Staying Current with Technology
In today’s tech-driven landscape, choosing to put off technology updates like purchasing new computers and virus software can cost you big time in the long run, as can being out of the loop on the latest technology advancements in your field. In our research on this topic, we found key information and resources to help educate our readers on the importance of staying current with technology and how to do it with savvy and skill. Here are some tips that can ultimately save you money and resources and keep you current in the tech sphere, both at home and in the business world.
Educate Yourself on Emerging Technology Trends
There are a surprising number of ways a layperson can stay informed on emerging technology trends, including reading the latest technology research reports, watching online tutorials, and subscribing to get alerts when new tech hits the market—but if you’re just looking to gain a better grasp on technology in general to apply to a field that isn’t inherently tech-related, one of the best ways is to take a class or even pursue a new degree. It doesn’t have to be a tech-related degree! You’ll find yourself among peers and teachers who can help bridge the gap in your tech knowledge.
With the availability of online education through programs such as those offered by the University of Nebraska, you can expand your expertise in your field without missing a beat. The University of Nebraska is committed to equipping Nebraskans with high-demand skills and offering accessibility to high-quality online programs that will enhance their careers and advance the state’s future in this modern, fast-paced, and tech-heavy world. Classes are specifically designed to accommodate people who already have an established career and are not able to put it on hold for more schooling.
Online options fit the lifestyles of many adult students who may be juggling multiple demands, including work, family, and other commitments. Business Administration, BA; Cybersecurity, BMS; and MBA are just a few of the 150+ online and blended degrees, certificates, and endorsement programs, from bachelor’s to doctoral, across 16 fields of study offered by the four campuses of the university. They truly have something for everyone, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve stepped foot in a classroom. You can easily take steps today toward a greater understanding of new technology in your field.
Create an IT Strategy
With the rate of change in the technology world today, being aware that you need to keep up isn’t enough. You need a strategy if you want your business to function at optimum efficiency in order for you to stay on top in your field.
Many businesses choose to hire an IT expert for this very reason. Technology may not be a strength for every business, and bringing in an expert to constantly monitor your system so it can continue running at top speeds and to also protect you from security threats can allow a business to focus on what they do best (which may not be IT!) and leave the tech stuff to technology experts.
For a business owner who does not have a large knowledge-base in the tech field, hiring the right IT person can be especially stressful. There is pressure to find the right person who not only has the expertise to successfully complete the tasks at hand, but who also fits the culture of your company. Outsourcing your recruiting efforts can be a huge help if you are already spread thin handling various other responsibilities.
We talked to Andy Hawkins, founder of Concentric Corporation, to learn more about the role Concentric plays every day in helping companies build their teams and find their people—including technology experts.
“Concentric Corporation has been perfecting our approach of building quality relationships for over 15 years,” Andy said. “Our proven ability to listen to our audience, create relationships, and continue a reputation of trust has allowed us to grow in our community. We are the kind of company that brings businesses and professionals together when the time is right for everyone to create a perfect match.”
Whether your business is looking for a full-time or contracted employee in an account management, information technology, sales and marketing position, or anything else, Concentric’s team can help you make a hiring decision you feel good about. Today’s IT professionals have to be, among other things, highly intelligent, flexible in the face of change, and passionate about their field. Concentric will help you find a candidate who’s ready to help your company grow—and grow within your company.
“Think two steps ahead of where you want your business to be, keeping in mind that plans change and evolve,” Andy said. “With a fast-paced industry, you need to be prepared for changes and welcome them with open arms. Technology evolves, grows, and changes so quickly. We can help you find the people you need to navigate these changes and keep your company running smoothly and efficiently.”
Invest in Productivity
A workplace survey conducted in 2016 revealed that, due to wasted productivity because of outdated technology, U.S. businesses lose up to $1.8 billion every year. Old devices run slowly, freeze often, require continual maintenance, and incur lots of downtime—all which cuts into time that could be spent reaching objectives and chipping away at a growing workload.
Old devices and software are also often incompatible with new programs that can increase business productivity. Outdated internet services with slow connections can also significantly affect business productivity. While updating devices, software, and services may seem like a significant investment, doing so can save you big time in the long run.
Cox Communications, a leading provider of high-speed broadband internet in Omaha, encourages businesses to keep up with technology trends—including high-speed internet services—to ensure that they can stay ahead of their competition and save money.
