IT is not my day job (CFO, Exec)
An investment which pays for itself
Processor technology has been going gang-busters, putting pressure on Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to keep up. This led to the introduction of Solid State Drives (SSDs) which offer improved performance, longer lifetime and increased productivity.
Most laptop manufacturers offer both spindle (traditional) and SSD options for their laptops. The SSD options tend to more expensive than the traditional hard drive options. But the higher productivity it delivers compensates for this in a big way and the investment pays for itself pretty quickly.
Sceptical? A study sponsored by Intel identified that companies gained a boost in team productivity, quicker response times and happier users. Team members using SSD deployed on notebooks / ultrabooks worked, on average, 51 minutes more every day. As a business owner, this is the kind of stuff I want to hear!
Let’s look at the numbers. A quick online search showed a notepad / ultrabooks with SSHD to cost as much as $300 more than its standard hard drive equivalent. An office worker on minimum wage ($13.50per hour) would be able to make up that additional spend back in under a month from the boost in productivity. From then on those productivity gains will go straight to your bottom line.
SSD drives are also a MUST for anyone who is out and about, one of the most common failures of ultrabooks and laptops is hard drive related. Constantly picking up and putting of laptops cause traditional hard drives to degrade over time leading to problems. SSD drives have no moving parts which mean that the impact of moving around constantly is greatly reduced, meaning longer lifetime for laptops and no having to wait around for replacement hard drives to arrive.
To find out more about Windows 8 and what it could do for your business contact the solutions team on email@example.com
Forget the features, focus on the future. The way IT is delivered and what is expected from an IT department has fundamentally changed over the course of this year. It’s all about being quicker, more cost effective, more flexible and delivering more for the business. This will gain momentum over 2013. At the core of any IT infrastructure is the Operating System and using the products of yesterday to keep up with the demands of today is an uphill battle that is only going to become more difficult. With the release of
Server 2012, Microsoft has effectively given IT professionals the building blocks they need to create the infrastructures of tomorrow. Out of the box Server 2012 is without a doubt bigger, better and faster. But more importantly it gives you options; whether it’s creating private clouds or implementing a line of business application in HTML5.
We put Server 2012 through its paces and believe there are three points that cannot be ignored:
- Robust virtualisation – Allows you to respond to business and provision new services faster. Future proofing for when you are ready to take that next step to the cloud.
- Simplified management – A broad number of management tasks can be automated, making deployment easier. This frees up your IT team (whether it be yours, ours or a hybrid) to create new services and innovate.
- Affordable storage – With Windows Server 2012, vendor lock-in is a thing of the past. Choose the storage which best meets your needs or repurpose existing hardware to maximise investments.
- Reduced risk downtime – Keep all your business critical services (Exchange, Lync, CRM etc) up and running. Windows Server 2012 prevents downtime, speeds up recovery when needed, and can utilise online backup for an additional layer of data protection.
Growing the Business:
- Improved access – Your team is provided secure access to their personalised work environment, which they can virtually access from anywhere and on any device.
- Increased productivity – Your team also have flexible and easy access to data and applications, while simplifying management and maintaining security, control, and compliance
Windows 8 is destined to be a game-changer for Microsoft. Once you get past the Start screen (aka Metro desktop) you find a system that is intuitive to use and significantly faster than its predecessors. But the most important differences are in the very obvious attempts to align the user experience across all devices – from a desktop or laptop to a smartphone or tablet. The redesign means you can easily move from one to another and instantly comprehend the interface.
To be fair to Microsoft, these don’t appear to be so much Microsoft issues – they have produced something special here; but the hardware vendors don’t appear to have kept pace and not all the drivers are available that you’re going to need to have an entirely pleasant transition.
If you’re going there anyway, our top tips are:
- Get used to using the Windows key. It is the fastest way to toggle between what you’ll recognise as a normal desktop and the Metro desktop.
- Once you’re on the Metro desktop don’t bother with clicking through menus to find things – just start typing.
- Don’t feel obliged to use the Metro desktop when you’re on your laptop. It looks cool but isn’t as efficient as your normal desktop. Different story if you’re on a touch screen tablet.
- This is a major transition for users – perhaps even bigger than the Office 2003 to 2007 transition, which we all know created its fair share of frustration. We don’t think it’s wise to resist change – the longer you wait the harder it’ll get – but we highly recommend some user training or you’re likely to see a major drop in productivity for a week or two. This can be a cheap and cheerful as a YouTube video or as comprehensive as a professional trainer from one of our partners in this area.
Technology is having a significant impact on how retailers are engaging with customers to attract, engage and share their shopping experiences. Check out this latest research and white paper on global trends in the retail space.
Decades ago, retail was based on relationships: When people walked through the front door, the merchant personally greeted them and asked how they could help. Customers trusted the merchant to help them with what they needed and educate them about new items on the shelf.
Over time, the personalized approach was lost and consumers no longer felt the same loyalty to the retailer. Today, retailers are working to enhance their shoppers’ experience, knowing that at the same time customers have options to shop wherever and whenever they want, often without stepping inside a store. Retailers have to anticipate a shopper’s buying behavior, whether the route they take begins with a website, social site or the parking lot outside of their store.
