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Women in Tech :: Grow. Learn. Succeed.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014
In an industry of constant change and evolution, Amanda Regnerus has at times found herself lacking the confidence that she would be able to make the change or learn at the pace that was needed to keep up with the IT industry. Her admission to those fears may come as a surprise, considering Regnerus is the Vice President of Marketing at US Signal Company, a global technology enterprise.

“Each time I had those fears, I realized my apprehension was unnecessary. What I began to do is look at the evolution of technology as a challenge to grow, learn, and take my career to the next level,” said Regnerus.
Grow. Learn. Succeed.
It seemed a common theme among each of the women I spoke to. After all, you don’t rise to the top, like Regnerus did, without learning valuable lessons and taking advantage of challenges along the way. Regnerus, along with all the women featured are in the field of technology, an industry predominantly filled with males. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology, in 2012, just 18% of computer-science college graduates were women, down from 37% in 1985. Despite the decline, we’re seeing great efforts to encourage young women to jump in head first.

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) programs are becoming so popular that even the Girl Scouts have an agenda dedicated specifically to the cause. Nicole Johnson, a Systems Engineer with Cisco, believes in the power of mentorship and focusing on attracting young minds and retaining women in the industry. She goes on to say that it’s never too early to help a young girl see the vast options that STEM fields provide. “By simply speaking about your own successes in a STEM career, you can help open doors. They can’t be what they can’t see, and this is the first step. You never know what the influence will be,” says Johnson.

Breaking into the technology field at an early age can certainly help eliminate many of the barriers that come along with an ever changing field, however, that constant evolution is what draws so many people to the industry in the first place. Patti Phillips, Mid Market Account Manager at Cisco, can’t imagine doing anything else. “The technology industry is so exciting, it’s ever evolving and dynamically expanding, so it keeps me on my toes.”

Aside from the positive efforts that STEM programs and mentoring have created, there is also encouragement for women to consider leadership roles in technology from a financial perspective. Women-led hi-tech startups achieve a 35% higher return on investment, and when venture backed they generate 12% more revenue than male-owned tech companies. However, they represent only 3% of tech start-ups. This is according to the study “Women in Technology: Evolving, Ready to Save the World,” which surveyed 500 women in the technology sector and was conducted by Lesa Mitchell of the Kauffman Foundation and Vivek Wadhwa, who holds titles at both Stanford and Duke University. 

Coming off the heels of a recession, it may be assumed that good jobs are still hard to come by, but this is far from the case in the field of IT. “There is a misnomer out there that we have or can quickly find the talent companies are looking for in an ever-changing environment,” said Becky Puckett-Wood, Managing Director with Experis, a division of Manpower that places candidates into IT roles. “With the continuing technical advancement of industries, the talent pool dwindles faster than the colleges can keep up on the current technology trends to keep the pool full for the market,” she explained.

“Whether you are male or female, the technology industry moves fast. Being relevant takes an investment in listening to IT challenges people are facing and staying educated on the latest technology trends. It’s a moving target and I think people may underestimate the time and investment in continued learning,” says Johnson.

Misconceptions About Technology
The perception of technology has come a long way over the last decade. It’s no longer “not cool” to be a female techie, says Deidra McClelland, CEO of The Skye Group, a marketing communications firm. “Science, math, engineering and computers are subjects and industries that young girls and women can definitely handle just as well as their male counterparts.”

Long perceived as a group of “geeks” writing code all day, the scope of technology is so vast it can literally be considered the very heart of a business.

“For many organizations the biggest misconception about IT is that it doesn’t deserve to be in the C Suite. But in reality, IT intersects all of the top business expenses - HR, payroll, inventory, materials, operating expenses, etc.,” explains Carrie Borchers, Director of Sales for IT Resource, a midwest leader of information technology services. “There are manufacturing facilities that have 24 x 7 operations with factories producing goods on machines that cost a million dollars. Yet, they balk at spending less than 1% on their IT infrastructure. What happens if those million dollar machines can’t connect to the network? IT is a key business driver and it belongs at the board room table.”

