no real logical reason? This fear, also known as the “fear of missing out,” (or FOMO) is applicable not just in social situations, but in the business and professional world as well. The concept might seem rather juvenile in nature, but it is a very real thing that can influence your actions… and not always in a positive way.
You should never settle for less than the best, especially with your business’ technology solutions. Unfortunately, this part of any company’s operations can be so stressful to manage that people often push IT maintenance to the wayside. So, if your company is not performing maintenance on its technology, how can it remain functional? It’s all about finding someone with the right skill set to manage your technology, something that is easier said than done.
We often talk about how some businesses do not have the budget to hire technicians to perform regular maintenance on their IT infrastructures, but what about the one behind the scenes calling all the shots? If companies cannot hire technicians, then it stands to reason that they also cannot afford someone at the executive level who manages their workload. The concept of the virtual chief information officer, or virtual CIO, challenges this notion by providing access to technology leadership for small businesses.
With so much competition in business today, it’s no surprise that companies are always looking for the next big thing to get ahead. One way these companies can improve operations and kick their businesses up a notch is through the use of the right technology. With the right IT on your side, you can make a significant difference between yourself and others in your chosen industry.
Turnover happens in the business world. It’s just a matter of when and how often it happens, as well as how your organization responds to it. If your company fails to address certain parts of the turnover process, it could have negative consequences that must be addressed. We’ve put together three ways that you can be sure former employees do not cause you trouble when they leave, particularly in regards to staffing and cybersecurity.
Technology has always been ingrained in the operations of businesses to an extent, but it was only recently (in the grand scheme of things) that standard business technology such as desktops, server units, and other computing hardware really started to take off. That said, it’s now a staple, so your organization should be making informed decisions regarding any new hardware that you implement.
Technology is often a source of struggle for small businesses, usually for one of two reasons. Either the strong IT leadership needed isn’t there, or there aren’t enough resources to support the level of IT management and maintenance that businesses need. Of course, there are other mistakes that can easily be made when it comes to a business’ technology management.
Many critics of a shorter work week believe that cutting the number of hours worked throughout the workday or work week could potentially lead to a decrease in productivity, but a new study from Iceland suggests that this simply is not reality. This study suggests that productivity should no longer be a cause for concern when it comes to a shorter work week, as its astounding results show what really happens when you reduce the number of hours worked without reducing pay.
If your business wants to improve operations, one way it can do so is with an in-depth knowledge base that encompasses its policies and procedures for anyone who might work for you or take advantage of your services. Businesses that are well-documented have a much easier time when it comes to onboarding new talent, and with a thorough enough knowledge base, customers and vendors will have an easier time working with you, too. Today we are discussing the different types of knowledge base systems and why they might be a good fit for your business model.
It’s no secret that software often does not work as intended. Developers frequently discover bugs and patch them out. The same can be said for security vulnerabilities. Despite the importance of these updates, small businesses often fail to implement these patches and updates in a timely manner, a practice which can lead to more problems down the road.
Business continuity is difficult to talk about for some business owners, specifically because no one likes to talk about the worst case scenario. What would you do if your business were to suddenly go through a disaster? Do you have a plan in place? If not, let’s talk about that. Here are some aspects of business continuity that you must consider. Remember; your company’s future depends on it!
For all its benefits, remote work can introduce plenty of complications. These complications can easily make employees question a lot of things about their careers, including whether or not they should continue working for the same company they have been. This has been particularly the case amongst workers with children also in the home.
Working from home adds quite a few additional wrinkles into the workday, including a few that pertain to your team’s communicative capabilities. With many different people operating at their best through different forms of communication, establishing which of these forms best suits your needs is crucial. Let us consider some of the options you have, whether you’re fully investing in a future of remote operations, or simply planning a more hybrid approach as time passes.
Managed IT services have grown from a niche offering to a well-known concept in recent years, with many businesses already relying on outsourced IT services to some degree. In many ways, this only makes sense, as it allows businesses to enjoy access to services that would otherwise cost too much for them to independently adopt and support.
With businesses depending on technology more now than ever, it stands to reason that the collaboration solutions that are available would improve as demand increases. Today’s business needs a collaboration solution that allows them to communicate, manage tasks, and be a reliable solution for teams separated by more than just a wall. Let’s take a look at the modern collaboration tool and how they provide powerful benefits for the modern business.
