Shared-usage of computing resources, better known as virtualization, has been a technology staple for a long time. Back in the 1960’s, IBM developed a system to time-share their mainframe computing power to their customers. IBM posited that their mainframe resources could see more efficient use if they could spread those resources to many different clients at the same time. From those beginnings at IBM, virtualization has grown, but the basic principles remain the same. Virtualization is simply the process of creating a software version of what was once a physical piece of hardware. Virtualization encompasses servers, storage, networks, and even PCs. The rationale for virtualization also remains the same in that it gives the benefits of reducing capital costs, minimizes downtime, increases efficiency, provisions faster, and simplifies management of resources.
You hear it everywhere… Ransomware, hacker attacks, data breaches… Cybersecurity is such a hot topic that we frequently hear new stories, one scarier than the other. Amidst all that, it’s usually the big players that get the media coverage; big national chains like Yahoo, Target, or LinkedIn. So, the fact that the majority of attacks actually target small and medium businesses in small town communities often gets lost. In addition, there is so much out there that it is just overwhelming. We’ve gotten so desensitized to the news that we usually just brush it off: “I know it’s out there, but I don’t know what to do about it and it’s probably way to expensive, so I’ll just keep doing what I have been and pray it won’t hit me”. Unfortunately, that attitude can cost you everything you have worked for! So, instead of rattling off more stats to show you the mathematical likelihood of your business being a victim of cybercrime, I will simply ask you to consider and come up with a reply to three questions. This will help you determine how big of a risk cybercrime is for your business and what priority you should give it:
Topics: Business Technology Watch
Your employees are like family. They’ve been there through the good and maybe not-as-good years, you’ve celebrated personal and professional milestones together, and you trust them to help run your business. You would never think that they would be capable of stealing. But with 75% of employees admitting to stealing from their employers, it is likely happening to you.
Unfortunately, employee theft is on the rise. According to a recent report, U.S. businesses lose $60 billion (yes, that’s BILLION with a B) a year to shrinkage, with employee theft identified as the single biggest cause. That’s equivalent to 7% of annual revenue – 7%! What would you do with an extra 7% added back to your bottom line?
This isn’t to say that all employees are bad and steal. Instead, it’s to bring awareness that theft happens, and it is happening at your expense. Check out the list below for 4 common ways your employees are stealing from you.
THEFT OF TIME
There are hundreds of different ways employees can steal time. Coming in late, taking excessive or longer breaks, falsifying timesheets, spending too much time on social media or taking personal phone calls. While many employers have come to accept this, theft of time is just as costly as theft of merchandise.
Be especially aware of ‘Buddy Punching’. A common form of time theft where employees will clock in for someone who may be running late, or clock out for someone to give them extra time.
THEFT OF PRODUCTS
Stealing products is not only common but the way they are being stolen is getting creative. During the day an employee takes the trash out to the dumpster. This doesn’t seem out of the ordinary because it is a daily task. Fast forward to later that night, and the employee comes back to the store and grabs the bag of trash out of the dumpster. But why would they want that trash? Because it’s actually a bag filled with new, expensive merchandise that was disguised as trash to sneak it out of the building. While it may sound extreme, this form of theft is preferred because it is discreet and usually reaps big benefits for the thief.
Some forms of product theft are not as extreme, for example not charging a customer for a drink with their meal, or not scanning all of the merchandise brought to the register but putting it all into the customer’s bag.
It’s also possible that employees aren’t stealing products, but are stealing supplies. Office supplies are a necessary cost of doing business. However, when employees think the supply closet is for their own personal use, the cost of doing business increases.
It's 8:30 Saturday morning, and my family and I are looking forward to a great weekend with friends at the lake. We were up early, got the truck packed and we are on the road; looking forward to a relaxing weekend. My wife nudges me and asks “Did you shut the garage door”? My immediate response, “No, I thought you did”!
I am asked many times what Tech Edge is all about and the vision is very simple. To connect people with technology and give them an edge over their competition.
You may know by now I am a huge gadget fan and the IoT (Internet of Things) has fueled my gadget bug. From ChromeCast to the Nest Thermostat, I find it all fun to play with and there are some real advantages to the smart home. Until recently, I didn’t see the value to business. It was pointed out to me that the advantages of IoT not only can save businesses time and money, they can make a customer experience better or save lives.
It seems that I have recently run into a lot of people who are too busy to get something done at work or at home. I also had the benefit of seeing a presentation from Hardin Byars, a business coach and leader, that addressed this and gave a simple diagram that I think can help a lot of people.
I sometimes refer to my role within Nex-Tech as a firefighter. We all have those days where we feel like a firefighter, working from one issue to another putting out fires. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t always fires, but issues customers may have that I can assist them with.
Topics: Telecom Industry
Surveillance in the business place is beginning to be the new norm and a requirement in some cases. Cameras in today’s society are everywhere, you just may not have noticed. Once a topic of discussion regarding privacy concerns, surveillance has become a necessity for many businesses for a number of different reasons ranging from physical to financial loss. There are many considerations when determining whether surveillance should be implemented in your place of business. Here are a few:
Topics: Business Technology Watch
Running out the door again this morning, handling my workbag, a diaper bag, a toddler and of course my needed gallon of coffee. Finally get settled in the car, everyone is buckled and off we go for another fun filled day. However, let’s be honest, the chaos of our mornings or life in general are only replaced with our daily job tasks as we enter the doorways of the businesses we own or the companies we work for.
Topics: Business Technology Watch