Tag Archives: Tech Advice

5 most common IT money-wasters

Save MoneyTell me, is your IT department wasting your company’s money? That’s a tricky question to answer. Nobody wants to waste money, yet despite best efforts to the contrary, many IT departments unwittingly waste money every day.

How so? While I couldn’t possibly cover every way in one blog post, I’ve put together a list of some of the most common ways that IT departments waste money. If you’re looking for ways your company can save money, start by investigating these 5 areas: Continue reading

Can IT really drive revenue?

Save MoneyHow does the business view your IT department? Do they see it as an added expense? Do they see it as a cost-center? If so, you’re not alone: This is a common problem faced by IT departments around the world.

The question is…how can you change this perception? How can you change from a “cost-center” to a “problem solver” or even a “revenue generator?”

One way to change this perception: Ask more questions. Talk to end users and learn what problems they deal with on a daily basis. What currently frustrates them the most about their job? Does anything keep them from accomplishing their daily tasks?

As you ask these questions, you’ll probably learn two things. First, you might find that many of these problems are easily solvable with technology. Second, you might find that fixing these problems will directly impact your company’s revenue.

Here’s a great example of one IT department that solved a problem in their company, which directly boosted revenue. How did they do it? They first identified a problem, and then identified the tools that would let them fix that problem quickly. You can read the whole story here.

Weekly recap: 4 more things your IT staff should stop doing, reasons IT pros get a bad rap, and more…

EducationEvery week, I share the most interesting and useful tech articles that I’ve found over the past week. This week’s top articles focus on why IT pros get a bad rap, tech tools for the iPad, mobile web development, and more. I hope you find them useful:

Mobile web development still has traction
As mobile devices become more powerful and widely used, mobile web development becomes more important. This article highlights the latest advancements in mobile web development, as well as some important features coming in the near future. Continue reading

Why some IT employees hate their job, and one way to help

Save Time“I don’t enjoy it at all,” said the young IT employee, staring at the floor in his cubicle. He pointed to a pencil on his desk: “You see that pencil right there? I would rather just stare at that pencil all day.”

The young man I was talking to was a couple years removed from college. At the time, he had chosen the IT field because he loved solving problems. He enjoyed building applications. When he started his first job, he really wanted to make a difference.

Now, he was planning on quitting IT altogether. Continue reading

5 ways to become an IT hero at work

EducationIn any career path (but especially in IT), you have two options: You could sit back, do what you’re told, and fly under the radar. Or, you could actively look for new ideas that would help the company. Which option do you think is better for your career?

Now, if you work in IT, you have an incredible opportunity. You understand both technology and the business! How many others can say that? You’re in a prime position to identify new tech trends that could both help your company, and make you look good in the process. Continue reading

How to recognize a bad software partner before it’s too late

Save MoneyPartnering with other companies is a great way to get ahead. Partnerships can open your company up to new prospects, give you access to new skills and expertise, and generally help you grow your business. Be careful though, not all partnerships are the same. Some are more involved, and lead to a higher level of complexity.

For instance, partnering with a software company is a bit trickier than most types of companies, depending on the purpose. Oftentimes, partnering with a software company involves integrating their software into your systems/software, leaning on them for services or support, or even distributing their software. All in all, the level of partnership is usually more involved. This means that choosing the wrong software partner can lead to headaches and even make your business look bad. Continue reading

16 IT practices that should be killed

Save MoneyThe IT department is changing, that much is certain. With the rise of consumer gadgets in the workplace, cloud-based services, and the ever increasing flow of data, IT departments will never be the same. The question is:  What are you doing about it?

Some people embrace these changes and use them to their advantage, while other businesses fight the inevitable changes that are taking place. They think, “Things are working fine the way they are–why change now?” The problem with this thinking is that it leads to waste.  Many of the old methods of operating have been replaced by better, cheaper, and more efficient options. Continue reading

15 things every PC user should know

ProductivityI recently read an interesting piece of advice (here’s a link to the post) about a unique way to save time. In short, he suggests that you hire someone who is knowledgeable about computers to sit down and watch you work for an hour. At the end of that time, they will give 5 suggestions on ways you could save time.

While I realize that’s not possible for everyone, it highlights a good point: We spend so much time in front of computers, that even a few small tips could drastically improve productivity. Perhaps a more feasible idea is this: What if your company offered a basic computer class to teach employees how to use their computers safer and more efficiently? While I’m sure some companies already offer something like this, it’s worth thinking about if you don’t. One short class could improve productivity for years to come. Continue reading

10 hard truths that IT must learn to accept

EducationThe IT department is unlike any other department due to the fact that technology is always changing. As technology evolves, IT professionals must learn new skills and deal with new challenges. I recently read a great article on Infoworld entitled “10 hard truths that IT must learn to accept,” that lists quite a few new challenges facing IT professionals today. Continue reading

100 best places to work in IT 2011

EducationIn baseball, the teams with the highest payroll usually have the best records (except for the Cubs, which is another topic altogether). Why? A high payroll usually means that the team is filled with talented players.  While I know there are exceptions, the team with the most talent usually wins.

Business is similar–a great business is usually filled with great talent. So, how do you attract the best talent? Sure, money helps, but there are many other important aspects to attracting talent in business.  Want some tips? Here’s a great place to start: I recently ran across Computerworld’s annual report of “100 best places to work in IT” for 2011. It not only lists the top places to work, but it also explains what these companies do to make this list. In other words, it explains what these companies are doing to attract talented employees.

Take a look at the top companies and see what they’re doing to attract the top talent. Maybe it will give you some good ideas for your own company. Of course, if you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.