Remote work has been a popular topic for a few years, but over the past year, with so many people forced into working from home, a lot has been written about it. Today, we wanted to briefly talk about some of the technology that is suggested for the remote business, and what we can do to help you support remote workers.
k_Street Consulting, LLC Blog
Technology is important to most small businesses today, especially when looking to improve it affordably. That’s why when making technology decisions, you should consider the following solid practices.
Of all the technologies currently used by businesses, the Internet is a strong contender for the most important. Regardless of their size, many businesses invest thousands each month into online Software-as-a-Service solutions as a means of more affordably equipping their users. Let’s talk for a moment about another cloud platform that has seen some advancement: Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some major operational shifts in how most businesses conduct themselves and their processes, with many of these shifts relying on technology solutions. While there’s still no telling for certain how much longer these conditions will persist, we predict that many businesses won’t abandon these solutions once the present danger has passed. Let’s discuss why we have this expectation.
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.
If your procedures and policies aren’t currently documented, they need to be. A written policy and procedure guide can help keep your team up-to-speed on the expectations that you have of them. Consider it a quick and easy reference for your employees to use to answer their questions. In light of this, here’s some tips to keep in mind as you put together your business’ employee handbook.
In uncertain times, one of the most important things for any business to do is to stay the course—albeit in an adjusted fashion. To help, we’ve put together a few key practices to work positively to achieve this end.
When a budget comes into play, it is important to remember that there are a few ways that you can adjust it beyond eliminating line items. For instance, you can instead optimize some of the most egregious financial requirements your technology has--its support costs--by translating the unpredictably variable costs you likely deal with now for your support, to the much more sustainable agreement that a managed service provider will operate through.
Contracts are a huge part of doing business. The practice is as old as the legal profession. You’ll be hard pressed to complete a transaction where money changes hands where there isn’t a document outlining the specifics of the liability each party takes on by entering that financial agreement. We call them receipts, but in retail, they are a signed contract.
Do you know what drives me crazy? It’s the fact that, of all the lists of things you can do to improve your business and boost your productivity and optimize something or other… it seems there's not much to be said about how your employees factor in.
In 2018, Amazon was struck by a considerable attack, with hackers taking funds from approximately 100 seller accounts, according to a Bloomberg report. Between May and October 2018, Amazon sellers were struck approximately 100 times, draining funds from the seller control platform to augment their own funds. According to the investigation, the first fraudulent transaction took place on May 16, 2018, with an undisclosed amount being stolen. The hackers utilized phishing attacks in order to scam their targets.
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.
As nice as it would be to always please everybody with your business services, it just isn’t going to happen. Sooner or later, you’re going to encounter someone who isn’t pleased, and they’re going to have the capability to do some damage to your reputation. Fortunately, there is a way you can mitigate this damage.
While running a business can be quite rewarding on a professional level, it can be extremely challenging, with countless obstacles to overcome--particularly in regard to technology and its management. Thankfully, there are ways your business can minimize the pain of managing technology. Here are just a few of them.
If you’ve read any of our content, we continually stress the importance of innovation. Learning how to adjust and do things better allows for any organization to maximize productivity. In doing so, it creates the environment needed to become a more successful business. But, can innovation actually be a productivity killer? Today we look at how innovating may not always be the best way to get your business to go where you want it to go.
Technology is an easy thing to take for granted, especially in an office that has countless solutions that are utilized on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small retail establishment, a large organization with multiple offices, or a factory to produce consumer items. Today, we’ll look at the various ways your business is changed for the better thanks to the use of technology.
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?
Almost everyone has, at one time, worked with someone with whom their personality clashed, whether they did not get along or just didn’t work effectively together. While this is a perfectly natural phenomenon of both nature and nurturing, it is best to put personal differences aside when forming a professional relationship with a coworker.
If there is one thing that supports everything a successful business does, it has to be communication. Any company relies on its communications to ensure that its clients are satisfied with their services, and as communications have improved, it has only become easier for a unified communication and collaboration, or UCC, strategy to take form.
In a business, some jobs belong to certain people: managers make sure that work is done when it needs to be, human resources make sure the workforce is accounted for, and so on. However, some jobs belong to everyone in the modern workplace who works with technology, For our tip of the week, we’ll go over some of these shared responsibilities.
Do you still rely on desktops in your office? While many organizations still use workstations almost exclusively, it has become clear that mobile devices present a certain advantage over “landlocked” devices like desktops. A recent study highlights the importance of mobile devices and the increased obsolescence of desktops.
Smartwatch enthusiasts now have one less brand from which to select, as rival Fitbit has successfully taken over the former Kickstarter project Pebble’s business. For companies that rely on software for their mission-critical tasks, lessons learned from the end of Pebble reminds business owners that, when it comes to innovative technology purchases, there is always a bit of risk.
Has your business moved to the cloud yet? If not, you’ve got some work to do--it’s only a matter of time before the need for the cloud completely overshadows your organization. Thankfully, it’s only challenging to move to the cloud if you don’t have a group of professional IT technicians helping you.
Fact: if the technologies an organization depend on become unreliable, then widespread problems and losses in productivity persist. Therefore, it’s crucial for every modern business to have some kind of IT support plan in place. What’s your IT plan look like?
