Let me ask you a question: how well can you multitask? Regardless of what you may claim, I already know the answer, and it’s “not very well at all.” Multitasking just isn’t how the human brain is wired to work. So, why am I discussing the limits that our brain’s physiology places on it? Honestly, because it’s related to a major benefit that managed services provide that tends to fly under the radar.
Technology can resolve many issues for your business, especially when they get in the way of your operations. In fact, your technology plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your business can run at optimal efficiency without being held back by common pain points. Today, we want to discuss ways your organization can and should implement managed IT to solve common issues in your business’ operational infrastructure.
A successful business is a growing business, so you should be prepared to grow alongside your profit margin by accommodating for increased operations and resources. Otherwise, you could be putting your future on the line by remaining stagnant for too long. Let’s discuss the difference between scaling your business and growing your business, and especially why scaling might be more important than simply growing it.
Business growth is an almost ubiquitous goal for business owners, but without properly preparing for this growth in terms of operations and resources, unfortunately, that endeavor is doomed to fail. That’s why we wanted to touch on how you can scale your business and the technology it relies on.
A common framework for developing products is the RICE prioritization framework, but we might argue that you can apply it not just to products, but also to services you might offer and even project implementation. What is the RICE framework, and how might you leverage it to your advantage?
As of this writing, nearly a quarter of all businesses are still using Windows 7 for one reason or another. Having chosen not to upgrade to Windows 10 (or didn’t want to upgrade their Windows 7-dependent software) when it was offered free, with fears that it would be more mobile device oriented, it seems these businesses don’t want to fork over the money to upgrade away from Windows 7. The problem with this strategy is that, as we mentioned at the outset, Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and is a major security problem. With no more security patches and updates, the OS will become filled with vulnerabilities, exposing business data. Is your business one of the whopping 47 percent of businesses that were still using Windows 7 when Microsoft retired it in January? Can your business afford to lose control over its data? What Makes Using Windows 7 Bad? Windows 7 was released over a decade ago in July of 2009. In that time, Microsoft has upgraded its OS multiple times. So, while its functionality and usability are decent, it is a ticking time bomb because Microsoft no longer patches or updates the software. It’s not hard to fathom hackers taking advantage of this as they try to steal data and access from the millions of people who still use Windows 7. FBI Says Using Windows 7 is Negligent Law enforcement is even mentioning that it’s a liability to use Windows 7. The Federal Bureau of Investigation released the following statement to their corporate partners in the private sector: “As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered.” Although they especially mention enterprises in the release, it’s not just major corporations that have something to lose by using old and unsupported software. You wouldn’t buy a window that is already cracked, would you? Windows 7 is that cracked window. For companies that utilize legacy software that doesn’t run on Windows 10, it’s probably because there is a better version of that software, too. Besides, if you actually needed to run an old piece of software in order to do your job, there are cloud-based alternatives to run legacy software. There is simply no good reason to run Windows 7 on a machine that is connected to the Internet. What Should My Company Do? Plan your upgrade today. The IT professionals at SRS Networks can find you the hardware, software, and other technology resources to meet your business’ needs. Our technicians are versed in all manners of business technology and specialize in promoting a secure, efficient computing environment that can take your business where you want it to go. For more information about Windows 7, Windows 10, or any other technology question you may have, call us today at (831) 758-3636.
Data Automation Explained Data automation is the collection and transcription of data using automated software systems. Some include new AI capabilities that help the system enter data and learn about it faster. This system takes the onerous task of entering data and automates it. With this process being handled by a computer, you can save money on your payroll outlay, or you can reassign staff to accomplish other tasks aimed at building more consistent revenue streams. How Does Data Automation Help? There are several ways that a small business can directly benefit from data automation. They include: Time (and thereby, money) is saved Your team is free to focus on other responsibilities Data can be entered more accurately and efficiently Think about the grocery check-out at your local supermarket. For years, the cashiers had to manually look up and enter the prices of the products and it took a long time. After a while the pricing gun was developed and it sped the system up somewhat, but today, with the use of technology, each product (and its price) is tracked by barcode. Now the barcode scanners pick up the price, the expiration date, and all other relevant information (e.g. if an ID is required) for a product, making the whole process substantially faster and more efficient. Does This Technology Seem Right for Your Business? For more information about data automation or any other tool that can help your business get more efficient, call the IT professionals at SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636.