While businesses may not understand the importance of a solid IT infrastructure, the realm of technology doesn’t have to be mystifying, says Phillips. “It really involves listening to a customer, understanding their concerns and helping them solve their problems with the right solution and the right resources at the right time.”

Rising to the Top
Working in a field where females are the minority, and overcoming the challenges that come with the territory are just part of the daily grind for these women. At the end of the day they each felt the challenges they faced were no different than woman leaders in other fields and industries. They each make efforts to help other women (and men) succeed, whether it be in technology, or any aspect of business for that matter. Rising to the top of the corporate ladder is never an easy feat, but the lessons learned along the way have been instrumental in getting these women to where they are today, and in supporting and mentoring others throughout the process.

“One of the challenges I’ve turned into an asset is knowing my own weaknesses and building a team around me that compliments those. By doing this I’ve been able to build a team that makes me stronger and more well-rounded as a leader, in addition to helping my employees rise to their full potential, all while driving results for the company,” explains Puckett-Wood. “It’s a win, win, win if you can get the right team.”

“Along the way, never forget to stay true to yourself,” explains McClelland. “If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t and this may go into the category of female intuition - it does exist.” But most importantly she reminds us to have fun. “At the end of the day, if you aren’t enjoying what you do, you need to move on and find your passion.”

It’s a Balancing Act
While finding passion in your career is instrumental advice, it often comes with a price. Bringing home stacks of work, getting out the laptop after the kids go to bed, then waking up tired to do it all over again may sound like a familiar situation. That was the life Regnerus led before she learned to be present where she is. By working smarter, not harder, Regnerus was able to separate her work life from her home life and eliminate the overwhelming feeling of trying to be all things to all people all of the time.

This way of life was not unique to Regnerus. Each woman I spoke to indicated that there is a balancing act that needs to take place in order to be your best in each given situation.

The word “guilt” was routinely suggested as one of the feelings that women in general are uniquely good at. “Many of us feel as if no matter how hard we try to balance, we may be paying more attention to one area of our lives at the expense of something else,” says Borchers. “I haven’t figured out the balance yet. This is an area I refer to as the battle I will always fight, but never win. Meaning, I achieve balance when I am intentional. You have to make time for what matters and respect those commitments.”

Phillips makes it a priority to “unplug” on a regular basis, volunteer, and practice yoga which helps keep her centered and balanced physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. But for McClelland, she feels as though she can never completely “shut it off,” but she is learning. A former boss reminded her that the house wouldn’t burn down if she was gone for a week. It was that vacation that made her realize just how important that little bit of “me time” actually was. You can only do so much in a day’s time. “Impact what you can today, and work on the rest tomorrow,” added Puckett-Wood.

Women do wear many hats when it comes to a career, a home life, and social commitments, but Johnson kindly reminds us that “at the end of the day, we only have one head for all those hats.” She says “I use my calendar and a daily to do “hit list” so I focus on my key activities and I am able to enjoy my home life after. Women tend to want to do it all, so it’s important to let go of feeling guilty for some things you couldn’t fit in and let other people share your load when needed. I try to live in the now, but remember that it’s the “life” I have that supports my success in my work.”

A Special Thanks to Our Contributors
Follow them on Twitter to keep up with the latest tech trends.
Carrie Borchers :: IT Resource Director of Sales :: @csborch or @itresourceinc
Nicole Johnson :: Cisco Systems Engineer :: @tech_nicole
Deidra J. McClelland :: The Skye Group CEO :: @skyegroupgr
Patti Phillips :: Cisco Mid Market Account Manager :: @cisco
Becky Puckett-Wood :: Experis Managing Director :: @experis_us
Amanda Regnerus :: US Signal Company Vice President, Marketing :: @aregnerus

Programs For Women
There are a variety of programs available for women who have interests in technology. Cisco has programs to create communities for diversity both internally and for the general public. The internal networks develop a community within Cisco of peer women from all backgrounds. They also hold an annual global event for women which has motivated members to do more local meet-ups together. 

