Technique Slant Element

Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (July 2015)

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Technique

  • Never send passwords through email because email is very insecure. A phone call is best. Sending a password in a text message (SMS) is acceptable if the person on the other end has a chance to change the password right away.

  • Cell phones and other mobile devices often require a PIN to protect access to them. A PIN is just a password. The longer your PIN, the more secure it is. Many mobile devices allow you to change your PIN number to an actual passphrase.

  • There are some email messages that look like they are from a legitimate source but are not. If an email message contains a phrase like "If you don't respond immediately, your account will be cancelled" it is probably a phishing scheme. Delete such emails immediately and do not open any attachments they may contain.

  • If you are looking for an easy-to-use screen-sharing application, consider UberConference. It is simple to setup for organizers and does not require participants to download a software plug-in because it works within your browser.

  • New devices like Wi-Fi routers arrive pre-configured with factory passwords that are not secure. Make sure you change them right away.

Slant

Improving the Relationship between Business and IT Leadership

Business units which are consumers of corporate IT services sometimes experience considerable frustration, and often failure, in trying to request and receive the needed IT services. Oftentimes a gap exists between the business and IT expectations of the delivery of IT services. This issue continues to widen as businesses become more dependent on IT services.

Companies are under growing pressure to reduce operational costs and streamline processes while improving the core business performance. They tend to deal with their technology department as a cost center and focus on operational issues like automation and cost-cutting by either removing technologies or outsourcing them to the lowest bidder. From this point of view, IT becomes a necessary evil - something which is needed in order to keep the lights on.

On the other hand, IT departments may invest in new technologies just for the sake of the technology itself. New technology may not align with the firm’s business strategy or add value to business units, and there is often no direct or indirect return on investment (ROI) analysis performed prior to investment. Thus, a new solution is purchased for its “cool factor”, in addition to bragging rights among industry peers. Once the technology is purchased, a business purpose is pursued in order to recover some of the investments.

Two main circumstances make it worthwhile to invest in technology. In the traditional direct return on investment scenario, the financial tools and methods used to determine the ROI are similar to those used in other business projects. To evaluate whether an IT project is worth implementing, consider a number of variables to calculate direct monetary returns, including the amount of an initial investment, ongoing and operational costs, as well as timeline. An IT project is deemed a worthwhile investment if the amount of money it generates exceeds the amount of money invested.

Investing in IT infrastructure is an example of an indirect return on investment model. Similar to building highways, investing in IT infrastructure does not always create direct monetary returns that are immediately visible. However, IT infrastructure will lead the way for many software applications and IT services to be created. These applications and services will in turn create value and generate monetary returns.

To improve the relationship between business and IT leadership in your organization, work on establishing trust between business and IT by sharing knowledge. Sharing of knowledge begins by understanding differing points of view as described above, and continues until trust is established, the company vision is shared, and IT is used effectively to achieve business objectives, including improved financial performance or marketplace competitiveness.


Element

If you have spent any time searching for employment, then you probably have, like most people, wondered what exactly it is that hiring managers are looking for. Many of us have sought positions that we thought we were just right for, only to learn that someone else deemed a "better fit" was chosen instead. Recent findings have shone a light on the highly discretionary concept of "cultural fit" that most employers use as a top hiring priority. While the idea of seeking out the best cultural fit for a position makes sense- if a company hires someone whose personality and values, along with their skills, align with the company's strategy for success, the employee will feel more attached to their job and as a result, will work harder and stay with the company longer- it seems that the notion has gone amiss. Studied hiring practices have pointed to overwhelming evidence that managers are selecting individuals who they find to be "personal fits" as opposed to "cultural" ones. Hiring professionals reported looking for candidates they would want to hang out with, basing such a perception on shared past experiences they may have with the candidate, like common hobbies, favorite sports teams, and matching hometowns. Not only can this stagnate a company's demographic and cultural diversity, hiring someone on the basis of personal chemistry can exclude high-performing candidates. For jobs involving complex decision-making and ingenuity, more diverse teams score higher in performance and productivity. So next time you are passed over for a job you felt perfectly matched for, it may be them, not you, after all.



Business & Technology of Greater New York

Highlights from our last Fireside Chat with Matt Weinberg:

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About Business & Technology of Greater New York: The purpose of the event is to engage business and technology leaders of Greater New York to discuss their management and technology best practices and opportunities. To learn more, click here.



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Business ethics

Being ethical in all business transactions is not only the appropriate thing to do, it is also an effective business concept.

Sustainable Tech

Practical suggestions for IT leaders on how to create sustainable technologies and manage them proactively.

Online resources

To learn more about how to leverage technology to improve core business performance, visit the online resources which include supporting articles and reports.

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