New Browser or File Explorer Window Ctrl + N Let’s start with an easy one: opening a browser or File Explorer window in a new process. It seems only fitting that to open a new window, you combine Ctrl + N. New Tab Ctrl + T Opening a new tab in your browser or file explorer is just as easy, and just as easy to remember. To do so, you only need to press Ctrl + T (or alternatively, click on a link with your center mouse button). Find in Document or Web Page Ctrl + F When there’s a specific piece of content on a page or in a document that you need to find, Windows offers a helpful shortcut to accomplish this simply typing: Ctrl + F. Most applications (even browsers) will give you a special search field to type in the word you want to find. Snipping Tool Windows Key + Shift + S If you ever need to take a quick screenshot, Windows offers that capability in a built-in utility. To access the snipping tool, as it is called, press Windows Key + Shift + S. Force Quit Ctrl + Shift + Esc If an application crashes, force quitting is generally one of the better ways to close it down. While this comes at the sacrifice of any unsaved work, it is as simple as pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Case Shift Shift + F3 Case shift is a neat trick for Word. Depending on what you are doing, you may need to type things out in different cases, like title case, caps lock, or all lowercase. If it is already written out, the shortcut Shift + F3 can accomplish this if pressed the correct number of times. ONE PRESS FOR CAPS LOCK two presses for all lowercase Three Presses Sets Your Sentence To Title Case So, are there any shortcuts you use all the time that we didn’t mention? Let us know about them in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to our blog!
Defining Ergonomics There are a lot of different ways to approach productivity, ergonomics simply being the idea that a person in a comfortable position is more prepared to be productive than one being distracted by discomfort. In the office, this is somewhat easier to accomplish, believe it or not. Most offices are equipped with furniture and equipment intended for use in the workplace, which means that they are designed to better attend to these needs than what the average employee will have at their house. These pieces of furniture are designed to encourage a user to adopt a “neutral position” in order to minimize strain and stress, due to the amount of time that is anticipated to be spent in a given seat. An acceptably “neutral” posture is challenging to maintain in other environments. The typical office desk is built much differently than the typical dining room table, or typical card table, or typical lap as the employee lounges on the couch… the big difference being the position that the employee will be in as they do so. So, how does one go about maintaining the correct posture as they spend their work time at home? Understanding the Basics First, it is important to know exactly what a “neutral” posture looks like when positioned at the workstation. The hallmarks of a neutral posture include a straight neck, relaxed shoulders, wrists unbent, and limbs either held straight or bent at a 90-degree angle. When seated, it is recommended that you maintain a position where the thighs are parallel to the floor, with your seat providing plenty of back support. Your monitor should be at eye level, or slightly below it. While this is all well and good in the office, it isn’t as though your employees are likely to have the same setup available. Working with What They Have Fortunately, with a little improvisation, it is entirely possible for your employees to make these adjustments in their own home. Let’s say their monitors are too low. Raising them with books or small boxes would be perfectly acceptable for the short term. If they are working with a laptop, send them some peripherals, like a spare keyboard and mouse, for them to use with it. Use small pillows and cushions to adjust the height and support of the kitchen chair you are seated at, and if this makes your feet dangle in the air once again, use a step stool or other object to allow them a firm foundation. Make sure that you remind your employees to take care of their work resources, including their own bodies. After all, they aren’t going to be productive if their back is too sore for them to focus. We can help make sure their technology is up to the task, whether or not they’re working remotely. To learn more about the solutions available from SRS Networks to support your newly at-home operations, give us a call at (831) 758-3636.
Use More than One Monitor The first way you can go about cutting down the need for paper copies is by expanding your display space. By utilizing a dual-monitor setup you no longer will have the need to have printed copies of information to efficiently work on your computer. Anytime you have to work with multiple documents, you can just pull them up on the screen(s). Use Application-Based Options For every business need there is an application that can help make the task a bit easier. There are applications developed to cut out the need for paper copies of anything. Cloud platforms especially provide the ability for people to collaborate right alongside each other, removing entirely the need for paper copies of projects. Note taking applications also provide a solution for people that often need to take notes. Put Print Policies in Place With the use of solutions aimed to limit the need for paper, you can then go ahead and put in strong printing policies that work to reduce the access to printers. By putting in a necessary authorization platform between your network and your printers, you can substantially limit the access to the printer or copier, reducing the need for paper and ink/toner. You can also employ certain strategies such as using both sides of a piece of paper to print on, adjusting your fonts to produce less prints, and more to reduce the amount of paper you use. Simply put, you won’t see as much cost benefit if you continue to use the same amount of ink/toner. Digitize Your Backups Not being able to find an important file is very frustrating, which is why many businesses still use physical file folders and print off hard paper copies to store in them. All those extra steps to file away documents adds up to extra expense. By digitizing your data and storing it in the cloud, you not only have access from anyplace on nearly any device, but you also have copies that won’t be lost, moved, or stolen. Your data will be where you put it, in perpetuity. If you would like to get out from under the expansive costs that printing brings onto your business, call the IT professionals at SRS Networks today at (831) 758-3636. Our technicians can start you on your way to a paperless office as soon as today.