The public women’s group, called Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CEWN), provides a forum for all women in IT to network, motivate, and empower each other through energizing and engaging events held during Cisco Live and sustained through ongoing events throughout the year. This helps women bring similar events to their workplace, helps build pipelines and retains women in technology.

In addition, the Michigan Council for Women in Technology (MCWT) is a strong statewide group, and Davenport University has led many efforts to facilitate events for women in technology.

About the Author: Andrea Snyder is co-owner of STUDIO3TWENTY, a West Michigan based marketing firm specializing in consulting, writing, graphic design, and website development. Find them online at www.STUDIO3TWENTY.COM, or @studio3twenty.

Click here for a downloadable version of this article.

Our Holiday Gadget Gift Guide

Thursday, December 05, 2013
If you're looking for a few gift ideas, we've once again put together our staff picks for the best gadgets of the season.

Tile: The world's largest lost and found. This is a Bluetooth device you attach to items you may lose such as keys, a bike, a laptop case, backpack, etc. It uses sound to alert if you’re nearby and gives you the last known location. If you’re out of range, it uses crowdsourcing (other people who have the app on their device and are within 150’ of your tile) to help you locate it.

Google Chromecast: Everything you love. Now on your tv. Only $35 and allows iPhone, iPad, Android, and Chrome to send media to a TV with an HDMI port. It supports Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other services.

Innergie PocketCell Rechargeable Portable Battery or HALO 2800mAH Pocket Power Charger: Universal mobile batteries. Both provide power to all USB powered devices such as phones and tablets on the go so that a wall cord is not needed while traveling.

FitBit: Small gift. Big impact. This is a wireless tracker that tracks steps and calories burned and syncs to any smartphone automatically - an effortless way to keep track of your activity and calories burned.

BackBeat GO 2 Bluetooth Earbud Headphones: These headphones by Plantronics feature Bluetooth technology which allows for audio streaming from any Bluetooth device. Wireless ear buds are a great gift for someone who stays active and enjoys listening to music but does not want to deal with the hassle of plugging in or untangling headphones. 

Mophie Powerstation: This power station is similar to the portable batteries mentioned however this option is more heavy duty with a battery capacity of 4000mAh. This product is slightly larger than most other portable power chargers but work great for power hungry tablets or any USB device. 

Nest Protect: This device tells you when there is a problem in your home. It uses human voices to tell you what the problem is and what you should do. Problems that it detects are smoke, carbon monoxide, heat sensor, ambient light, humidity and three activity sensors. The Nest Protect also alerts you via the Nest app, available on any smartphone.

Epic Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard: This virtual keyboard laser projects a full size keyboard onto any flat surface. This compact device even simulates key click sounds as you type. It is Bluetooth enabled and is compatible with tablets and smartphones.

Slingbox: Never miss live tv again. This gives you the ability to watch and control your own TV from anywhere with any smartphone, tablet, or TV. Even when you’re not home, Slingbox lets you watch live and local channels right from your tablet or smartphone. This is a perfect gift for a sports fan, a frequent traveler, or anyone on the go.
So tell us, what's on your holiday wish list this year?

Big Technology Tax Incentives

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

As the year comes to a close, many businesses begin to look ahead at budgets for the upcoming year. Instead of waiting until 2014 to purchase new or used equipment, you may want to do so within the next 4 weeks so you can take advantage of some great tax incentives. Section 179 of the IRS tax code permits full write offs for qualifying purchases!

On or before December 31st, 2013, you can take advantage of these tax breaks:
  • If you purchase, lease, or finance new or used equipment you may expense up to $500,000 in the first year!
  • Assets purchased in excess of $500,000 may be eligible for 50% bonus depreciation. This is available on “new” equipment only. 
  • The maximum that can be spent on equipment before the Section 179 deduction begins to phase out is $2,000,000.

