|Dec 2009 New York Enterprise Report:
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New York, NY, December 23, 2009 As the pace of business continues to increase in 2010, staying on top of the latest technologies can help you stay ahead of your competition. Technology expert Mathew R. Hegarty, director of infrastructure practice at Net@Work provides his suggestions on the must-have technologies for business owners next year.
Most of us live and die by our email; a quick peek at my inbox shows that I have over 15,000 messages. Finding ways to better manage email sprawl is one way to improve your work efficiency in 2010. There are a number of tools available on the web to help organize and manage email in Microsoft Outlook. If you are like me and don't have all day to surf the web and find ways to organize your email, take my advice and download the free version of Xobni online (Inbox spelled backwards). Xobni will index and organize your email; integrate your contacts and their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Hoover's accounts; and allows for easy access to any attachments they have sent you. Better yet, if your top client says you never respond to him in a timely manner, you can use the built-in Xobni Analytics to display your average "Time to Respond." In case you're curious, my average time to respond to my top client is 5 minutes and 43 seconds.
Sci-fi Technology for the SMB
Hypervisors, elastic clouds, and paravirtualization all sound like terms from a science fiction novel. In reality, they are the core technologies that should be running in your server room. The three players for virtualization software are Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware's vSphere, and Citrix XenServer. These technologies allow even small IT environments with as few as two servers to take advantage of high availability and lower operating costs, and can reduce a business's carbon footprint. With today's more powerful and energy-efficient servers, organizations can typically consolidate nine older servers into one new server, while increasing both performance and availability. With that level of consolidation, savings in operating and cooling expenses, and improved performance, 2010 should have you saying, "Beam me up, Scotty." Prices vary.
Full Disk Encryption Software
Now that you have a laptop with a 3G card and you are online all the time, don't forget that you are personally accountable for the security of the data you keep on it. As an IT security professional, I know one thing for certain: 2010 will be a record year for data loss, cybercrime, corporate fines for security lapses, and the like. If your laptop is lost or stolen, you and your company can be held accountable and heavily fined if there is sensitive information on it. Security is more important than ever before as we move to a laptop-centric workforce. Industry-leading full disk encryption software can cost less than $100 per user device. Check out software from Check Point and GuardianEdge. My advice for 2010 is to install full disk encryption software on all your business laptops to protect you and your business.
As we approach the 3rd birthday of Apple's iPhone, the device has had a significant impact on the business environment. When the iPhone was first launched, it was simply an iPod on steroids with a so-so phone. Today, with the addition of Microsoft's ActiveSync technology, iPhones are challenging the BlackBerry's position as the preferred handheld for the business community. What most people don't know is that if they are currently running Microsoft Exchange as their email platform, an iPhone can be securely integrated for little more than a $300 security certificate. You can simply install an SSL Certificate for security, adjust some firewall settings, and you are off and running. Email, calendar, and contacts will all synchronize automatically with your Exchange server. Who knew it would actually be more cost effective to be a trendy executive?
About The Author
Mathew R. Hegarty, director of Net@Work's infrastructure practice, works closely with key decision makers in the SMB space on developing technology solutions to solve real-world business problems. He can be reached at email@example.com.