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Cloud Computing for Dummies

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Cloud Computing for DummiesMost everyone these days has heard of the computer cloud, but many don’t really understand what it is or what it does. Let’s take a look at how the cloud got its name and then discuss the basics of how it works.

How Did the Computer Cloud Get Its Name?

There are several different stories surrounding the origins of the name, among them:

  1. The cloud has long been a symbol of the Internet. Essentially, “in the cloud” for many years has referred to the software or other platforms on the Internet.
  2. For decades, engineers have drawn networking diagrams that pictured the cloud to represent the internal structure of a large network of computers and storage devices “out there”.
  3. A cloud was also used in diagrams to represent a network with endpoints connected by a data path.

So How Does Cloud Computing Work?

The cloud is not one entity, but rather it’s a huge system of servers, all around the world, that are connected to work together as one networked ecosystem. The servers can be designed to do a number of different things. Some of the main applications include:

  • Storing data – Businesses use the cloud to safely store data. The information can then be accessed with a password from any computer that has an Internet connection.
  • Delivering content – The content can include streaming services, software and social media platforms. Any computer or other Internet-accessible device can stream or download this content, provided proper password codes are entered.

What Are the Advantages of the Cloud For Businesses?

Businesses see many advantages of using the cloud to store data. Instead of bogging down the servers on location, the data is stored off-site, freeing up valuable storage on the company’s servers. This can save a lot of money in the long run. IUVO Technology states that the Federal government’s departments have saved upwards of 25-50% on the IT budget by moving data to the cloud.

Your company’s data is also much safer in the cloud. Because it is backed up, the chances of losing your data are very low. The information is usually encrypted as well, which makes it secure against cyber attacks. IT Services Boston are available to help you migrate your data to the cloud in the safest way possible.

Working with a trained professional to move your business data to the cloud will ensure that you find the right services at the right cost to keep your company safe and working at maximum capacity.

Tips For Introducing Automation To Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Business Automation|Tips For Introducing Automation To Your BusinessAutomation is all over the place in business these days. From things like programming software to help you to complete different tasks that are based on some conditions, you can really increase the speed and efficiency of things. It can massively increase the accuracy of the processes, especially for things like marketing and recruiting. That will then free up some time so you can better focus on some bigger, and more important work to boost and grow the business.

It can seem a little tempting to then dive in and start looking to automate everything. But it can be a good idea to have a plan in place that will help you to make the most of the time and resources that you need, in order to actually automate. It can take some time to set things up, but once it is up and running, it will make it all much simpler.

Test and Implement Solutions

One thing that you can do to find the best automation tools that you need, is to give each team in the business, an area to be in charge over. They can be in charge of testing and implementing it, to make sure that they know what they need to work. You’ll be able to see that the amount of resources that you will be saving will be quite astonishing, and that your members of the team will soon feel comfortable in adopting the new ways of doing things.

Calculate the ROI of Automation

Automation isn’t something that is always going to be simple and easy. You need to make sure to then estimate the time and the money that automating a process will be able to give to you, and then compare it to the time and the cost that it will all take to automate those processes. If you take some time and money now to get it all sorted, then you can look at recouping that investment and seeing if it is going to be worth it in the end for you. Think about making sure to prioritize automating the processes that will save you the most time and that in the end, will have the biggest return on your investment.

Think Long Term

When you are automating, it is important to think about what will make the most sense in the long term of it all. You should make sure that whatever solution you have has the ability to grow and adapt to changes in the future of your development. One of the worst things that you can do is to start becoming dependent on a solution that you don’t actually have limited control (or no control over). For example, an issue could be something like cloud-based storage and systems. These are the kinds of things that third-party apps are known for, that can make the difference.

Day to Day Items

Automation for some of the bigger things that your business has to deal with will save you a lot of money and a lot of time. But it is important to remember that there are plenty of smaller day to day things that you should deal with and automate as well. It can help to save you a lot of money as well, and it will mean that your day to day work isn’t taken up with daily small things that can be time consuming to organize and arrange. You could arrange for laundry and towel deliveries, for example, if you have a hotel or other similar business. Then you don’t have to even think about it; it will just be collected and then you can go from there. The same thing goes for things like refuse collections. You could look into some cheap bin hire and then go from there with arranging someone to take it away each week, for instance. There are large things to automate, for sure, from payroll to marketing. But there are a lot of things that are smaller, and that aren’t necessarily going to grow the business. If they are automated, then it can save you time each day, leaving you time to do the bigger things that are going to make a difference to the growth of your business.

Go Slow and Prioritize

Automating workflow can take up a lot of time and resources. Both of these things you’ll be able to recover in leaps and bounds, especially if things are done well. There is also a large learning curve that is involved with automation, so make sure that you don’t rush into things, and that can make a large difference. You could start by creating a list of some measures that will have the biggest impact on the company, and then you can prioritize how much work or effort, and even risk, is involved with each element.