When the Internet was established, it was a marvel. Now people could move information across the world in a matter of seconds. This is why the term “world wide web” was coined. Nowadays, there are literally billions of users on the Internet and the rules have had to be changed. This has some online services in conflict with government regulations and has an impact on how users are able to use the Internet. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
AI has been one of the leading innovative topics to hit the technology world over the past couple of years. At first, people thought that AI was only the process of creating machines that will inevitably destroy the human race, and didn’t understand that algorithmic machine learning could have stark benefits for business and society. Today, AI can be found in all types of different pieces of software. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways AI is currently being used in business.
Considering that 2020 was… less than great for many businesses, it should come as no surprise that there will likely be difficulties that carry on for some time into 2021. Naturally, these difficulties will require some new ideas and fresh thinking to properly resolve, as well as an openness to adopting innovative technologies. Let’s look ahead to some of the IT challenges we anticipate that 2021 will hold for businesses.
Businesses of all sizes have been able to successfully overcome operational challenges by rethinking and adapting the technology they utilize. Let’s consider a huge example and look at what The Lego Group (as in the building blocks) has done to address some of their technological challenges with improved solutions—as well as how your business can do the same.
Since its widespread adoption, the telephone has proved to be a hugely beneficial tool for businesses of all kinds… despite the considerable costs that it can incur. Fortunately for your business’ budget, however, there is a far more cost-effective means for you to enjoy the benefits of telephony: VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol. Let’s go over some of the reasons why VoIP is just a better option for any business.
For most people, the term tech support is pretty self-explanatory. The terms managed services and MSP… not so much. Let’s go over what makes managed services and what we do as a managed service provider so different from the IT support you may be used to. To start, we’ll review where the idea of an MSP came from, and end with what one like us can do for you.
When you see that we offer tech support, you almost certainly have an idea of what that means. However, upon hearing about our typical service delivery for the first time, many people are really surprised by how different our services—as a managed service provider—are. These differences are not an accident. Let’s go back in time a little while to explore how managed services came about, and what difference they could make for you.
If you are a regular visitor to our blog, you know just how important we think data backup is for any business that relies on data. If your business stores and creates data, you need to have a backup strategy in place. It’s that simple. Today, we want to discuss how to improve your data backup strategies with a BDR.
Business leadership is an important trait for more than just a business’ leader by title. It is something that should be present at every level, encouraged by the individual at the top. To do so, it helps to ask your team the right questions to put them in a mindset of responsibility for the business’ well-being. Here, we’ve shared some of these questions to get you started.
As the pandemic enters its third quarter, many places have the spread of the COVID-19 virus under control and are starting to open up offices and other workplaces. Ultimately, it is the business owners’ and managers’ decision whether or not to demand attendance in an office, as most jobs completed in one can be effectively completed from home. For businesses that are opening their office and inviting their employees back, technology is still going to play a significant role. Let’s take a look at what IT is going to be important for people returning to the office after all this time.
For a lot of businesses, 2020 has seen some major challenges. Many SMBs feel like they are in a snow globe attached to a paint mixer that is always switched on. With all the problems laid out in front of them, many businesses have decided that in order to protect their business that they would subscribe to a strategy of proactivity. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways managed services help keep you ahead.
Unfortunately, small businesses are having a hard time right now. If your operations are to continue throughout this time, some significant changes are going to be required. Here, we’re looking at how you can use current technologies to help sustain your business. Chances are, you may already have these technologies available to you.
Okay, time for some real talk: There is no denying that 2020 has held a few unique challenges for everyone who runs a business. Economic challenges, political tensions, and an honest-to-goodness pandemic have all thrown us all for a loop. As a result, it is important that businesses all adjust their technology priorities to survive. Let’s discuss these priorities, and how they will need to shift.
With businesses slowly resuming their operations, it is effectively guaranteed that this process will be bumpy. However, this in and of itself presents an opportunity for these businesses to improve their operations for long-term benefits. Whether you are actively opening your doors or ramping up to do so, you need to have today’s technology supporting you and your activities.
With less than half of 2020 behind us, many of us would already like a re-do of this year. With a global emergency impacting the personal and professional lives of so many, businesses are struggling right now. For these organizations to survive, they will need to get the most out of every business investment. When it comes to their essential technology, we recommend investing in managed IT services.
