Does I.T. Drive Your Business, or Does I.T. Drive you Mad?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Small Business: Hackers' Low-Hanging Fruit

Small and medium sized business owners often find themselves between a rock and a hard place:

They have confidential information such as customer information, financial and employee information on-site but lack the resources to understand and address the risk. As this article points out: "...more than 75 percent of companies with fewer than 1,000 computers have an IT staff of less than 10, and 61 percent say they have never sought information about how to protect employee or customer data." Scary.

To address the risks, there are affordable options. In fact, in the long run, these options are not only affordable but could provide long term advantages such as:

  • IT cost predictability
  • Less money spent on emergency recovery services after a breach occurs
  • Competitive advantage vs. larger, more entrenched organizations
The answer lies in being able to augment your existing capabilities where it makes - and do so for a price that is affordable. There are numerous organizations in the Toronto market that can help. The key is to select an organization that is right for you. Some things to look for:
  1. Do these providers have the tools, expertise and processes to help you with their specific challenges?
  2. Do these organizations provide remote support capabilities? On-site service capabilities? Typically most I.T. challenges can be addressed remotely increasing response times and decreasing cost due to less time spent traveling.
  3. Will these companies provide advice on strategic issues: How should I.T. dollars be spent to best support your business objectives? What are your business priorities?
  4. Do these third parties have access to a variety of skill sets? If you choose to work with an independent, this person cannot possibly know everything there is to know about I.T. - do they have resources available to augment their skill sets when they need help?
Finding a partner to help your small/medium sized business support it's I.T. needs is not only a viable option but may be the best option. It alleviates the need to hire full time time staff, provide training and retraining, purchasing the tools needed to properly manage I.T. and invest in the management framework necessary to prevent problems from happening in the first place, responding to the problems that could not be prevented and planning for future business & I.T. priorities.

High Dollar May Hit Wages

This article, "High Dollar May Hit Wages" is geared mainly towards those in the manufacturing sector. It seem that the manufacturing sector continues to wrestle with the impact of an appreciating Canadian dollar by attempting to pass risk along to unionized employees. Seems that the push to increase productivity, reduce costs, address risk has never been higher.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

IT muscles in on the business

In this article, IT Muscles in on the Business, IT World Canada discusses how businesses are beginning to make progress in aligning business & technology related decisions. IT and business managers are finding better ways to communicate - but we still have a long way to go.

IT World makes some great suggestions on how to further the cause. Good read.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

IT managers may become 'directors of processes'

This article provides further evidence that business managers and owners are increasingly looking to IT Practitioners to deliver more than just technical services. The tides are changing, IT practitioners need to understand how technology supports and enhances business processes - and business objectives - in order to earn a spot within the IT organization, and the boardroom table.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cutting Costs, Inproving I.T. Efficiency During Lean Times

There are times when business need to make very difficult decisions. How do we cut costs? Do we remove people, put off spending on important projects? Most balk at the suggesting of spending some money now, in order to save much money later - particularly during difficult times.

This article offers some excellent insight on how to approach such circumstances - and achieve measurable results.

What is the bottom line and key to success: Focus on the needs of the business and the people that make the business run. I.T. administrators and executives alike must make a concerted effort to fully understand exactly how technology support each and every function of the business - then intelligent decisions can be made on how best to apply technology to achieve business objectives.

How a Mid-Sized Textle Maker Used I.T. to Compete Globally

Glen Raven, headquartered in Burlington, N.C. is one of the few textile manufacturing organizations that are excelling in an environment where overseas outsourcing predominates.

How have they done it? Relentless focus on applying information technology to support innovative business processes. These investments have focused on two key things:

- enabling new sources of revenue
- enabling more efficient business operations

This article provides an excellent case study to any manufacturer struggling to compete in a highly competitive business, during highly competitive times.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Doctors Poor Penmanship Have Deadly Results

Not sure why technology hasn't been introduced sooner and currently more widespread than it is in order the address the issue of not being able to read the doctors writing. One interesting point though - the technology is not the cure all. Like all security problems - policy, process & people also need to be carefully considered.

read more | digg story

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