To learn more, go to section179.org or consult your tax advisor. Contact your account manager or lead consultant at IT Resource to take advantage of this great year-end tax break savings!

Bringing Your Own Device is Not Just a Trend

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If you think the concept of bringing your own device to work (BYOD) is just a trend, think again. A recent study by Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes. This statistic follows a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive Programs indicating that 38% of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.

"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs."

Being able to work remotely has been a springboard for increased mobility and collaboration and BYOD just adds to the potential. By increasing the number of mobile application users in the workforce, a business is able to give employees a more immediate way of collaborating, and helps close the productivity gap created by globalization. We're seeing benefits far beyond the traditional email and phone capabilities. Many common company applications are being used in this scenario, all to help with productivity. Essentially, you're allowing an employee to use a single device for both personal and work purposes, which many folks see as a benefit. We're seeing this system used in large enterprise level businesses, but it has advantages for the SMB market as well.

Businesses that incorporate BYOD can save money by housing software and hardware systems on a server, thus eliminating the cost of updating each individual device. Additionally, the cost of purchasing a laptop or mobile device for your traveling employees is eliminated when you allow them to use their own device.

On the flip side, a common concern we hear from our customers is the need for increased mobile security. These concerns can be alleviated by building a solid infrastructure and putting proper mobile security functions in place. Deploying a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) model delivers applications and data securely on BYOD devices. All components of the traditional desktop are virtualized, which allows for a highly flexible and much more secure desktop delivery model, regardless of the BYOD device (including smartphones, tablets or laptops). VDI also supports a more robust desktop disaster recovery strategy as all components are essentially saved in the data center and backed up. If an employee loses their device or it is stolen, all the components of that user’s desktop will be present at login from another device.

However, even with a solid infrastructure that supports VDI for BYOD, as a business owner you must set forth expectations as to how the device should be used, and make sure employees understand who is responsible for managing and securing the mobile device. Having a corporate policy on BYOD applications, monitoring your company’s mobile devices and having a BYOD use policy will help communicate with your staff what will and will not be monitored, what apps are dangerous to the company, what kinds of devices and operating systems are allowed, manage privacy expectations and what to do when a device is lost or stolen.

Offering a BYOD program certainly offers many advantages to a business owner, but the proper steps must be taken to ensure a secure and productive environment. Given the trending numbers, if you're not already on board with BYOD, you'll no doubt want to begin looking into the concept in the near future.

Software Audits On The Rise

Monday, June 17, 2013
As reported in a recent Grand Rapids Business Journal article, the number of software audits targeting local businesses have been increasing, forcing businesses to react, sometimes very quickly, in order to avoid costly licensing and penalty fees. At the same time, software vendors continue to change their existing licensing rules and requirements while introducing new licensing models, such as cloud-hosted and subscription-based licensing services. And this is not only a local issue, the trend continues throughout many parts of the country where we support customers.

The good news is we can help you understand what licensing you have and help you avoid the audits. With the IT Resource Remote Monitoring and Reporting (RMR) program, your business will always have up-to-date and detailed information on exactly what software applications are installed on every device on your network at any time. In fact, this solution can also insure compliance by automatically uninstalling non-compliant software should you require that feature.

If you are a current IT Resource RMR customer, we recommend you review your current software licensing status at this time. To receive your report, simply send an e-mail to help@itrw.net and request a ‘Software Audit Report’ which will be provided to you at no cost. If you are not currently enrolled in our RMR program and would like to learn more about what it offers, please contact our Sales Account Manager Molly Reid at (616) 837-6930 or mollyr@itrw.net.

The entire Grand Rapids Business Journal article can be found here.

Women in Technology: Turning the Tables

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

When it comes to women in the workforce, society and the media traditionally place them in nurturing or social fields such as nursing, teaching, or administration positions. With time and a savvy business acumen, that stereotype is changing as we are seeing a shift in women joining fields that are traditionally held by men. June is National Women in Science and Technology Month, it celebrates the roles females play in what is traditionally considered an industry dominated by males.