Stress is a natural part of the workplace. It’s almost impossible to make it through the workday without getting stressed out about at least one thing or another, especially when you’re a business owner. In these stress-filled circumstances, it’s important to remember that stress isn’t always a bad thing; it has some redeeming factors that are often lost amongst the cacophony of shuffling papers and constant phone calls.
Tracking your net worth might not be the same as tracking how many much money you have in your account, but it’s a good start. By tracking your net worth, you’ll have a good idea of how your finances fare in the big picture of things. Doing this may even help you worry less so that you can focus more on improving your situation.
Plan Ahead to Replace Your Technology
Technology is no different than every other aspect of business in that it pays to have a plan. We call this an IT roadmap, which is a plan detailing what equipment needs to be replaced and at what time. A typical IT roadmap takes into account your company’s technology needs over the next one, five, or even ten years. The advantage to having an IT roadmap is that it’s easy to come up with an IT budget so you can set aside money for the equipment you need, instead of running your equipment into the ground and having to replace it when you least expect to.
It makes no difference how your business’s administrative chain of command is set up. Everyone should have a basic understanding of how your IT works, as well as its related responsibilities and functions. Here are four easy ways that you can educate yourself (and your staff) on how your IT department works, be it internal or outsourced.
Everyone loves a good vacation, especially if you have the good fortune of having a reliable staff on-hand that can handle the administration of your office while you’re away. Although, it might be tempting to just cut yourself off from technology and enjoy your time off, doing so might cause problems down the line that could easily be prevented by simply checking your email or calling home-base once in a while.
Two things are true today: 1) having a good reputation is critical to the success of any organization, and 2) the Internet is a vast network where seemingly anything goes. How then can you make sure that what’s said online about your organization isn’t hurting your reputation? By taking some basic online reputation management actions, you can stay one step ahead of the virtual haters and keep your reputation intact.
Any user of technology knows the frustration of periodically replacing it with better and more recent technology. In fact, the latest gadgets seem to be outdated just months after they’re released. Many people believe that this unprecedented growth in the technology industry could lead to a decrease in PC sales, but it also means that devices are growing more reliable.
In today’s competitive workplace environments, productivity is at a premium. Although, thanks to our gadgets, the allure of the Internet, and of course, having to interact with people, working at the modern office isn’t without its fair share of distractions, which hinder productivity. Here are three tips that you can use to tune out the distractions so you can get more work done.
As an employer, you understand that employees come and go. The same group of professionals who helped you build your business will probably be drastically different ten years, or even five years from now. While employee turnover is a natural occurrence, it also presents a certain risk. Believe it or not, a surprising percentage of employees will leave your business one day, and they’ll take some corporate information with them.
Running a business can be an exhilarating experience, mainly due to the degree of risk that’s involved. When you’re the one calling the shots, your success is only limited by your ability to lead. Then there’s the chance that things won’t work out and you’ll fail miserably. When your business goes the way of the latter, how do you know when your your company is finished and it’s time to call it quits?
Can you remember the last time you did your company a solid and updated all of its hardware and software solutions? If your organization is still using machines from several years ago, it could be holding it back from reaching its full potential. We’ll say it again, think hard about when you last updated your technology, and we really, really hope that you aren’t still running Windows XP or machines from last century.
When cloud computing was first introduced to the consumer market, the technology required a fair amount of explaining. Today, the cloud is widely utilized by consumers, despite the fact that 51 percent of the public believe that actual clouds are somehow involved. Due to so many people using the cloud, consumers are now approaching computing much differently.
As a business owner, you know how difficult establishing a paid time off policy is. Providing too little can make your business seem unfair, but giving away too much might make you feel like you’re losing money. Therefore, it might come as a shock to even suggest the idea of unlimited PTO. Some business owners, on the other hand, find it completely effective, and that it can even improve the quality of work.
The cloud offers modern businesses ways to store and run applications that couldn’t even have been imagined several years ago. While some companies have decided to go with the flow and take advantage of cloud computing, others might find that their cloud services aren’t meeting the standards set upon them. What can they do about this?
As you are no doubt aware, BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is taking the business world by storm. This forces employers and IT departments alike to consider the security ramifications of letting employees use their personal devices in the workplace. What’s the security situation of your BYOD policy look like?
One of the more recent office trends seems to be the open office. While this is more space-efficient and supposedly helps foster productivity and communication, there’s also the possibility that it can do exactly the opposite. According to a 2002 study from Environment and Behavior, the open office can be a hindrance to unlocking the full potential of all employees.
Let’s face it; the traditional telephony system your business relies on is outdated and holding you back from bigger and better things. You’re thinking about integrating a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system into your IT infrastructure, but you might not be sure what features to look for. How can you know for sure that you’re getting the right solution for your business?
The owner of a successful business growing at an immense rate knows how difficult it is to allocate time to all necessary responsibilities. In the words of Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, you might, “Feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” One of the things which might get pushed to the side is your company’s IT network. We feel that you shouldn’t have to take your attention away from your business to worry about IT.
Cryptocurrency is a concept that goes from somewhat useful (Bitcoin) to just plain weird (Dogecoin), and now it goes a step further with the anonymous new cryptocurrency called Darkcoin. It acts similarly to Bitcoin, but its primary selling point is that Darkcoin is completely anonymous and difficult to trace.
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