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Machado Consulting's News You Can Use

Welcome to our blog where you can find everything from tech-tips to keeping your data secure. Have any questions? We'd love to hear from you!

By Controlling Active Directory, You Can Control Your Whole Network

By Controlling Active Directory, You Can Control Your Whole Network

The protection of your business’ computing assets is a bigger deal today than ever before. One tool that many IT administrators like to use is called Active Directory, a feature found on most Microsoft Server operating systems that allow administrators to control users. This month, we take a look at Active Directory. 

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Why a Hybrid Cloud is Right for Your Business

Why a Hybrid Cloud is Right for Your Business

The cloud can bring numerous benefits to a business. Public cloud offerings can reduce technology costs, provide scalability and flexibility to a business’ computing infrastructure, promote collaboration, protect your business from data loss, and much, much more. What it cannot do, however, is guarantee the control some organizations wish to have over their technology infrastructure. Some businesses prioritize that control, while others are bound by industry and government-induced regulations. For those businesses, there is the hybrid cloud.

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Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is a Business Killer

Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. It happens when purposes for certain tasks change or are abandoned altogether. Whatever the reason, it’s costing your business. This month, we take a look at what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.


Employee Productivity

You want your business to be more productive? Join the club. Every business has revenue-costing inefficiencies that they need to address. Some overcome them, some don’t. If your business wants to confront its inefficiencies, it has to start at the beginning and define what "efficient" looks like. Since inefficiency can stem from any part of your business, it’s a decent idea to separate your search for inefficiencies into departments, or even specific workflows where you can define what efficient productivity looks like for that certain task. This definition is effectively your criteria for claiming inefficiency, and should only change if process or workflow changes.

Another determination is how much things change. Are you constantly tweaking your operational plan to try to draw as much out of each of your workers? Most changes that you make to workflows, no matter how small, are going to cause some initial inefficiency. Think about it: If someone has been doing something the same for a while and you ask him/her to do it differently to save time, it seems, unless you have evidence that it will work, that you are likely digging your own efficiency grave by changing a completely functional process to try to get more out of it. It’s true that most people work at the speed they need to be the most effective. If you think that you need someone who works faster, it’s not necessarily an employee-related problem, it’s likely a company-related problem.

In truth, most times, when a business thinks it is having a problem with their productivity, they mean that the people that work for them aren’t pulling their weight. The question becomes how do you quantify a productive workforce? Today, more and more companies are using Key Performance Indicators (KPI). These are measures that allow decision makers to evaluate strategic performance, as well as employee performance. Taking time to understand how your business, and your employees, can be most effective to help you meet your organizational goals is just as important as having the resources in place to do so.

One thing is for certain, making work harder on your employees is not going to result in better productivity. Your business is a second home to your employees, and the lion’s share of people show up regardless of what is going on in their lives. The happier they are to spend a quarter-to-a third of their lives working for you, the more you are going to get out of them. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be performance metrics, and that you shouldn’t do everything you can to track their performance, but if you are making their lives outside of work better by providing the wages, benefits, and working conditions conducive for productivity, you will get more out of them.

Automation

In the productivity end, efficiency is built from having a good plan on what needs to happen, and executing that plan. If the plan shifts after some time, it's fair to expect that efficiency will take some time to catch up. Unless, that is, that plan includes automating portions of the workflow. People like to act that automation is working against people’s interests, but nothing could be further from the truth. Automation builds efficiency, which allows for more productivity, which allows for more revenue, and higher profits, and if those profits are reinvested, more jobs.

Automation works to build efficiency. That’s its one benefit, and it will cost you. There are many ways that a business can leverage automation into profitability. One is by utilizing a tool that automates all the little things. A properly working business typically has many different facets, and no matter how few people there are working these facets, they’ll have to be maintained. So, while payroll, accounts receivable, customer/vendor support, human resources could all be headed up by one person, with a software that automates a lot of the legwork associated with these tasks, that one person can accomplish everything listed above at a substantial cost reduction to the company. That’s not to say there isn’t cost, but when you can get people working rather than managing protocol, it substantially increases productivity throughout an organization.

Outsourcing

Contracting work that you cannot efficiently do yourself is nothing new. People have been paying contract-workers for a long time. You may find that you could get similar benefits at a substantial cost reduction by outsourcing some elements of your organization’s operations to an outside company. Where this process gets costly is when contractors are brought in to complete core parts of the job.

It stands to reason that if you offer products or services that your organization would have market authority in that space. Say your organization makes toys, chances are the people running the show, and the employees you’ve hired to physically build toys are all better at it than any outsourced company could be. Outsourcing is most beneficial when it is brought in, to complete aspects of the job where you lack expertise. This could be human resources, marketing, benefits administration, and of course IT support.

The IT professionals at Machado Consulting know that technology is a major part of your business, and needs to function properly, and be protected. Our technicians have the experience and the knowledge to help you solve some of your most pressing operational inconsistencies. Call us today to learn more at (508) 453-4700.

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4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

Scrutinize Your Security

Before you implement a new solution, be sure to consider your organization’s cybersecurity needs. Ask yourself if it’s something that you can implement without compromising your organization’s security. Cyberattacks can create a considerable financial burden for your business. After all, a business is still a business, no matter what kind of data it stores or how large its workforce or client base is. It might lessen the damage done, but it’s certainly not any consolation for still exposing data to threats--especially because the data stored by businesses tends to be sensitive in nature. You need to do everything you can to make sure that any solution you implement can be done so without your data being placed at risk.

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Taking a Look at a Manufacturer’s IT

Taking a Look at a Manufacturer’s IT

Manufacturing products is still a major part of the western economies; and, like other businesses, manufacturers are using information technology to fuel and manage their supply chains and business processes. We’ll take a short look at what IT manufacturers use, and how it helps them forge their business ahead.