Keep High Quality Control Standards

Automation, like with any computer system, will start off with issues, and could even get some bugs over time. Sometimes these things will become pretty obvious, and could just be seen as oversights. But other times, there are some things that will result from some unlikely boundary conditions. You need to subject some of your automation procedures to the same degree of quality and quality control that you would do for any product development, or other areas of your business. Once this kind of automation is deployed, then it is very important to monitor it closely, as well as being able to measure its effectiveness, in order to make sure that it works as expected.

Start Off Simple

Automation is a little like digging a tunnel. You know what you want it to look like, but you’re not sure what you will uncover along the way. It is best to begin with some areas that are useful, but still something that is simple. When you are learning, keep things simple. Then you will avoid a lot of wasted time, resources, and start to learn about your organization and the infrastructure that it has. If you’re able to do those things, then it will help you to maximize your productivity gains, while you prepare for some bigger things.

Streamline Your Business Technology In 4 Easy Steps

Investing in the right technology is essential for any business, but it only benefits your company if you do it correctly. Overcomplicating their IT systems is one of the more common mistakes that businesses make and it leads to a lot of wasted money and confusing processes which harm productivity. But if you can streamline your business technology, you’ll find that it works far more effectively and you’ll save some money at the same time. Here’s how you can streamline your business technology in 4 easy steps.

StrategyDriven | Managing Your Business | Streamline Your Business Technology In 4 Easy Steps

Understand Your Current System

Before you can start making any changes, you need to understand your current system. You might be thinking that you already understand all of the technology that your business uses, but chances are, you don’t. You need to speak with your employees and understand how they are using technology day to day, and how it improves their ability to work productively. You also need to look through a breakdown of everything that you’re paying for and ask yourself what benefit each piece of software or hardware brings to the business. If you can’t work out how something benefits the business, why are you spending money on it? Once you have a good idea of where you stand, you can start finding ways to streamline things.

Identify Your Needs

Often, businesses overcomplicate their technology because they do not consider their needs when purchasing software. Instead, they are drawn in by marketing and they buy things on the promise that it will improve their business, even if they don’t really need it. It’s important that you use a needs based approach and think about the problems in your business that need to be solved, then invest in software to meet those needs. If you do it that way, you will be able to make technology investments that improve your business and stop wasting money on things that you don’t need.

Invest In Cloud Solutions

Keeping all of your systems updated is important, but when you overcomplicate things, it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. But if you invest in the right cloud computing services, you can have them manage all of your systems and keep them updated, rather than handling it in-house. That makes things a lot simpler for you, but you still get the benefit of using the latest technology.

Integrate Software

The best way to simplify your business technology is to integrate your software. When you are buying new software, you should always look for applications that work seamlessly with the software that you already have in place. Trying to use multiple programs that don’t work well together will really slow things down for your employees. But if you can integrate everything properly, it will all work perfectly and you should see an increase in productivity. Trying to manage integration can be tough, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing, so it is best to call in an IT consulting company to implement everything for you.

Follow these steps and you can successfully streamline your business technology and save yourself a lot of time and money.

How Is Tech Benefiting The Healthcare Industry?

The healthcare industry has seen a rise in the tech available to them in the last couple of years. The industry is benefiting greatly from all of the new tech that they can now use to diagnose and keep better patient records. You might be wondering how tech is doing this for the healthcare industry, and you’re not alone. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the benefits that tech has brought to this industry in recent years.

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective | Healthcare | Business Technology

Improving Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits is that efficiency has been improved, and is still improving. Items like portable ultrasound machines make it possible to move the equipment instead of the patient which can save a lot of time. You know if you have been in a hospital how busy it is, and how manic it can get. This is why improving efficiency is always a goal, and one that tech happily obliged to.

Using tablets instead of or alongside paper records has made keeping patients data safe much more manageable. Now, people can’t just come in and pick up a medical history without having the proper authority. As well as this, it is far easier to lose paper copies of patient files than it is to lose that which is on a tablet. Having all the tablets linked means that any doctor or nurse can access a patient file without having to dig through mountains of paperwork.

Faster Results

With tech evolving all the time, getting the results from a test can be a lot quicker. This means that patient care can be given faster, which in some cases could save a life. Anybody who knows about the medical profession knows that it can be a case of seconds between life and death. With improved speeds of getting medical test results, patients can be treated more quickly, and given the best chance possible.

Easier Diagnosis

The more advanced the equipment, the better the imaging. This the case with items such as a portable ultrasound machine. With crystal clear imaging, it can be easier for doctors to see, and therefore diagnose what the issue is with the patient. Previously, it had been known to happen that something that looked like an issue could have been a spot on the machine, but with new tech coming in to play, the room for error here is significantly reduced.

Growing Medical Practices

Thanks to a lot of new medical equipment being available, it is a lot easier for doctors and dentists, like this dentist in New York, to grow their medical practices. This means that they can see and treat more patients, as the equipment is readily available to do so. By doing this, patients no longer have to go out of their way to go to a medical practice, because the one closest to them is full.