We conducted a survey of 250 U.S.-based retail executives in May 2012 to understand what impact omni-channel retail trends are having on their business, the drivers to change and their plans to use mobile technologies within the next five years…..
Read the full article and download the white paper.
PC Magazine May 2012
Microsoft this week continued to push for the demise of Windows XP, arguing that it is more expensive for businesses to remain on the aging OS than it is to upgrade to Windows 7.
Specifically, IDC said that base IT and end-user labor costs associated with Windows XP are about five times as much as those for Windows 7. “That’s a significant amount of money IT shops could put towards modernizing their departments and adding value to the businesses,” Visser said.
Those prices are also still on the rise. “IDC found the longer you wait, the pricier supporting Windows XP gets: IT labor costs go up 25 percent in the fourth year of continuing to run Windows XP past deadline, and user productivity suffers as well, with an increased cost of 23 percent,” he said.
Read the rest of the article here
Imagine 2012 is set to be New Zealand’s leading business technology event.
It has been designed specifically for IT resellers, integrators and technology focussed end users. The event provides attendees with a wealth of information on emerging technologies and insight into the latest business tactics. With access to key industry figures and leading technology vendors this event offers insight into how to succeed today and how to plan for tomorrow’s world.
• Industry experts holding multi track and focused sessions on key issues around data security, networking, compliance, convergence, optimisation and virtualisation
• Networking sessions
• Live demonstrations
• An opportunity to connect with the IT experts from both NZ and internationally
• Over 27 Vendor demonstration booths for one on one discussions
• A leading Keynote presentation
Imagine 2012 consists of two full day events, the first taking place in Wellington on the 15th May at The Intercontinental and the second in Auckland on the 17th May at the Langham Hotel. Secure your seat for this rare line up of industry leading technology, business figure heads and global thought leader
A decade ago, there were about 400 million people on the Internet; today, there are nearly 2 billion. More than 940 million people around the world have 3G mobile phone subscriptions, and more than 500 million use Facebook.
The digital universe is changing the way people shop, as we discovered last year, when we surveyed over 30,000
consumers. We learned that customers are more connected, more vocal and more demanding than ever before. What they want, above all, is a personalised experience: they want retailers to know them.
By CIO New Zealand | Wednesday, February 01 2012
After several years of talking about the benefits of ICT innovations and industry transformation, market researcher IDC says 2012 will be the year organisations will finally embark on it.
The IT-enabled changes, however, will be conducted amidst economic turmoil, and will mean new challenges for CIOs.
“2012 is set to be another roller-coaster year for the New Zealand economy and as a result, newly emerging technologies that target productivity improvements will be top of mind,” says Louise Francis, senior market analyst, IDC New Zealand. “This trend is reflected in the heavy representation of mobility and infrastructure themes in this year’s predictions.”
“Technologies such as cloud computing, big data technologies and mobility are seen by many CIOs as a means to achieve economic objectives such as cost savings and productivity. However, IDC believes that more consideration should be given to their role as a foundation for innovation,” says Francis.
The analyst firm lists its top 10 ICT predictions for the year:
1. The UFB debate will finally move on from construction to uptake: Attention will shift from building the Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) network to demand stimulation.
2. Structural separation will see Telecom compete aggressively and partner strategically: Being freed from many of its regulatory restrictions and scrutiny (through structural separation), Telecom will seek to leverage its customer scale advantage.
3. Mobile data growth will drive competition and co-operation: Telcos will look to mine the few pockets of growth remaining within the industry, as the squeeze on legacy revenue streams continues.
4. CIOs will face the double edged sword of smart device growth: CIOs face increasingly complex issues around the opportunities and threats surrounding the explosion in smartphones, including multiple platforms, security, BYOD and apps stores. “Choose your own device” is likely to have the edge over “bring your own device”.
5. The rapid ascent of mobility and BYOD will generate an upsurge of security threats: The increasingly ubiquitous nature of mobile devices integrated into the business will continue to create security headaches for IT departments and CIOs and will push mobile security up on the investment agenda.
6. Cloud moves from a cost management to innovation driver: The role of the cloud to help manage costs will move towards one that will encompass the cloud as a means to driving innovation within an organisation.
7. Business analytics will ride a new wave, sending “big data” further in motion: Big data analytics will become critical in verticals that are challenged by the huge amounts of data sets and the widespread use of collaborative technologies.
8. Client virtualisation will move up on CIOs’ priorities as a result of BYOD and consumerisation of technology: Demand for client virtualisation will move a step closer towards becoming universal, as the diversity and proliferation of devices is fuelled by the consumerisation of IT.
9. The government will reduce and reallocate IT budgets: IDC expects the New Zealand government to redirect some planned investments, including ICT towards the mammoth task of rebuilding Canterbury, as well as a focus on developing common capability, networks and infrastructure, and the sharing of business systems. The ICT industry will be invited and challenged to innovate in partnership with the government.
10. Enterprises will automate their environments en masse: Long-term structural constraints will create an incentive for organisations to invest in automation to keep up with the increasing scale and complexity of operational IT environments.
IDC Top 10 ICT Predictions for 2012