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3 Questions To Determine The Best Tech for Your Company

3 Questions To Determine The Best Tech for Your Company

If you're trying to address a pain point or a vulnerability in your company, technology will play a role in solving it. But, with so many options available for every aspect of your business, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

You can begin to assess what your organization needs, by answering the three questions below.

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Problems Persist in Private Cloud Implementation

Problems Persist in Private Cloud Implementation

Private cloud computing is on the rise, and it’s for a good reason. Data security is a major problem for countless businesses, and in the wake of growing concerns over privacy and security threats, it has urged organizations to take it more seriously than ever before. Putting together a comprehensive private cloud system has its fair share of challenges, but if done properly, it can solve the data security problem as well.

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Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

If you’ve been in business for a while, there are devices on your network that see little to no use. Even for the most frugal business, due to the fact that technology eventually winds up being arbitrary thanks to the continued development (and deployment) of more powerful solutions, there will always be situations where you have devices that do nothing but take up space. You can reduce the chances of this happening by finding the right IT for the job the first time, while sparingly implementing only IT solutions that will provide a return on your investment.

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Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

Information technology has always been a hotbed for future predictions. Whether it was Marconi’s grand plans for wireless communications or the bold prediction that every person would be carrying around a computer that fits in the palm of their hand, the future always looks bright when new technologies are considered. But, what does the immediate future of information technology hold?

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Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t use the cloud in some way or another. Before investing in the right cloud solutions, it’s important that your organization considers several factors. Here are three of the most common ones that your business should consider before investing in and implementing a new cloud service.

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Is Your Business Prepared to Do Away with Paper?

Is Your Business Prepared to Do Away with Paper?

There’s no denying that digital records have quite a few advantages over paper documentation. Benefits of ‘going paperless’ include simplified search capabilities, more efficient storage, heightened security and automated backup capabilities. There are plenty of sources around the Internet that discuss making the switch to paperless documentation, but to keep your business documents safe, it is better to know what you’re getting into.

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Why Aren’t Users Buying More Tablets?

Why Aren’t Users Buying More Tablets?

When tablets first hit the market, the general prediction was that they would eventually replace PCs as the de facto device for computing, However, based on their steadily declining sales, this prediction seems to be a little off base--but, why? A closer examination provides some insight into why tablet sales have dipped.

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Digital Transformation: What Does it Look Like for Businesses?

Digital Transformation: What Does it Look Like for Businesses?

Smart organizations are always looking for ways to improve how they do business. Digital transformation is a way for businesses to get the most out of their technology by improving workflows and overall efficiency. What does digital transformation look like and how can you implement it in your business?

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Businesses that Value Mobility Will Want to Adopt 2-in-1 Devices

Businesses that Value Mobility Will Want to Adopt 2-in-1 Devices

Businesses today rely heavily on software solutions to function, and so these solutions need to be on-hand whenever and wherever a business opportunity may arise. As a result, mobile solutions have risen in importance, despite the continued need for what a desktop has to offer. To meet both these requirements, we recommend a convertible ultrabook, also known as a 2-in-1 device.

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Keeping Your Technology Up to Date May Be the Best Way to Retain Millennial Employees

Keeping Your Technology Up to Date May Be the Best Way to Retain Millennial Employees

Whether you like it or not, millennials (those reaching young adulthood around the year 2000) make up a significant portion of the workforce. Appropriately leveraging their skills is going to become a big part of succeeding as a business, but millennials are known for their tendency to hop from job to job as opportunity calls. How can you keep your top millennial talent from jumping ship? You can start by offering the latest technologies.

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Why the UTM is the Ultimate Security Solution for Businesses

Why the UTM is the Ultimate Security Solution for Businesses

Though network security is a necessity, it’s difficult to plan for every single possibility. Small and medium-sized businesses have trouble accounting for the many threats that lurk on the Internet, as security often requires a professional’s touch. As experts ourselves, we’ll discuss the many security solutions available to your organization, as well as what your best option is.

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Why Some People Can’t Be Productive While Travelling

Why Some People Can’t Be Productive While Travelling

Let’s say that you're on a business trip. As you travel, you decide you may as well get a bit of work done. You pull out your laptop and are pecking away, and that’s when you notice a growing feeling of nausea rising in your stomach. It gets so bad that you finally have to put the laptop away, having accomplished relatively little, before you are sick.

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How Accurate Can Supercomputers Predict the Future?

How Accurate Can Supercomputers Predict the Future?

Analytics play a major role in today’s business world, but they are also pivotal to the development of artificial intelligence systems. One of the expected qualities of AI is machine learning, the ability for a system to identify and learn from trends. Yet, this extremely practical aspect of artificially intelligent systems may have its uses in a business setting.

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Understanding the Cloud and How it Can Help Your Business

Understanding the Cloud and How it Can Help Your Business

If your business is still on the fence about implementing a cloud solution, we don’t blame you. Moving to the cloud can be a daunting task, and you don’t want to jump the gun and make such a big decision on a whim. It’s important to understand why businesses move their data to the cloud in the first place, as well as what the different types of cloud solutions are and what they can offer your unique business model.

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How Virtualization Can Be a Lucrative Investment for Your Business

How Virtualization Can Be a Lucrative Investment for Your Business

Hosting an in-house IT infrastructure may give you the reassurance that all of your servers and network equipment are being cared for properly, but it’s important to realize that your time is better spent elsewhere, like running your business. If you’re unsure if you’re providing the necessary maintenance and management for your mission-critical hardware solutions, virtualization can present a valuable opportunity.

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