Monday, August 8, 2016

5 metrics to make sure you're spending IT dollars wisely

The information technology question at the forefront of the minds of most executives is how does their IT spending stack up against that of other organizations?

It’s a difficult question to answer by simply looking at a line item that is driven by variables such as organization size, industry sector and IT strategy.

Below are five fundamental financial metrics that any IT department should be able to provide to its leadership.

Average cost per user
This number is derived by taking total IT spending for the year and dividing it by...Read this article in it's entirety at Sacramento Business Journal >>>

Lower your company's IT security risk

Don’t want your company to end up like Sony Pictures, federal Department of Personnel Management, or Anthem? Then consider these five things to prevent security breaches and keep your organization from becoming a victim.

Conduct a formal IT security audit or risk assessment
If you do not keep detailed asset management records of all your hardware, software and data sets, then you are either overspending or underspending on information technology security.

Read this article in it's entirety at Sacramento Business Journal >>>

Moving to the cloud has risks

Providers sell the cloud as an appealing alternative to running business applications out of your own data center. The cloud avoids large capital investments in facilities, hardware infrastructure and software licensing. It provides predicable budget outlays year after year. It also reduces workload so your staff can focus on activities like documenting business requirements and designing solutions.

But while providers do an excellent job of selling those benefits, they do little to explain the risks. Below are five critical areas to consider when looking to deploy a new application, or move an existing application, to the cloud. 

Read this article in it's entirety at Sacramento Business Journal >>>

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Avoid the Spreadsheet Trap

Spreadsheet programs like Microsoft’s Excel are excellent tools for comparing options and analyzing data. Many small businesses use them instead of more expensive applications for financial, inventory or customer management.
But beware: Using a spreadsheet in place of a more specialized program can hold your data hostage. The appeal of a spreadsheet’s wide-open capabilities is also its downfall.

Let’s take a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate the slippery slope.
At first we start with simple list data like customer name, email, phone, address, products purchased and total sales. Add in a summation formula for total customers and revenue.
We need some standardization. Turn the products-purchased field from free-form entry into a drop-down list. The sales team likes it but wants the customers classified by region and their total revenue broken out by each product category purchased. Add a region field, populate the regional data and do a “sum if” statement to calculate revenue by category.
Is this starting to sound familiar? Read this article in it's entirety at Sacramento Business Journal >>>

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Recruit Millennials by Meeting Expectations

It’s official: The U.S. Census Bureau announced this summer that millennials — people born between 1982 and 2000 — now represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population, exceeding the baby-boom generation in size. As those young people come to dominate our workforce, it’s critical to understand how their expectations differ from those of earlier generations.

Those include expectations about work environments, company cultures and technologies that are unfamiliar for many companies. These evolving expectations must be met if your organization wants to attract and retain the best new talent.

Putting a kegerator in your break room or allowing employees to work from home on Fridays might not be for every company, but getting the right technology in millennials’ hands is something all companies should do.  Read this article in it's entirety at Sacramento Business Journal >>>

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Balance Fosters Project Success

Implementing and adopting new technology is difficult for any size organization. A 2012 McKinsey & Co. report concluded that “On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted.”

We certainly have seen high-profile information technology failures here in the Sacramento region. Most of us have likely seen an IT project fail at some level.

The problem is not finding a solution; it is finding a solution that balances investment and return. Easier said than done.

Read this article in it's entirety at Sacramento Business Journal >>>

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Caution in adopting Internet-of-Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things puts computing technology in nontraditional devices — that is, things other than desktops, tablets and smartphones. A network interface allows these devices to communicate over private networks and the Internet. Think: My refrigerator knows we’re out of milk so it contacts the store to order another gallon.

You may think this futuristic vision is a long way from practical application in your business. But the technology industry is betting differently — and pushing hard to make it appealing to your business. The industry analyst Gartner expects the Internet of Things — shorthanded as IoT — to grow from just under a billion devices reported in 2009 to 26 billion by 2020. The giant network technology company Cisco is even more bullish, estimating 50 billion by 2020.

Read this article in it's entirety at the Sacramento Business Journal >>>