Off The Shelf Applications: But I Can Make It Better

Off The Shelf Applications: But I Can Make It Better

Spend just a moment thinking about your business as it existed just five short years ago.

What hardware did you have in place? What software were you using? What applications were popular? How did you communicate with your customers? How productive were your employees? Did you function well with off-the-shelf products? Or did you make improvements by customization?

Fast forward to today. What’s different?

Smart technology has more than tripled over the past five years. People have moved from using laptops and cell phones to carrying smartphones and tablets with them everywhere they go. It’s no longer about sitting at a desk and doing your job; mobility is key to staying ahead in business.

And as our concept of working changes, so too does our ability to connect and have access to our data. But never forget that what works today will die a quick death in the weeks and months that follow.

Think back to your off-the-shelf software packages. You chose them because they accomplished certain tasks you needed for operations. These boxed solutions were designed for specific needs. But because they were targeted towards a mass market audience, their complexities existed merely to make the masses happy. So there were little things that simply didn’t work. Those tiny frustrations that you swore you’d fix if you possibly could.

And that’s why many companies turned to customization. Because with customization comes the ability to add the details that you needed most.

But customization has its problems too. Working with a design team means you can try and get all of the bells and whistles in place. You can spend days, weeks, months trying to get everything “perfect.” And in the process, you lose sight of the fact that once this application is completed, more than likely it will be archaic at best.

We don’t know what we don’t know. Which in technology terms means that while we may understand what some of our needs are, we simply don’t have the capabilities of understanding all programs on the marketplace and realizing how some of them can be brought together to give us the perfect tools for our needs.

So we spend short amounts of time hunting for what we need. We find two or three alternatives with a quick search, evaluate, and make a decision. Only to be filled with regret a short while later.

Be careful of trying to get a square peg into a round hole. Your base solution is everything. By starting with your core and building from there, you can ensure your processes, your infrastructure, and your budget all meet in the middle.

There are many solutions out there that are the perfect starting point for any business model. They key is knowing where to look and what they are. Once you understand their sophistication, only then can you realize how best to implement them into your business model, and ensure you have the best most sophisticated tools at your disposal.

Ready for improvements in your business processes? We can help.

What Outsourcing IT Means For Your Business

What Outsourcing IT Means For Your Business

Outsourcing. It’s the way all businesses are moving forward into a brighter, more productive future.

For many businesses, they find it much more effective to outsource their IT needs rather than trying to keep them in-house. IT outsourcing includes hardware, software, database administration, cloud computing, inventory management, website management, online security, backup management, and more.

Benefit #1 Lower Cost
Acquiring a knowledgeable IT team can be one of the most expensive parts of a business. Not only do they have to be well-informed in a wide array of areas, but they also have to utilize daily education to stay up on the latest trends and threats. Equipment must regularly be upgraded. Software must be kept up to date. Security is always an issue. Even productivity must be considered, with IT making suggestions for automation and upgrades over time. And if you fall behind, you can pay the price many times over.  All of which can make in-house IT cost prohibitive to small or even medium size businesses.

Benefit #2 Time Management
Having an in-house IT department means you’ll spend more time worrying about technology and updates, and less time running your business. IT concerns suddenly become everyone’s problem, with constant meetings to determine a full spectrum of possibilities, from determining how often you should backup your data, to the best hardware to use for all of your technological needs. With IT outsourcing, all you need is to find a reputable IT company, with regular input to make sure they are doing their job right. You free up your time by having regular summary reports without having to make the tiny decisions that go along with it. They become your IT time managers.

Benefit #3 More Security
In-house security teams are always running into budget constraints and working with other departments to control overhead costs. Which also means most in-house security teams are at the lower end of keeping up to date. With IT outsourcing, you are relying on a company whose entire business is structured around security. They find state of the art security technology and know how to implement and use it well. They understand how to integrate top technology into a business. They work with many different issues and have the ability to act face in the event of a crisis. They aren’t tied to office politics, and instead are focused on what they do best: keep your data secure.

Benefit #4 Superior Talent
Keeping top talent is difficult. You have to recruit them, pay them, offer them benefits, onboard them, keep them happy, keep them up to date. And just when you thought they were part of the team, they leave for a better job in some other company. And the process starts all over again. By outsourcing your IT, the company you choose has weeded through IT professionals to choose the best in the industry. They look for full coverage for their own staff, selecting people that can bring a variety of benefits to their team. Which means you get the full benefits of having a variety of IT personnel standing behind you, offering you support, and giving their all to keep you and your data safe.

