The best offense is a good defense: Disaster preparedness essentials

Guest blog by Cindy Bates, Vice President of Microsoft’s US SMB Organization Planning for “the worst” isn’t quite as fun as refining a business plan or coming up with new ways to market your products or services, but doing so just might make the difference between the success or failure of your company. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster; and, of the remaining companies, at least 25 percent will close in two years. Yet, small businesses that take time to develop a disaster preparedness plan that includes preventive measures as well as actions to be taken in the event of disaster greatly increase their odds of withstanding catastrophe. To get started with creating a disaster preparedness plan, I recommend small- business decision makers consider the following: Insurance plans and policies – … [Read more...]

Top IT Trends for 2012

In keeping with our new year’s tradition, we have compiled our list of the top technology trends for 2012. We scanned the available data, reviewed our previous predictions and made some leaps of faith. We are optimistic about the economy and expect many delayed IT expenditures to be completed this year. Advances in business technology continue their steady progression with many smaller businesses adopting leading edge technologies.  This year will be interesting for consumer electronics.  Maybe Steve Jobs left his next great invention in the Apple pensieve. Local Data Centers – As Cloud Computing gains acceptance and market share, more business will move their equipment and applications to their own private cloud.  Companies will look for neighborhood data centers that are accessible and provide boutique services. This provides an opportunity for IT service providers and managed … [Read more...]

A Giant Leap for Quantum Computing

Today’s computers are the product of a digital revolution.  When we talk about computing, we talk about an environment of ones and zeroes that add up to all the programs, graphics and communications that we use. Often we tease, it’s just ones and zeroes but that small concept has enormous and far-reaching implications. In the early days of computers, there was a competition between analog and digital computing for a practical, supportable, calculating machine.  Actually, analog computers go back to ancient times and were used to calculate the position of stars and planets.  Probably the most familiar example of an analog computer is a slide rule. But as analog slide rules were replaced by digital calculators so were analog computers replaced by its digital competitor. Analog computers are powerful because they have multiple states and are not constrained by just ones and zeroes.  They … [Read more...]

It’s a jungle out there – be smart online

Recently, I posted a job on craigslist for a senior systems and network engineer.  Although craigslist is a popular site, I have never used it and had some concerns about posting on a site that has received so much bad press. After researching, I decided to post our job and have been very happy with the response. But it’s a jungle out there and I knew to expect some scam artists to use the ad to try an attack. Then today, I received an email from updates-craigslist: Updates!New Terms – Accept: June 29, 2011 with the following message: ———————————————————————- craigslist ———————————————————————- Dear Customer, We need your help resolving an issue with your account. To give us time to work together on this, we’ve temporarily limited what you can do with your account until the issue is resolved. We noticed some unusual activity .  How you can help? You must reverify … [Read more...]

Social Media Tactics: Part 2

The second part of our tactics for social media includes LinkedIn and blogging.  LinkedIn is widely used by business professionals to promote their business and to job search.  It’s easy to set up  a personal and/or business LinkedIn page and you can keep it current using built in tools that won’t take too much of your time. Upon creation of your LinkedIn profile, be sure to craft a flattering position summary for your company to promote. Deciding how you will accept connections is important, as well. LION (LinkedIn Open Network) members connect to almost anyone that requests whether they know them or not. More conservative members only link to people they personally know. This is your choice and you can adjust your settings to share or hide your connections. There are many security settings that control how much or how little of your information is shared. If you are concerned … [Read more...]