We hope that you have found this article useful, and now know some of the ways in which tech has been benefiting the healthcare industry. These are just a few of the benefits, if you want to know more, you can find these online.

7 Tips To Make The Most Of Tech

What is a business without proper technology?

It’s the eternal question that every new entrepreneur faces. The answer often reopens the typical debate about technology; namely should a business invest in tech or should it instead focus on other factors of success such as hiring the right team, keeping track of the trends on the market and managing your brand reputation. In reality, every business knows that there is no growth without modern technology to sustain it. You wouldn’t consider keeping your business afloat without a website or an email address, for instance. However, skip back to the 1990s, and you’d be surprised to know that most companies refuse to move with their times, finding a paper-based and one-to-one approach more suitable to their markets.

While nowadays the question of whether you need a website or not is not relevant anymore, the decision approach when it comes to technology follows similar patterns. Many companies are still hesitant about the tech they choose and how to use it effectively in their everyday business. From cutting down unnecessary tech costs to ensuring you select the most relevant addition for your company, these few tips should help you to make the most of your tech day after day.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Business Technology
 
1. Find affordable equipment

First of all, it’s fair to say that for start-ups and small companies, investing in new technologies is not a decision you can take lightly. Indeed, for a lot of businesses with a limited budget, even the choice of the most necessary equipment can prove a huge and sometimes insurmountable expense. However, a business can’t do without the equipment that defines its day-to-day activities. From a small farming business to a family construction company, each piece of equipment demands substantial funds. When buying new is not a financial option, you can find the right auction online to get the best second-hand machinery for your activities. Ultimately, buying the previous tech generation at a low cost is often a preferable solution to breaking the bank for the latest generation of gadgets.

2. Make the most of your tax deductions

Nobody likes to pay taxes. But small companies often forget that they can take advantages of numerous tax regulations to maximize their access to technology. Indeed, the Section 179 deduction now allows small and mid-size business to take a first year deduction of up to $1 million on purchases of relevant and qualified equipment. You can also add the depreciation allowance to all the second-hand equipment that qualifies for your company. Ultimately, you can use tax deductions to increase your purchase power, which can help you to invest in new tech for the company. Similarly, you can also combine equipment deductions and energy-efficiency, for the purchase of tech that supports a green strategy. With a little bit of tax know-how – or the help of a certified accountant – you can be in a better position to afford the tech you need to grow your company.

3. Train your employees

Bringing new tech into the office is an essential step to maintain your agility on the market. Indeed, by keeping your production faster and more effective, you ensure your company the advantage of a competitive edge. At least, that’s the theory of it. In practice, new tech is pointless if you fail to train your team to use it. Indeed, you want to not only maintain the tech excitement but also maximize it for your organization. What this means is that you can’t prepare new tech investments without planning for training at the same time. As the two processes are intertwined, you can’t expect your tech to serve any purpose without delivery the appropriate training first.

4. New equipment means new risk assessment audit

With the introduction of new machinery and industrial equipment to your company, you also bring new risks. Indeed, industrial equipment requires high level maintenance and maneuvering to delivery the best possible performance. Failure to stay on top of your maintenance schedule or to follow the operational instructions for the machine can affect both your production and the safety of your employees. However, it’s important to note that each work environment presents unique circumstances that can also increase risks for your workforce. Consequently, if you want to ensure the positive impact of each piece of equipment, you need to work closely with a risk assessment auditor first. The consequences of ignoring risks can be dramatic for the company and the individuals employed within it.

5. Manage maintenance costs and schedule

The latest cyber attack on the British national health system, the NHS, has demonstrated the importance of staying on top of your maintenance schedules. Indeed, many NHS centers were forced to reduce tech upgrades in an effort to save costs. As a result, many IT security systems continued to be used even though they hadn’t been upgraded to the latest standards. By taking advantage of this tech flaws, cyber criminals hacked their way through the NHS systems and infected more than numerous computers all over the UK. The ransomware attack revealed that 97% of NHS centers didn’t use the latest safety procedures.

6. Ensure innovative tech doesn’t lead to disruption

There is a fine line between innovative tech that creates a positive disruption of an established process and new tech that affects the safety and effectiveness of existing operations. Indeed, exploiting tech development to offer better services or outputs can dramatically transform the customer experience. However, disruption requires a thorough understanding of the new patterns of risks and liabilities that are being created in the process. You need to research who is affected by the exciting novelties before launching a full-scale adoption.

7. Buy what you need, not what you want

Start-ups are the first to test out new tech. They love the excitement and value they get from new items. However, not everything that shines is precious. While it can be tempting to indulge in the purchase of the latest gadgets for the workplace, you need to question the strategic purpose of your tech in the business.

From a waste of money to a waste of resource, poor tech implementation can affect your business growth at many levels. Ensuring you can use technology as a boost on your way to success, instead of an obstacle, is the number one priority of all entrepreneurs.