While managed services have made more sense for businesses to utilize for some time now, current events have made it even more apparent that this model of IT support is the only feasible option for businesses going forward. However, it has also never been clearer that you need to be selective in who you choose to provide this support.
The COVID-19 outbreak has a lot of business owners looking over their supply chains and their budgets wondering how they are ever going to make things work. If yours is like most businesses, you use IT to make your business smarter, more efficient, and help your workforce be more productive. Unfortunately, with recessionary winds swirling around as a result of this terrible situation, it may become inevitable that your business will have to do more with less for some time.
There are many reasons that you might want to make your office a little more “green.” As it happens, there are just as many ways that you can put forth the effort to do so. If you’re trying to run a more environmentally-conscious business, we have a selection of a few relatively simple ways to start.
There is a major problem that the owners of most small-to-medium-sized businesses run into: impatience. Their business might not be growing at the rate they like, or they may just have too much work to accomplish in order to grow. Whatever the problem is, outsourcing parts of a business can really bring a whole lot of benefits. Let’s take a look at how outsourcing can help the modern business.
In business today, information technology is being utilized in a manner that can make it seem like business isn’t possible without it. In some cases, it isn’t, but then there is technology being deployed that is simply inefficiently deployed, used haphazardly, and could be looked on as more of a liability than anything else. Frequently getting an IT assessment can help keep your IT infrastructure secure, agile, and aimed at solving your organization’s operational issues. Today, we’ll take a look at the IT assessment.
Today’s business is much more collaborative than it was in the past. This means that there are a lot more communications to manage. Small businesses may use technology to try and bridge the gaps and large businesses use it to manage huge and complicated workflows. Today, we take a look at the average business’ internal communications, and which tools are best for increased productivity.
Technology gives business owners opportunities to expand, and essentially has become the center of most business practices. Marketing, customer contact, all sorts of inter and intra communication methods now depend heavily on technology. Let’s take a look at what the past has brought, and what the future could bring us.
Once upon a time, the printer was absolutely crucial for business to be conducted properly, but nowadays, the use of digital solutions has greatly reduced the need of printing things in greater volumes. However, this is not to say that printing is not still an important facet of your business to manage. Here, we’ll examine how print management can help a business do so.
When you think of professional services, you may think about smart people doing important things that took them years to learn how to do. You may not, however, consider them the kind of people that lean on their technology to make their businesses work. This is because for the longest time, technology wasn’t a major part of the professional services landscape.
It has reached the point that, if you have a business, you had better have a backup prepared. Otherwise, the digital data that modern businesses like yours rely on is vulnerable to loss. Of course, depending on the age of your business, you may have data that no longer applies to your operations. That’s why we’re going over how to select the data you should continue to back up.
Any healthy market economy relies on innovation. The simple act of making bright ideas even brighter helps boost economic efficiency and growth, creating a higher standard of living. Business processes are being transformed through information technology. Here, let’s look at how some of these shifts are shaping up.
Today, large companies typically use their data to help them make more educated business decisions. This strategy can actually benefit smaller businesses as well. However, they often don’t think they have enough data to facilitate analytics or BI (Business Intelligence) platform. Let’s take a look at how small businesses can use their big data.
Old-school business information technology support isn’t necessarily wrong, but it most definitely isn’t cheap nor efficient. IT support strategies are developing in ways that some time ago, would have thought to be unheard of. Your business no longer needs a full on-site staff designated to maintaining network security or updating software. In part two of our five-part series, we discuss how your business can have the support it needs through managed services.
Computers sometimes appear to have a mind of their own. For businesses, this is less than ideal. If the support structure is not in place to take control of your business’ infrastructure, your business' profitability may be negatively impacted. In this five-part series, we will discuss how being proactive keeps your technology in check.
Small business owners have a lot on their minds and a ton of responsibilities that the average employee doesn’t have. Small businesses often force business owners into taking on various roles that may or may not fit their specific skill set, including CIO or CTO. Of course, the Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer are responsible for technology-related decisions, but the reality of the matter is that you only want technology professionals in these roles… not just professionals who happen to be the most knowledgeable folks in your office.