Benefit #5 Proficient Technology
Technology can be a very frustrating thing. The moment you purchase hardware or invest in a new system, it’s out of date almost as fast as it’s implemented into your business. Then there’s the maintenance. And the security upgrades. It can leave you over budget, weak on security, and vulnerable to your competition. IT outsourcing gives you the advantage of knowing all of your decisions will be the right ones for your company, and will give you the assurance that they will be the best decisions for moving forward as well. Reputable IT professionals make it their business to stay up to date on emerging technologies and will use state of the art equipment and software to give you the best possible service for your money.

How up to date are you on your IT needs?

Is Your Old Technology And Infrastructure Blocking Innovation?

Is Your Old Technology And Infrastructure Blocking Innovation?

The larger your company, the more difficult it is to move.

A small company with just a handful of employees can make decisions quickly. They can adjust as changes come their way. They can buy into new programs as they see fit. If a problem arises, the small chain of command means any issue is dealt with head on.

Now add a few zeros behind the number of employees in the company – 5 to 50, 500, or 5,000 – and things become a little more complicated.

When problems arise, it’s no longer up to one or two members to decide what happens next. Other departments must be consulted. Management has to meet. Budgets need to be forecasted. Outcomes must be storyboarded.

And that can take weeks. Or months.

Companies often ignore the real impact of what outdated technology can have. Instead, they focus on cost structure first. How will this impact our resources? How will this increase gross margins? How much will this cost?

And then comes the next question: What if we’re wrong?

Fear can be a heavy motivator in waylaying change.

Cost is always an issue. But what about innovation?

A digital transformation in any company can have long-lasting results. Whether it’s a complete overhaul, or merely changing things out a little at a time, recognizing your infrastructure has weaknesses before they become detrimental will ensure your competitive edge. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How will technology change competition in our industry?
  • What will it take to exceed our customer’s expectations in the coming years?
  • Do our plans reflect the full potential of what technology has to offer?
  • How can technology improve our operational and strategic responsiveness?
  • Are we comfortable with our level of technology risk?
  • Are we making the most of what technology has to offer?

Is your company poised to be the best it can be in the coming years?

How Does Virtual Reality Help With Healthcare?

How Does Virtual Reality Help With Healthcare?

What do you think of when you hear the term virtual reality?

  • Do you think of the video games your child plays sitting on the couch, staring at the television?
  • Do you think of lots of action, high entertainment, cool designs and life-like graphics?
  • Do you think of a gamer wearing a headset, swinging his arms as he takes on bad guys no one can see but him?

Thanks to the ever-changing technology we now have in place, virtual reality is so much more.

Virtual reality is a relatively easy technology to implement in today’s business models, and can be done so in a variety of ways. For many healthcare projects, it can provide:

Design Medical Facilities More Effectively

One of the easiest places to use VR is in the design of new office space. Rather than building out space and wishing for changes a short time after you move in, virtual reality lets you try out facilities before you ever break ground or pound a nail. VR removes the ambiguity from design that can lead to costly changes late in the process. It allows doctors and staff members to get a sense of the true scale, spacing and functionality of a room before finalizations occur. It can help a client feel the full volume of a room, discover the flow and the movement, and avoid potential problems especially when duplicating rooms over and over again, such as in a hospital or living facility where rooms repeat throughout the building.

Surgery In Virtual Reality

As technology changes, there are a lot of firsts in the way surgeons operate on patients. Due to demographics, relatively few people can witness these changes, except through write-ups which occur long after the event. With virtual reality, doctors from around the world can see best practices almost first hand. The whole operation can be broadcast live through virtual reality, giving medical professionals the opportunity to share space with some of the greatest minds in the world.

Virtual Reality Can Cure Phobias and Improve PTSD

Therapists and doctors the world over have advocated exposure therapy – where a person confronts that which they are most scared of. With up to five percent of the population severely impacted by significant phobias, virtual reality can offer a major opportunity to those lives that have been impacted, where exposure therapy is often impractical. VR can help clinicians place patients within realistic and immersive scenes that trigger anxieties or fear, then guided through the scene so that they learn how to cope with the situations in which they are placed.

Where else have you seen virtual reality enter the healthcare marketplace? Would it benefit your business environment?