Cox offers powerful one gigabit broadband internet speeds, equal to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). Cox has also made significant upgrades to their infrastructure in Omaha as part of the company’s commitment to invest $10 billion in their network over the next five years. DOCSIS 3.1 technology builds on the strength of Cox’s fiber-based network and provides the ability to roll out gigabit internet speeds through more neighborhoods and areas in the city at a faster pace.
Cox Communications’ service and gigabit speeds are available to customers across Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue, Ralston, Gretna, and Valley in Nebraska; Council Bluffs, Crescent and Carter Lake in Iowa; and across Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawatomie counties. Cox is truly committed to providing their customers with the fastest and most efficient internet services possible. They understand that productivity is key to success in this competitive world, and that high-speed internet makes this possible.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
In a recent Microsoft survey, 90% of participants said that dealing with a company with outdated technology would raise a red flag and likely cause them to take their business elsewhere. Keeping up with technology allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition and secure customer confidence.
ShineForth is all about helping customers get an edge and stay ahead in the game through building first-rate websites and modern web and mobile apps. Alvaro Oropesa, lead web developer at ShineForth, shared his insights on the positive effect technology has on businesses today and ways that ShineForth leverages this to set their customers apart from competition.
“Thanks to technology, businesses have experienced considerable increases in online commerce and productivity!” Alvaro exclaimed. “Technology can enable a business to increase the quality of delivery, efficiency, and performance at any kind of work. Technology is in constant evolution and so are businesses. It is impossible to separate them from each other.
What we do at ShineForth is develop systems and solutions that help businesses scale and gain market traction by solving challenging business mission objectives. We are technologists at heart, and our passion is to work with purpose-based companies to identify opportunities to take their outcomes to the next level. Technology is a great tool, but it is even better if you can understand it or at least know how to use it effectively.
I usually encourage future generations to learn programming and how to implement technology security so they are not just simple consumers of the technology. This could increase the security of a business’s data and also how personal information is handled.”
Alvaro and the rest of the ShineForth team have decades of experience working with clients from around the country. They understand that, in our modern and competitive world, it’s almost impossible for a business to compete in the marketplace without a good website. The technologists at ShineForth are passionate about delivering superior outcomes for their clients so that they can stress less and focus more on growing their business and remaining ahead of their competition.
Invest in Managed Services and Tech-Support
If maintaining and updating your own technology systems overwhelms you, it may be time to enlist help by out-sourcing your IT needs. Scantron Technology Solutions has a full suite of services to assess, design, implement, maintain, monitor, and review business environments, Windows systems, and core networking. They are constantly looking at new technologies that monitor or troubleshoot systems and networks. We talked to Dave Koopmans to learn more about Scantron’s offerings.
“Old tools and old ways of thinking are too slow in today’s environment,” Dave said. “But new technology for technology’s sake is not good either. We help clients strike a balance, with expert staff dedicated to researching and developing new products and offerings. We thoroughly vet out solutions and products so that we can recommend and support the best of breed for any solution a business needs around managed IT services. In addition, we have a full security suite for consulting, policies, and procedures review. Moving beyond the nuts and bolts of security, our experts can also assist with policies and procedures to manage the cybersecurity risks of today’s environment. We have discovered that many breaches are simply things that slip through the cracks—our security services identify those cracks and develop policies and procedures to close them.”
Dave shared with us how having a technology mindset can really lift a business from the old world into the new.
“Having a technology mindset means that you know change is a constant and that any time business stops change, it will fall behind in security or productivity or profit by simply failing to look for improvements in technology. Scantron is committed to researching and developing the best solutions possible and we dedicate a lot of time and resources to do this. Most small business owners can’t afford to do this. They need to partner with Scantron Technology Solutions to put themselves and their business in the best possible position.”
Another benefit of Scantron’s services is that you can get large-company IT management at a fraction of the cost of a full-time, seasoned IT manager. And when you have a trusted IT advisor looking over your shoulder at the whole business, in addition to IT maintenance and troubleshooting, this frees up your time and energy so you can be more effective at your core competency.
“Don’t miss out on new efficiencies by sticking with old technology,” Dave said. “Give Scantron a call today.”
Though technology in our world is always changing, there is no need to fear! Advancements in technology provide endless opportunities for businesses to grow and improve. Connect with local tech experts today to create a plan for moving forward and optimizing your systems and services. A community of willing professionals is ready to assist you. The future awaits!