Google Cloud storage costs have decreased by 8 to 15 percent providing some relief to mid-sized businesses that need to cut costs while still providing developers and senior IT professionals access to reliable storage. IT professionals can easily integrate services into the company's infrastructure, allowing Google to host and protect the vital information, and freeing up IT professionals time to work on other more pressing security related issues.

In addition to helping out developers, cloud storage makes it easier to execute backups, create active archives and do full system recoveries. For IT professionals that have ever had to deal with a complete loss of data, hosting information on multiple secure servers off-site creates peace of mind. IT professionals can choose the level of service needed for the company and quickly recover information using a backup from Google.

CIO notes that developers that have access to cloud computing can work with large amounts of data while decreasing the amount of time required for deployment. The first setup required for these services is nominal compared to the time involved in managing and maintaining multiple physical computer systems. The company’s bottom-line will improve and access to information between multiple developers becomes faster and more efficient. Files are available instantly in the Google Cloud storage network and accessible for other developers to coordinate and improve.

Using cloud services, IT professionals can approach cloud computing in several ways. IT professionals can choose to give "Platform as a Service" (PaaS) to develop applications, deployment and integration within a cloud environment. "Infrastructure as a Service" (IaaS) provides access to fully secured virtual server environments. Additionally, IaaS provides options for developing and testing applications, batch processing of workloads and web site hosting. Finally, cloud computing provides options to store most of the company's information on a cloud-based server. This virtually eliminates issues involved in losing an important backup due to hardware failure, malicious attacks or natural disaster.

With the decrease in prices, now may be a perfect time to begin moving company information to the cloud. IT professionals must keep in mind the needs of the business and carefully evaluate any service provider they decide to team up with. For small business cloud services may be overkill, but for mid-sized businesses that are growing, moving information to the cloud makes sense. Trying to undergo a massive transition when the company begins to burst at the seams creates workflow problems and disrupts day-to-day operations.
 
 
The economic slowdown affected many industries including retail, airline, food and traveling. Businesses and individuals are looking for ways to cut corners to save instead of spend. One industry that has been nearly immune from the recession is information technology (IT) consulting services. This article discusses the factors that contribute to their success despite the global economic turmoil.

Providing Technology Services

IT consulting service companies, which are also known as IT service providers, provide different services related to technologies. These services may include implementation of software, integration of software and hardware, maintenance of the infrastructure, and provide helpdesk support for general computer related issues.

The Need for IT Consulting Companies

Governments and private organizations depend on technologies to keep their businesses flowing. It is usually expensive to implement and maintain these technologies. It would require a league of staffs that specialize in different fields including software, hardware, and systems integration. Keeping the IT staff force in-house is also difficult because of the high turnover rates. Therefore, governments and businesses outsource their technologies to IT service providers to help reduce technology expenses.

IT Outsourcing Creates Opportunities

There has been a growing trend in IT outsourcing. Many experts predict that this trend will continue even after the recession ends. As IT outsourcing increases, new IT service providers will emerge. Many IT providers are seeing this growing demand as an opportunity to become the next big thing.

Multi-Million Dollar Contracts

The IT consulting service industry is a multi-billion dollar business. Government and large private organizations provide service contracts that are worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. These contracts typically guarantee several years of continued services. After the contract expires, they become available in the market for other IT service providers to bid. This contract cycle creates endless opportunities for IT service providers to add more clients to their portfolio.

The Acquisition and the Verdict

Successful IT consulting service companies are often acquired for billions of dollars. For instance, Dell acquired Perot Systems for $3.9 billion. In the same month, Xerox acquired Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion. Many investors who invested in IT service providers have already made millions from the deals. Are you ready to invest?
 
 
If you’re an IT professional, you know the problems associated with enterprise-level printing all too well. In fact, printing problems can rival desktop troubles in many companies, especially with the explosive growth in remote access printing over the last decade or so.

Following are a couple of simple, yet underutilized, ways for managing print capabilities in this type of environment.

I. Educate Employees: While printing is a seemingly simple task, the technology behind it has gotten more robust over the years. The functions that printers can perform nowadays run the gamut – from color choices to paper stock choices, to layout and design styles and more.

Users can be overwhelmed – and wind up not only wasting hard resources (e.g. paper), but soft ones, expensive ones as well (e.g. IT time) – if they don’t get what they want when they hit the “Print” button.

Hence, it pays to educate users about how to use printing devices. They are the frontline of defense against better enterprise print management software resources simply because they are the end user.