In the United States, only 20% of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are held by women. As technology begins to take over every aspect of our personal and business lives, it only seems natural that more women would, in one way or another, find themselves embracing the field, and allowing their own career paths to lead them towards technology.

The Tables are Turning
“When I was growing up there was a scarcity of women in leadership and highly visible positions in STEM, other than women teaching science and math and even then, the men outnumbered the women in those departments,” explains Carrie Borchers, Director of Sales at IT Resource. “Today, we have Meg Whitman (Hewlett-Packard CEO), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo! CEO) and Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) all over the news so it will be interesting to see if this plants seeds of opportunity in young minds.”

As more women fall into the technology field, whether it be on purpose, or by way of a happy accident, we will see more of a shift. Amanda Regnerus, Vice President, Marketing, US Signal Company, explains that historically woman have worked in help or service industries. “I'm sure statistically, there are less than 20% of jobs in the service industry that are held by men. As time goes on and we continue to move toward gender equality in the workplace, these numbers may even themselves out.”

Perhaps another reason we see such an unbalance in the workforce is because of the gender roles created by media and other family members. Kim Helmers, Sales and Marketing Assistant at IT Resource explains that if women follow the career paths of other females in their lives (sisters, mothers, etc.) who held positions in healthcare or retail, they may have a lack of interest in the technology fields simply because of what they were exposed to at home.

Is Gender A Barrier?
Being the minority in your field can come with its own set of struggles, but the outcome is directly related to how you handle the situation. Lori Brandt, Help Desk Manager at IT Resource, fell into technology, then followed up her self-learned knowledge with a related college degree in the field. She explains that she feels her degree validates her knowledge, but the path didn’t come without resistance. “I don’t feel that I had many struggles once I made the decision to base my career in technology. Doors were always open to me, but they did not open on their own. I had to make the effort to go to the door and open it.”

Most of the women I spoke to did not see their gender as being a barrier for their success in this field. In fact, a few even pointed out that it’s not so bad being the minority. “When I go to an event or environment when there are one or two women and 50-60 men, it’s a lot easier for people to remember me, as opposed to one of the many ties and flys,” said Borchers.

Along those same lines, Regnerus indicated that she thinks it’s a great opportunity to be a part of a field that is always evolving, growing, changing and continually challenges you to learn new things. “I love the field of technology and don't look at my gender as a barrier.  But, that's just me, I don't really look at anything outside of myself as a barrier to success.”

I began to see a common trend among these women. All successful in their own right, and each understanding the skills it takes to succeed in the workforce. Molly Reid, Senior Account Executive at IT Resource, explains that in a field that requires a plethora of skills to survive, she is happy to be someone that can critically think to handle problem solving, decision making, and  analysis for her customers. “I love to see a client that has a problem, get it resolved and know that the engineers and I helped so that they can focus on making their business thrive,” says Reid.
Abundant Opportunities In An Ever-Changing Field
Whether women are interested in technology in college, or fall into the career later in life, there is always opportunity for them to thrive in this ever-changing field. Catherine Lazarock is the owner of Symplicity Communications, a Grand Rapids based telecommunications company. She encountered a lot of criticism when generating her start-up, but she believed in what she was doing and seven years later she is running a successful business. She recalls how she stumbled upon the technology field and how it changed her career path. “My background was public relations and marketing and a job change brought me to the door step of the technology industry.  I like to think that I was pushed off the cliff,” says Lazarock. “This industry is so exciting, with fast, evolving products and a huge market, what’s not to love?  I literally can go anywhere in the world and sell technology services.” 

