Business Technology in Omaha, NE – 2018
Understanding new technology is a challenging prospect—not just for individuals trying to learn the basics for themselves, but also for businesses who want to introduce new technology into their workplace in order to become more competitive. There is more pressure on businesses than ever to stay up-to-date with technology trends.
The business world has become a digital ecosystem. So many internal and external factors depend on technology—communication, marketing, organization, scheduling, access to information, data filing, billing, etc. Companies who aren’t utilizing the digital resources out there to evolve into the future will likely become a thing of the past. In addition, if technology is not being protected or maintained properly, a business could risk the same fate.
Fortunately, for those businesses who are struggling to keep up, there are many professionals here in Omaha who are eager to provide their valuable expertise to clients who need help implementing useful technologies and processes into their workplace.
Strictly Business spoke to several technology leaders in Omaha and the Nebraska area to gain insight on how to feel confident in this ever-evolving, tech-driven world.
Don’t Be Afraid of New Technology
A key starting point for people, regardless of how comfortable they feel with technology themselves or whether they have already begun to seek new technological solutions to common problems in the workplace, is where to go to get practical, experienced advice on business technology. Serving Omaha and Lincoln, Virtual C was founded with this specific problem in mind. The goal of Virtual C is to offer unbiased advice on technology, and to help guide technology strategies and implementation to keep businesses operating at their most efficient level possible.
There is no denying that changing or implementing new technology can complicate the flow of the workplace. In fact, sometimes it makes more sense for a business to outsource technology for specific purposes.
“Over two-thirds of organizations need external support for planning, designing, and benefiting from workplace technology solutions,” states Andrew Storz with Virtual C.
“Every industry has different technology needs. There are devices, software, and collaboration applications (instant messaging, video conferencing, social media, etc.), that help people work more effectively in any capacity. Understanding these tools will make a huge impact on productivity.”
“Now is the time to align business processes with effective technology,” Storz confirms. “The importance of observing current trends in technology is that savvy businesses can reduce costs by paying attention to new developments. One of these vital trends to understand is Agile, which began as a group of advocates for software development in 2001 and has grown into a widespread approach to flexible software development which meets the needs of evolving customer expectations.”
As the name suggests, an Agile approach emphasizes collaboration in order to efficiently develop and evolve software which best meets the needs of customers’ quickly changing demands. As a specialist in Agile, Andrew has published free introductions to Agile software development on their website.
These videos serve as introductions to Virtual C’s full services and are an excellent starting point for business leaders seeking to learn more about both Agile and general technology strategies for their company.
In addition to personal consultations and online training through the Virtual C Academy, Virtual C is also preparing to open a collaboration center in Lincoln for businesses seeking to rent a premiere space for strategy sessions, client meetings, and full programming dojos to train employees.
If you’re coming from Omaha and would like to upgrade from meeting your clients in crowded coffee shops, check out the Virtual C Collaboration Center, scheduled to officially open next month!
The value of understanding software and business technology is not limited to larger businesses that are developing software for their customers’ use.
Some business owners may embrace the benefits of using new technology, while others may be suspicious of changing a system they believe works just fine. Blaine Kahle with Five Nines explains how their work in information technology might be beneficial to both types of business owners—those who are ready to embark on a new technology initiative and those who are skeptical:
“Five Nines partners best with companies who want to outsource the entirety of their information technology, allowing that workplace to focus all their attention and efforts on their primary business, instead of also trying to run an IT department at the same time. We’ll bridge the technology-business gap, and we’re constantly exposed to trends and changing needs as part of our partnerships with hundreds of Nebraska businesses.”
Kahle also discussed how businesses depend on their phone, internet, and data connections to accomplish everything from research to client communications to payment solutions:
“Downtime can cost thousands of dollars. Any business, even a small one which offers a product online, could be dramatically affected by not preparing for lapses in an internet connection.
As a simple example, many businesses now have a critical application or service that’s only accessible via the Internet, but they’ve not yet taken the step of having two independent Internet connections, or at a minimum a business-continuity plan for when the Internet connection is down.
Five Nines helps our business partners identify those challenges and develop plans to address them.”
Five Nines offers IT assessments to customers who connect with them. The assessment forms the basis for Five Nines to design a solution to help ensure their clients’ websites and online services do not suffer significant and costly downtime. Five Nines then gives a presentation to their clients of their proposed solutions. Five Nines was recognized for excellence in IT services by CRN’s 2016 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 category. One of Five Nines’ goals is to ensure that their clients’ websites reach 99.999% uptime throughout the year.
A related concern when it comes to technology is how to protect it from costly damage. Especially in industries that use technology to send or store sensitive information, having a plan in place to ensure safety and privacy is very crucial.
“We are an expert in the field of specialized technologies that maintain the health and integrity of facilities, data centers, hospitals, schools, and many other industries’ power and environmental equipment,” explains Angela Wilson with Predictive Technology, Inc. (PTI).
Wilson shares advice for those who want to integrate technology to protect their business and their clients from disaster, but don’t know where to start:
“Evaluate your pain points. What issues are you having within the workplace? For instance, if you have a bathroom located next to a room with critical equipment or documents then you might want to install a leak detection system. If you have a lot of power surges in your workplace, then you should look at a backup power system. If security is an issue, then you might want to install cameras and a facility monitoring system. Evaluate your risks and then do your research. Most risks can be prevented or predicted with the right technological systems in place.”
Environmental threats can wreak havoc, destroy vital information, and even cost lives. Wilson lists common types of environmental threats to business that can be averted with proper preparation:
- Fluid (water) intrusions
- Changes in temperature and humidity levels
- Smoke damage
- Power surges and power failures
“PTI has always been known for providing monitoring solutions for large data centers; however, we have expanded our offerings to include monitoring solutions that help small businesses, data center closets, unique facilities, and almost any company or industry that have environmental or power issues,” Wilson says.
“Data center/IT managers track their power usage using our monitoring systems to prevent downtime, provide power tenant (business entity) billing, and evaluate inefficiencies. Leak detection systems are used in financial institutions, data centers, art warehouses, offices, retail, universities, hospitals, etc. to prevent potential damage to their facilities, equipment, and business losses.”
PTI is affiliated with AlgenaHub, an online supplier which focuses on technology meant to protect larger businesses from computer, data storage, and power problems caused by environmental threats.
Wilson also identifies new trends:
“Power backup of any critical piece of equipment within a company is a high priority and a must for most businesses. Most people think about the importance of backing of their data or security protections for their computers and servers; however, power surges can do a lot of damage to a computer system including permanent loss.
We are seeing more customers purchasing UPS’s (uninterruptable power supply) for their computers and small server rooms. These units can also be monitored to detect potential issues. PTI is a leader in monitoring systems that can alert our clients of any potential damage of critical equipment caused by the environment within their commercial or data center space. These alerts are sent to the client’s mobile device via SMS, text messages, or email notification.
Omaha-based business are seeking to provide optimal service in a variety of technological areas. Don’t be afraid of new technology! Or technology in general, for that matter. Define your goals and talk to a professional about how technology can help you reach those goals. Educate yourself and your staff about implementing new technology and protecting existing applications in order to keep your business on top.