Educating users doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be done very cost effectively. For example, via your company’s intranet, you can easily upload how-to videos that demonstrate the ins and outs of how to use print software. And, you can even use popular video-sharing sites like YouTube to instruct employees.

II. Use Monitoring Software: In the past, when a printer went down, someone had to notify the tech department to fix it before it could be used again. Nowadays, this can be done automatically via monitoring software.

This software can keep IT up to date on a range of printer problems, not just mechanical malfunctions. For example, it can tell you if a certain machine needs more paper or if toner is low. In short, monitoring software acts offensively to prevent printing problems, as well defensively by alerting you to printer problems.

The reason these tips for managing enterprise-level printing are so effective is that every organization, no matter the size, can implement them immediately, and start garnering the benefits instantaneously as well.
 
 
I talk a lot about software for businesses in this blog, especially software that can help with event management. Software is a great took to help, in fact, here are some articles that talk about the benefits of using software for event management:

At the same time, don't forget that events and conferences are not successful because of the software you use. Here are some non-software related tips for you:


 
 
According to a December 2010 survey by Cisco, employees value flexibility and mobility more than ever. Sixty percent of those surveyed didn’t believe they needed to be on site to do their jobs effectively, and a whopping two-thirds (66%) said they’d accept lower-paying jobs in order to have more flexibility.

One of the easiest ways to give employees what they want is to make computer desktops easier for users by configuring remote access. According to many technology experts, it is one of the most underutilized technologies on the market today, even though it’s been around for quite a while.

Three Benefits of Remote Desktop Access

1. Anywhere Access: With just a standard internet connection and some basic desktop sharing software, a user can gain access to another computer and operate just as if they were in the office.

2. Workspace Management: Because you can access and send files between computers, you don’t have to worry about things like creating duplicate copies if you’re going to be on the road or at home with a sick child, for example.

You can still prepare your presentation and send it between systems with ease. This keeps your workflow in sync without worrying about things like if you have the most up to date version, or not. Workspace management is an essential piece to making it easier for users.

3. File Sharing: Remote access allows you to share files with other users, which make things like teleconferencing and online meetings a breeze.

Today’s employees want it all – workplace flexibility and mobility, coupled with life balance. And luckily, the technology is available to give it to them.

In essence, when you make computer desktops easier for users by deploying technology like remote access, you allow “the show to go on,” while allowing your employees to have more of a personal life. And in today’s competitive 24/7/365 global economy, that’s exactly the edge you need.
 
 
Technology plays a huge role in organizational infrastructure. It's nearly impossible to carry out daily tasks without the use of computers, laptops, printers, and a host of other network related devices. Many organizations even have phones that are networked with IP addresses. Organizations need more than one or two techs for technical support. Many businesses need a technical support company to meet there ongoing technology needs.

Companies are able to save money this way because the outsourced help is often cheaper than training internal employees. Technical support companies will often bill clients for support services when they are needed. When they are not needed, there is no bill. This is completely different from an internal staff.

Companies that have an internal technology staff have to pay full time salaries for each member of this team. This includes costs for training, in addition to software and hardware upgrades. Businesses that hire outside help are charged one flat fee. This usually is an all-inclusive fee that includes software installations, hardware setup and extended technical support.

This is usually a better deal over time than hiring internal support. It's important for businesses to realize that most network equipment, once installed, will work fairly well without any interference. Corporate backups can be set up to run daily, PC network drives can be mapped to servers, and network printers can be installed all during one initial setup. In situations such as this, technical support would really only be needed in the event of a network failure. Routers and switches that are connected to a main distribution point will occasionally experience issues. It is at this time that the extended technical support would be utilized.

Approaching the need for technology assistance this way is much more practical than having a full time staff that is devoted to this. A full time internal staff has to be paid regardless of whether or not their assistance is needed. This can become much more costly than an outsourced staff that may simply charge when their services are required.

Businesses that worry about preventive maintenance can also find technical support solutions that monitor their networks on a regular basis. It can be a beneficial service that can prevent businesses from having network crashes or data corruption. This service is much cheaper than paying an employee to conduct network monitoring. Most companies do not have the resources to employ technicians for these tasks alone.
 
 
I just found out about the Twitter business and marketing tool, twAitter, and created my own account: http://www.twaitter.com/profile/dancoppen.aspx

Has anyone else tried out this service? Have any feedback you would like to share with me and my readers? Thanks!
 
 
Running any business successfully requires time, patience and efficient use of resources. Finding the right combination of these elements is essential. While there are numerous ways you can help ensure your business is as successful as it can be, focusing on several key areas can help you maximize your company's success level.