Women Can Make A Statement
Given the hurdles and challenges these women have faced, would they recommend this mostly male field to up and coming females? Sarah Van Elderen, Marketing & Event Coordinator, US Signal Company, says young females should not be afraid of joining a field where they are the minority. She indicates the most important thing to remember when selecting a career is to find something you love. Van Elderen says she came from a techie family so she had always been interested in the field, but it wasn’t until she landed at US Signal, which she describes as a “right place, right time” situation, that she embraced the technology field as a career. “I came in as a Pricing Analyst with no telecom experience, and learned everything about telecommunications, network services, and cloud hosting from the ground up,” says Van Elderen. “My biggest accomplishment is more of a general feeling of success. When I look back to four years ago when I started at US Signal, it’s amazing to me how much I have learned and how much I have grown.” But, VanElderen explains, there is a flip side. “My biggest struggle has also been the amount of information I have had to learn. Because technology is always changing, there is always new information to learn.”

While there will be struggles, when you enter an ever-changing industry, Lazarock says “Embrace it!  There are so many opportunities for women in technology. Because it is dominated by men, women can truly make a statement, and quickly, within this industry. Because we are the minority, naturally we are going to stand out if we create a solid niche and move forward with strong integrity.”

The advice and beliefs that each of these women shared was not simply related to the technology field. As successful business women, they all think on a global scale, which translates across many platforms when it comes to advising other young women.

A New Image For “Tech Geeks”
Technology is an industry that’s here to stay, and the image of the lone “tech geek” working in the basement is being overtaken by a new wave of intelligent, up-and-coming people who are paving the way for this flourishing industry. This field is changing the way we think, the way we live, and the way we work.

“The term “girl geek” is actually somewhat of a compliment to me. In recent years, the term “geek” doesn’t have so much of a negative connotation anymore. A geek is now someone who is incredibly intelligent and ahead of the game on technology,” says Van Elderen. “To be referred to as a girl geek would make me feel as though I’m part of the inner circle of technologically savvy people in this era. I don’t think I have reached girl geek status yet, but I hope I’m on my way!”


Contributors:
Carrie Borchers, Director of Sales, IT Resource

A Solid Investment: SSD Drives

Monday, March 18, 2013

As time moves forward, technology is close behind; always advancing and changing. Computers have been around for years and we’ve seen them decrease in size but increase in power. We’ve seen new operating systems and better screens, but the one thing we haven’t seen at a consumer level is the change in hard drive technology. While early super computers used Solid-State Drives (SSD) and similar technology, the high price and larger storage options for traditional electromechanical disks made them a popular option for both enterprise and consumer-grade systems. In a traditional hard disk drive, a set of metal platters spin at anywhere from 5400 rotations per minute (rpm) to 15000 rpm providing storage capacities upwards of 4 Terabytes. In fact, you can check out what a spinning hard drive in slow motion looks like to really understand how quickly the data can be read/written. However, moving parts mean hard drives have an expiration date. Also, if a moving hard drive is dropped, there’s a good chance that drive won’t function correctly again. So, what’s the next step in hard drive technology? SSD.


SSD’s are essentially large flash drives that replace existing platter hard drives. The name is misleading however, as there is actually no disk of any kind, but rather a circuit board! Today, they are down to a more affordable level and can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Due to the nature of the drive there are no moving parts therefore the risk of damage from fall and abuse is greatly reduced. Along with less risk, the drive is also much faster so boot times are shortened greatly. Waking a computer from sleep and starting programs once logged in go much faster, since the drive doesn’t have to spin up. The drives also run much cooler along with no noise. Compared to traditional hard drives of today, SSD’s are definitely a bit more expensive, however with a lot of our files and applications moving to the cloud, we won’t need as much storage space available on our personal machines.

So, the next time you’re in the market for a new machine for work, or for home, check out solid-state drives and see if they come as an option for the machine you’re interested in. And as always, if you’re ordering a new machine through IT Resource, request that your new machine have this feature and we can make it happen!

Pandora Unlimited Mobile Listening Has Disappeared

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Unfortunately, the time has come for Pandora, the beloved online music channel to introduce a cap on our mobile listening experience. Over the course of one month, users will only be allowed to listen to 40 hours of music before they’re prompted to pay an additional amount to continue listening. If they decide not to pay more, the user will have to wait until the next month before continuing their listening.


