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PRONETS BLOG
 
Tuesday Tech Tip, August 27, 2013 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 09:09

Commence the Growth: Wireless Technologies

This month we have been researching and discussing the latest and greatest innovations and deciding how to apply them to your business model.  In today’s industry there are two innovations that have established themselves and have most emphatically changed the business landscape: smartphones and tablets.  These are items that a business must use and put into practice in order to compete with their current competition. There are two approaches you need to think about when looking at mobile technology: innovation and security. 

First, let’s look at how to be innovative.  This is the fun part and how you will get a leg up on your competition.  Have a fun, energetic, out of the box meeting with your department heads.  Brainstorm on how a wireless device could be inserted into every stage of your business activities and strategize the potential impact it could have on your internal processes.  Don’t just stop at tablets and phones, think about wireless barcode scanners, laptops, wireless access points, etc.  Where do you think you would like signal?  What programs would it be great to interact with while you are with a client, or on the shop floor?  What would speed up your workers if they didn’t have to go back to a computer to complete a task?  Toss it all out there and then rank the ideas using a matrix to determine the return on implementing this investment.  Decide how expensive it would be to implement and the potential impact it could have on your bottom line.  Look for overlap, where instituting a technology enables multiple departments to enhance their processes.

Now the fun part is over, it’s time to get serious about security.  BYOD and COPE and encrypted signals are your first concerns.  Bring your own device (BYOD) and company owned, personally enabled (COPE) policies will be your first decision because it guides the rest of the security policies you will need to explore.  If you choose a BYOD policy, you don’t have to buy any wireless devices because your employees bring their own.  But, now they have access to your network from their phone and so does all of the viruses they bring with them.  And, if they leave your employment, it’s best to make sure you have the means to deactivate their access and recover any their downloads.  Company owned means you will have to purchase the devices yourself, but you can put whatever policy you want on it to keep your network safe and simply request the employee to turn it in, should they wish to leave your employment.  Your signal to these devices needs to be encrypted and stable.  Traffic needs to be monitored for potential Trojans, Viruses, and Worms.  Whitelist and Blacklist websites that are known to carry these threats at your firewall and allow the sites the employee needs to enter your bandwidth.  Encrypt the signal to your devices and make sure the signal broadcast is as stable as possible.

I can help you monitor and manage those too!  We are developing a whole new service to help you strategize their use and add them to your managed service plan.  If this is something you want to do, just give me a call and let’s put our heads together.

 
 
Tuesday Tech Tip, August 22, 2013 Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 August 2013 09:19

Tuesday Tech Tip on a Thursday?  I’m afraid so, and that’s not all I have to apologize for. 

Last week we discussed some of the new devices developed, synched to the Internet for innovative control.  Some of these items are over the top, underdeveloped, or currently in use.  One such item I brought to your attention was a geo-tracking  feature your cell phone uses to embed metadata into  your phone’s pictures.  Although the news piece detailing this feature might have used a sensational angle over the use of this data to stalk children, there are a couple of items of information you should know to balance this attention-getting article.  Most phones do not have the geo-tracking option under your phone’s picture settings turned on by default.  Also, according to this website: http://www.embeddedmetadata.org/social-media-test-results.php  most of the metadata embedded into your pictures is stripped clean when you upload the files to their sites.  One of our readers pointed out this great information, and I felt it was necessary to pass along to you!

This is the fun part of looking into new technologies and how they will affect our world.  Some of these features can prove to be harmful, or they simply could be a work in progress. It’s the discussion and observation that moves us towards the balance between new and safe! 

So let’s move from some of those items that are changing the way we live and on to those items that will modify the way we conduct business.  Don’t forget to question everything! 

One of the advancements I am keeping my eye on is holographic memory.  This is really cool stuff.  How Stuff Works has a great article detailing “three-dimensional data storage (which) will be able to store more information in a smaller space and offer faster data transfer times.”  The article explains, “Holographic memory offers the possibility of storing 1 terabyte (TB) of data in a sugar-cube-sized crystal.”  Please check it out - it’s the stuff of the future.  http://computer.howstuffworks.com/holographic-memory.htm  It is suspected that there will be about 3 more generations of flash memory improvement before this technology starts to reign supreme.

Nano batteries are very interesting as an article on softpedia explains, “What Rice professor Pulickel Ajayan and his team did was pack the entire energy that a standard Li-ion battery can hold into a tine wire, at the nanoscale.”  These tiny wires could weave themselves into all sorts of devices we currently use in the business world.  http://news.softpedia.com/news/Nanowire-Battery-Created-at-Rice-214269.shtml

3-D printing will begin to layer itself into our business world once we begin to think about how to use this technology.  Livescience interviewed Joshua Pearce, an associate professor at the Michigan Technological University, who subsequently printed a showerhead, garlic press, and smartphone accessories.  The article,  http://www.livescience.com/38628-printing-save-money.html  explains that there is a shift in the way we will have to think about using the printer and what for, having a profound impact on the next wave of entrepreneurs – for instance, prototypes, manufacturing, and custom products.  Read more about how they could be used in your own business: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4685-3d-printing-will-change-business.html

It’s important to see the big picture and see how it is changing your life.  You want to protect yourself.  But, it’s also important to key in on the inventions that will change your business life.  Huge thought pattern shifts will occur on how to protect your data, how to produce your data, and how quickly you can access that data.  The trick is to care, to be excited, and above all to question EVERYTHING!

 
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