Technique Slant Element

Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Aug 2016)

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Technique

  • If you use tabs in your Internet browser and wish to look at two websites side-by-side, you may detach a browser tab into its own window for simpler viewing. Click and drag the tab away from the address bar and into another window. The tab should pop in automatically. In Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge you can also right-click on the tab and select "Move to New Window".

  • Do you sit in front of a computer for most of the day? You should carve out a few minutes every half hour to get up and stretch to prevent muscle tension. Hold each stretch for approximately 20 seconds. Focus on your upper and lower back, shoulders, neck and hands. For a good hand stretch, separate and straighten your fingers until tension is felt, then hold for ten seconds. Relax and bend your fingers at the knuckles and hold for another ten seconds. Repeat few more times. Always remember to lock your computer if you take a break away from your desk.

  • If possible, always use a stronger method of authentication called two-factor authentication or two-step verification. It is a method requiring more than a password to log in, such as a numeric code sent to your smartphone. This option is much more secure than a password alone.

  • Do not allow your computer disk drive to get completely filled up with files; it is sure to slow your computer down. Keep at least 10-15% of free disk space available.

  • Unfortunately, we have grown accustomed to poor service from the central IT department. But when you do have a positive experience, it isn't a bad idea to show appreciation by sending a thank you note to the person who performed the work or to their supervisor. IT leadership may not always be top-notch, but many of its workers do the best job they can.


Slant

Deciphering the cloud service confusion

Cloud service providers sell shared access to software, computing and data that you can use over the Internet. This on-demand, pay-as-you-go model enables you to adjust computing capacity quickly as business demand changes, which can save you some of the cost of running your own IT infrastructure.

As companies consider moving their business applications to the cloud, vendors and cloud providers have started to market everything as cloud. This mixing of cloud with other services may be confusing and requires additional efforts to figure out what cloud services are true and which are not.

The cloud confusion increases the risk of you getting locked into service contracts that you do not want and do not match your needs and expectations. One thing to keep in mind is to distinguish between current trends that are hype and services that will be around for a long period of time. This is becoming increasingly important as some software vendors require you to sign a multi-year contract.

When comparing cloud providers, reach out to other customers and inquire about how much of the offerings reflect the true capabilities that you are looking for. Select the cloud provider and the applications to move to the cloud that fit your long-term business strategy. Moving services to the cloud only to move them back in a couple of years can be costly.

Determining the cloud costs, including moving the business applications and services to the cloud, is complex and will be distinct for each organization. Cloud providers itemize cloud service components they make available for purchase, which makes comparing them with your existing IT environment problematic. Vendor Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculators should be taken with a grain of salt because they are biased towards encouraging you to purchase their services.

Be mindful of the general direction in which your industry is moving with respect to technology. What are your competitors doing in this space? Are they taking advantage of particular cloud services, or outsourcing to third-party vendors instead? Is there an opportunity to take advantage of a particular cloud technology to gain competitive advantage?

After establishing your budget, create a use case scenario for each business application you are considering moving to the cloud. Often the best way to project the cloud service costs is to do a pilot program that consists of a subset of the business application functionality that you will eventually move to the cloud.


Element

Expressing anger via text, chat, email or on social media can be hard to resist because we can now publicly share our frustration immediately and from anywhere. Research shows that although people may feel instantaneous relief after venting online, the feeling is fleeting, and it may actually cause further anger and aggression. Venting can alienate your friends or family, or make you look like a complainer or someone with anger-management issues. Because everything on the Internet really does stay there forever, even post-delete, expressing anger online can cause permanent damage to your reputation.

To avoid angry outbursts on the Internet or email, try the following: delay your response by counting to 100; take deep breaths; listen to relaxing music; walk away from your computer or device; drink a glass (or more) of water; read something- a book or even an article- that isn't contentious or adversarial; call a friend. You could even go ahead and write that angry response- just be sure to delete it without sending it after you are done. No amount of anger or frustration merits an even slight tarnish upon an image that you worked too hard to attain.



Business & Technology of Greater New York

Please join me at my next event on Thursday, September 15th for a Fireside Chat with Prasanth Nair, CEO of Double Gemini.

Video highlights from the last Fireside Chat with Yvette Pasqua, CTO of Meetup:

Watch the entire video.

Business & Technology of Greater New York engages business and technology leaders of Greater New York to discuss their management and technology best practices and opportunities.

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

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