Target Marketing

Get familiar with your product's target audience. Knowing who you're selling to is one of the best ways to deliver a product that will succeed. Knowing your target audience is also one of the best ways to help develop the proper company image, along with the best methods of advertising. Take the time and expense to create surveys and research your market. Understand the target age, where your audience spends free time and what type of purchasing habits your audience has.

Marketing Techniques

Use mixed media to sell your products and services. A combination of traditional and non-traditional advertising methods can give you the widest spectrum of marketing possibilities. Not every company can afford all types of advertising. Traditional methods include print, such as magazine and newspaper advertising, flyers and brochures. Television and radio are other traditional methods. Even if you can't afford nationwide television and radio advertising, local TV and radio might be an option.

Non-traditional methods include primarily Internet, which offers even small business owners access to a worldwide market for relatively little cost. Social media websites are another option business owners should consider. By leveraging the power of websites like Facebook and Twitter, you can build a fan base for your business and market not just your products, but the personality behind your company as well.

Outsourcing Technical Support

If you have a business that requires a great deal of technical support, consider outsourcing the work to a realiable technical support company. This can save you the time and manpower required to put together an in-house tech support team. Hiring reliable technical support firms allows even a smaller company to leverage the power of a large, well-trained technical support company, and will help ensure your customers have around the clock support for your products and services. By using a technical support company, you can devote valuable manpower to areas of your business that need in-house attention.
 
 
Many people think that choosing the right IT consultant is really just a matter of luck. They believe that you can sometimes get an IT professional who can really help you and that other times you can get someone who does not know what they are doing. If you are just picking randomly from a list of consultants, this really is true. You will have to depend on luck, and the odds are fairly high that things will not fall in your favor. If you keep in mind the following tip for choosing the right IT consultant, however, you can take all of the luck out of the process and end up working with someone who really can help you out.

1. Find An Expert
Do not just pick a general IT consultant if you have a very specialized job. If you just need someone to keep a network running, you will be all right to go with almost anyone. If you need someone to help your website communicate with online stores, retailers, and payment services, however, you will want someone with special knowledge. They will need to know about the economics of the situation and the ways that things work when they are outside of your local network.

2. Stay Within Your Time Zone
If you work on the east coast, do not choose an IT consultant on the west coast. You have to remember that there is a three hour time difference. When you come into work in the morning, your IT professional will still be asleep. When you want to go home for the day, they will want you to stay late and work with them via telecommunication. This can be very frustrating and you are much better off with someone who is within your time zone. For the same reason, do not get a consultant from another country.

3. Trust Your Gut
When talking to the person, it is very important that your gut instinct is that you like them and can get along with them. Remember that you will have to work with them on problems that can be very frustrating. You may already be feeling stressed. If you choose someone that you cannot work with, someone who only makes you feel more stressed out, you will be in for a lot of nights spent pulling your hair out and wishing you could speak to someone else.

Helpful Links:
 
 
When it comes to hosting a major party, the Super Bowl presents some major challenges for those involved. With a multitude of separate events to manage and a large influx of people in a small period of time, it takes a tremendous amount of work to prevent chaos from ensuing. Not only do the logistics of the game and the stadium need to be determined, but gaining the support of neighboring businesses is also critical. Useful software for planning a large event like the Super Bowl can have a tremendous impact upon the success of an event. Large-scale arena management software can ease the complications of such an event.

Useful software for planning a large event like the Super Bowl must take many different aspects of the event into account. Providing adequate accommodations for the players and associated organizations is a top priority. Making sure that all of the participants are where they need to be when the game starts is critical. Lodging, food and transportation are just the beginning of organizing this portion of the event. Special requests also need to be considered for last minute arrangements and unexpected actions. A robust software application will allow this flexibility.

In addition to keeping the players happy, seeing that the fans are satisfied is a major function of arena event software. Useful software for planning a large event like the Super Bowl must understand the needs of the people attending the event. Affordable accommodations, parking, food and entertainment and the ability for sponsors to reach this audience can help the event be more effective. This once a year event is essentially a chance for the host city to shine and make an impression upon first time visitors. A durable application will help to coordinate these events with few glitches.

A quality application for a large scale arena event will have many components that work together to keep the actual event running smoothly. Useful software for planning a large event like the Super Bowl will have different modules that can be used at various times during the planning stages and throughout the event. The ability for users of the system to keep others updated with changing information is critical. Modules that aren't needed at certain times can be run in the background to keep the system running smoothly. Like humans, good software needs time to refresh occasionally.

 
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