However, Pandora’s Blog mentions that the change should affect less than 4% of their total monthly active listeners at this point. In reality, most of us reading this blog and Pandora’s blog will probably never hit that limit but it’s still something we will now have to watch out for. According to Pandora, the average listener spends about 20 hours listening to their online radio across all devices (Computer, Phones, Blu-Ray, etc…) in any given month. This isn’t necessarily something that Pandora wanted to do, however due to rising per-track royalty rates over the past few years and the expected rise over the next two years, they've been forced to recover those costs by limiting our monthly usage without increasing our ads.

In the unfortunate event that the limit is reached, there are a couple ways to get around issue. The easiest way would be to jump onto a computer and listen from your desktop or laptop which is still unlimited listening. Another way would be to pay the $0.99 and continue listening for the rest of the month. Of course, there is also the option of paying the $3.99 monthly charge for Pandora One and you can get unlimited listening on all your devices without commercials.

So, don’t worry, your music isn’t going anywhere! While Pandora may have put a slight limit to your online listening experience, there are plenty of ways to keep listening once the limit is hit.

Tablets Replace Laptops?

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Over the past few years tablet computers have entered the market and made their way into many of our homes and businesses. In fact, I myself own a tablet computer. However, many users today have laptops they use at home and don’t necessarily find a need for a tablet as well. Granted, a tablet may a bit easier to use while reading a book or looking something up quickly, but in reality, a laptop can do those tasks as well. So, is a tablet worth it? Do you find a necessity with a tablet in conjunction with a laptop, or even in place of a laptop?

I believe a lot of companies are starting to realize that many people would rather stick with their gently used laptop than run out and purchase a new tablet. However, at the same time, I believe that laptops, in a sense, are disappearing due to declining popularity. When a user’s laptop dies, instead of spending $800 on a new laptop, they would rather spend the $500 on a tablet. The problem lies in the tablet companies getting their devices in the hands of users who need laptop replacements and people who would rather have a laptop instead of a tablet.

To combat this, many tablet manufacturers like Microsoft are releasing tablets that have the option for a keyboard to be attached. One of these machines is the Microsoft Surface Pro. Pictured above, the Surface Pro has laptop-like speed and capabilities along with an easily detachable keyboard/mouse to suit your needs, depending on the activity you’re currently working on. The keyboard helps when typing up an important document or working within a spreadsheet. However, removing the keyboard gives you just the screen for ease in browsing the internet or playing a touch based game. It’s not just Microsoft that has the keyboard for their tablet. Asus has an optional keyboard along with the popular Apple branded iPad.

So the overall question: do the tablets of today make a compelling argument to switch from a laptop to a tablet? Do the faster processors and detachable keyboards make them a good alternative to their heavier, more bulky counterpart? What do you think? Would you replace your current laptop with a new tablet?

Your Roadmap to IT

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What does your IT roadmap look like? Is your business on the path to efficiency, or are you staring at a wrong turn sign? As we begin a new year, now is the perfect time to ask yourself those questions.

As a businessowner you understand the importance of a solid IT infrasructure, but in order for your organization to run efficiently, you need a trusted partner who can handle those vital aspects of the company. Imagine how smoothly your business would run if you had continuous optimal communication lines amongst each employee. Or, how important a solid and speedy internet connection would be to your entire organization. It's not just one or two projects that require the assistance of a trusted IT partner, it's truly the entire backend of your business.

You see, at IT Resource, we understand that so many aspects of business rely on technology. That's why we've implemented a staff that has specialities in networks, software, hardware, and everything in between. We look for clients who we can partner with on a full scale level. When we are brought on as a member of your team we can insure that your business is running as efficiently as possible. So often companies have leaks that can really add up over time - slowly robbing your business of valuable time and money.

As we begin 2013, your objectives may include taking a look at upgrading your software, adding on to your facility, or purchasing new hardware. When you involve IT Resource from the start, we can work with you to insure you are making the best investments for your business - saving you time and money in the long run. We look for clients who we can team up with - call us today to see how we can help you start your year off right.