I don’t have to tell you why one person shouldn’t be solely responsible for processing the mail, handling the bookkeeping, signing checks and making deposits. Everyone knows the business risks inherent in solo access to critical information. However responsibilities are divided, we also rely on a documented system of checks and balances to maintain security and keep the business running smoothly and profitably. Businesses fail when they don’t keep accurate and accessible financial records.
Lead I.T. Consulting Blog
What’s the bestselling car in the world? The Toyota Corolla—39 million sold through April 2012, according to Toyota Motor Corporation. And it was the first car ever to achieve $30 million in sales. What’s so special about this less than spectacular, non-luxury, at best average ride? I have to believe its combination of value and price meets the needs of lots of drivers since it’s been selling well for over 40 years. What I’d like to know is what do all those first-time Corolla drivers buy next? What happens when a family outgrows its compact car? Or the kids get a dog and Dad buys a boat?
Recently I met with a couple of IT company executives whose target clients happen to include medium-sized enterprises. I mentioned that they must be talking to a lot of CFIOs, but all I got back were two blank stares.
It is a relatively uncommon title, but in a company with less than 250 employees, the potential for finding someone filling this position is huge. In this range, a growing company that first brings on a controller will eventually recognize the need for a CFO. Somewhere along the road to advancement and growth, it often happens that the controller is the first to take responsibility for information technology.
Have you heard the one about the elephant?
A guy walks by the circus where an elephant is tethered by a flimsy cord. He asks the elephant’s trainer, “How can you keep him tied up with that? He could snap that twine and walk away.” The trainer explains that the elephant has been tied by the same rope since he was a baby when he didn’t have the strength to break it. At an early age, the elephant discovered he couldn’t get away, so by the time he was older and stronger, he no longer tried. He’d learned to accept his limitations.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s a model every business follows now and then. That’s fine if whatever’s unbroken can’t be improved by “fixing.” But if that’s your model when it comes to technology, then you’re missing the boat—and a lot more.
Are you looking at IT the way you look at accounting? Or are you looking for one full-time IT guy with five heads?
Here’s your overarching IT challenge: handling today’s productivity issues—those things that have “emergency” red-lettered all over them—while proactively preparing for tomorrow. But unless you run IT like you run your accounting department, chances are your IT person is looking in the mirror to see if he sees what he thinks you see—five heads on a lone body.
If you think your IT professional is thinking about how technology can advance your business objectives while he’s rebooting computers, think again. More likely, his mind is focused on checking off the next chore on his to-do list.
“I forgot my password.” “My screen is frozen again.” “How do I connect to Wi-Fi?” “How do I install a new program?” “Can you help me get email on my phone?”
Sometimes, the terms that get thrown around in IT circles aren’t easy to understand. According to a recent survey of SMB leaders by Techaisle, the term “remote managed services” is one of the least understood in all of IT. Managed services are not that difficult to understand, however – and their benefit to any business is easy to appreciate, as well.
Early computer commentators assumed there would never be more than a few hundred viruses. And in 2006, Bill Gates promised that spam would soon be totally eliminated. Yet computer threats continue to pose serious risks to businesses and individuals alike. Hackers and criminals exploit any opportunities for financial gain – and clearly they’re creative enough to continue to do so, regardless of what new security products Microsoft or any other large company throws at them.
Typically, victims of a computer infection don’t realize their machines are “sick” until it’s already too late. For instance, on Oct. 3, 2012, 53 universities experienced unauthorized access to their networks. The group of hacktivists that took responsibility for the attack acknowledged, “When we got there, we found most university servers already had malware injected.” Clearly, you can’t wait until an attack has happened to shore up your systems. Instead, we suggest working with an IT consultant to protect your system against the upcoming IT security threats in 2013, as outlined below.