Blog - posts tagged 'IT'

Why Never to Buy Your Business Computers at a “Big Box” Store… Ever!

Oct
31
‘13
IT, consulting, hardware, budget

Buying professional computers is a quirky business because a professional grade machine looks basically identical to a “home” machine to the untrained eye.  Usually once or twice a year we prepare a quote for, let’s say six professional-grade laptops, and submit to a client for approval.  The client then turns around and buys six laptops from Best Buy.  Comedy (and tragedy) ensues.

From our perspective, the big box computers should never even be considered for business use, unless you are a sole proprietor working from home.  Even then, we still wouldn’t advise it. 

Not Your Father’s Malware

Oct
29
‘13
IT, malware

Malware has changed a lot over the years.  If memories of the ILOVEYOU worm or the Anna Kournikova virus evoke memories of lost time and money, then the malware of today might, at first glance, seem more benign.  This would be an incorrect assumption.  While we have gotten more sophisticated in our prevention methods, the malware itself has gotten more sinister.

Really, it’s No Bother

Sep
27
‘13
IT, business

All too often I hear from a customer liaison that he/she “didn’t want to bother us with such a silly problem.”   I am hereby stating for the record that we want to be bothered with all IT issues, no matter how trivial they may seem.  In fact, our system only truly works if we are entrusted with the trivial as well as the more severe.

IT Budget Preparation

IT Budget Preparation

Aug
30
‘13
budget, consulting, cost, IT

If you’re a regular reader, some of this article may seem familiar.  A lot has changed in IT since 2009 so I decided that the budget article could use a revision.  It turns out that some interpret this as “too lazy to come up with a new idea.”  Think what you will, I think this is important stuff to remember as you assemble data for your 2014 budget.

Before simply cutting and pasting last year’s number into the 2014 budget, here are some simple things that need to be considered:

Small Business IT Trends

Small Business IT Trends

Jul
29
‘13
technology, consulting, IT, business

When helping our clients prepare their IT budgets for the coming year, I often hear a familiar question, “What are other small companies doing with their IT?”  Our customers often don’t have a lot in common with one another in terms of core function, but they all do share in a need for more and more IT with flat or, sometimes, shrinking IT budgets.  I do my best to follow the national trends and I find that they are pretty similar to the trends we see with our client base with a few exceptions.

The Never-Ending IT Project

The Never-Ending IT Project

Jun
25
‘13
consulting, cost, IT

We’ve all been a part of this project at some time in our careers.  Either because of unrealistic client expectations or poor project management, the project just spins and spins for months or years past the projected “go-live” date.  Ultimately, everyone loses on this project.  The client loses because of cost overruns and lost productivity and the consultant suffers a loss of reputation and usually a lot of cash as well.  Both client and consultant spend untold hours stressing about the Never-Ending Project (NEP).  There are ways to manage yourself out of this situation, but recognition t

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

May
29
‘13
hardware, consulting, IT, security

Even companies with the tightest security standards are beginning to yield to the pressure of the new BYOD trend.  Many are seeing it as inevitable and are now rushing to get policies in place to protect their proprietary data.  Most small businesses are already allowing BYOD whether they’re familiar with the term or not.

Surface Pro Review

Mar
27
‘13
Microsoft, IT, tablets, Surface

One of the most common questions we hear regarding tablets is, “Do you see any business applications for them?”  As I have written on many occasions, the answer has always been, “yeah, some.”

Total Cost of Ownership

Feb
12
‘13
IT, cost

When gathering information for an IT budget, a common mistake is to stop at the expected purchase cost of a desktop or laptop computer.  Occasionally we see business owners include the cost of the installation, but rarely does one go beyond that to get to the all-important Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  At a minimum, this number should be considered anytime you’re considering adding a new user to the computer network.  TCO goes far beyond the $600 for a new computer plus $350 for installation.  According to Gartner, Inc., and confirmed by Intel and others, the real TCO ranges from $3,310 t

Hardware-as-a-Service

Jan
30
‘13
IT, hardware, HaaS

Keeping up with emerging technology is getting harder all the time.  All of the talk of tablets, Smartphones and other mobile devices makes it very hard to concentrate on the basics.  It seems that many employees are adopting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) doctrine even if management has never sanctioned it.  Finding the time to manage that kind of thing is nearly an impossible task.

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