Downtime is a killer for any business. When a business is forced into confronting its technology support deficits, it usually means that they’ve been dealing with too much broken technology and downtime, and the costs associated with it. One way your business can avoid losing huge chunks of time to broken technology is to add a professional help desk to support your IT administrator.
All businesses need some type of communication infrastructure, especially considering how connected today’s workplace is. Today we will look at some of the best communications solutions out there for businesses of all sizes and industries, including many that you may (or may not) have already implemented for yourself. You can use this knowledge to fuel improvements to your own communications infrastructure.
Technology has enabled businesses to do more with less, although this isn’t always the best thing. Many small businesses simply feel that they don’t have the technology solutions that properly resolve their challenges. However, these solutions exist, and offer all the robust functionality that many businesses seek.
When considering a business’ strengths, there is a tendency to focus on its more quantifiable aspects - it generates x dollars in revenue, or leverages advanced solutions a, b, and c. While these kinds of competitive advantages are valuable to have, it is also important to recognize how critical one of your more qualifiable strengths can be: your company culture.
Whether they are expected or not, there will always be situations when your business incurs some damage or loss due to natural disasters, downtime, or other issues. You might find that a little preparation could have kept some of the disaster at bay, and it could honestly save you a ton in terms of lost time and resources. In fact, it could save your organization from the brink of disaster.
Do you know what can completely kill a business’ momentum? Downtime. Businesses of all types look for a myriad of ways to save themselves the headaches that come from significant downtime. One way that is sure to reduce an organization’s downtime is by having conscientious IT management and support at the ready. One problem with this is that it's typically costly to hire a team of IT professionals with the experience and knowledge to keep your technology up and running.
One industry that most people wouldn’t necessarily consider to be IT-rich is manufacturing. With automation becoming a major point of emphasis for many businesses, IT has taken on a larger role for today’s small and medium-sized manufacturers. Today, we will take a long look at what the manufacturer’s IT needs are, and what solutions they use to help steer their company forward.
Technology training is something that all employees have to go through at some point in their career, whether they are a CEO learning how to use a new solution, or an end user that uses it every day. However, we know that your employees don’t necessarily have time to sit down for training, as they likely have other responsibilities that must be tended to. How can you make sure technology training is a valuable investment on your part?
Business owners; ever sit down and run through all of your expenses and ask yourself (or your accountant) what you are actually paying for? We’ve been there. Technology expenses like hardware, software licensing, cloud hosting, management and maintenance, support, and service agreements all add up quickly and it makes it easy to question what you can trim to save money without sinking the ship, especially when you rarely need to call your current IT provider.
A.I. is one of those technologies that captivates the imagination with endless possibilities. You can’t turn your head these days without using something integrated with early artificial intelligence. Machine learning platforms, which are very rudimentary forms of A.I. are now being used to improve many of the tools a small business uses. Today, we will briefly go into what machine learning is and how small businesses are using it to their advantage.
The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the spirit of gift giving. Your IT department would certainly appreciate receiving a few gifts of their own to dabble with over the next business year. We’ve compiled a list of the best technology you can get your IT department to save them both time and resources.
Telephones have been around for so long that nobody alive today lived in a time where they weren’t in use. While the general use for the telephone has remained the same, the major difference between older telephone systems and many of the telephone platforms available today is how they are deployed. Businesses have more options for telephone services today than they have ever had before, and with so many options at your disposal, we’re happy to help you weed out the right one for you.
It’s no secret that cloud computing has become a major part of what most small businesses’ operations. One aspect of business administration that many businesses keep in-house is their HR department. Today, we’ll take a look at HR and payroll software, and how moving your business’ human resources department to the cloud is a good solution.
Businesses these days rely on technology in order to function properly, but what happens when this technology doesn’t operate as intended? If your organization doesn’t have a dedicated help desk on-premise, you’re probably suffering from unnecessary downtime and technology troubles with no recourse.
As the technology that businesses have available to them develops, so does the propensity for this technology to be used unethically. This has become especially apparent where data collection is concerned, and what that data is used for after it has been collected. How can you keep operations moving both productively, and ethically?
There are various types of user accounts that your employees and administrators can use to access their workstations, but one of the biggest points of contention to consider when planning out data access is the use of administrator accounts. Specifically, you want to avoid handing out administrator account access to users like it’s Halloween candy.