Balancing Public Health With Business Health

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been on a rapid spread across the globe and affected widespread populations. Every day we have heard about increasing populations of individuals and families affected by the Coronavirus. This pandemic has had debilitating effects on the market, both small and large sized businesses, public health and all walks of life. 

In recent weeks, as the number of COVID-19 cases have decreased, the social distancing orders have begun to loosen up.  While we all strive for a sense of normalcy in our everyday life, it is crucial that we find ways to maintain business health without compromising public health and the health of individuals. Here are a few tips on how you can maintain business continuity during these times:

Explore Small Business Loan Resources

Before even considering operations, we have to take into consideration that business will be slow for the foreseeable future. Multiple industries are affected because consumer spending has drastically reduced all around and unemployment has been on the rise. So for the long term survival of your organization, you should explore different business loan resources the government has put in place for potential damages the pandemic may have on businesses.

Click here to learn more about the different resources

Work Remote

If you and your teammates are able to move your workload to working remote, then this is a vital consideration. Reducing the commute and physical interaction of staff members can better remedy the spread. Additionally, if your entire staff is infected and out sick, that affects your entire operational capabilities.  As businesses reopen, evaluate the occupancy limit of your office space and aim for alternating office days for your teammates or have some of your teammates work remote.  A healthy balance between remote and on-premise workload can help keep productivity high while also helping to reduce the infection rates within your team.

 

There are methods that teams can take to become remote-enabled.  Click on the button below to learn more.

 

Click Here To Learn More About Remote Work

Invest in Digital Marketing

The COVID19 Pandemic may cause a decrease in physical interaction and consumption, but there is an increase of digital engagements all throughout. As people work remote and stay home, they are on their computers longer. Additionally, current events today is consumed from social media feeds. Know who your ideal audience is for your business services/products and invest in content to target them. While short term purchasing may be slow, thought leadership in the long run can help you come out strong and build a strong relationship with your audience. However, when it comes to digital marketing, be sure to know what your specific goals are and closely monitor the expenses of the advertising next to the goals.

Move to the Cloud

 

As an IT Vendor, we can not encourage this enough. Have your data backed up into the cloud with the proper security measures (Multi-Factor Authentication tools.) Cloud-based tools can keep an organization remote-enabled and hybrid.  So when there are emergencies such as a stay-at-home order during a pandemic, the organization can become remote-enabled with much more ease.

Cloud technology is more than just storage in an off-premise datacenter.  Cloud-based technology also comprises of communications, and service management tools that can be easily accessed away from the premises.

 

Click Here For FREE Cloud-based tool

Business and operational continuity during the pandemic can prove challenging, since there are many setbacks in overall production to scale back infection rates.  Additionally, many business operations and interactions have migrated to virtual methods.  It is important that management and IT teams in different types of organizations work together on ensuring that the team as a whole are adapting well to the new normal.


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IT Tools That Can Facilitate A Productive Learning Environment

The quality of IT Solutions in an Educational Environment can have a direct impact on the learning environment. While we are experiencing the “new normal” of remote education, it is crucial to adopt educational technologies that can better foster a virtual learning environment. In 2020, there are many solutions that educational institutions can adopt for their IT environment to have such a benefit. Here are a list of products and solutions that can immediately impact education:

HP Classroom Manager

Classroom Manager is a tool mainly for educators and students. It is fitting for the Computer rooms of schools where students and teachers are all on different computers and engaging with the same content. Classroom Manager is a software the entire class would be using in their respective devices and the educator would have control over how the students use their devices.

The intention behind this solution is to prevent distractions among students and to foster a collaborative environment. This tool enables students to share their work from their computers with the class and has communicative capacities for instant messaging between students and teachers (in case they have a question). Additionally, teachers can lock/unlock devices; clear students’ devices, monitor their screens.

Managed Print

Every school, college, or university has print needs. Teachers need to print materials for their lessons and students need to print their assignments and/or the required content for class. Additionally, the administrators need printers for their official forms. Despite the importance of print in an educational environment, printers still have issues and cause delays. These delays have detrimental effects on the overall educational process.

Managed Print Service is a Solution where the school works closely with a Service Provider on their print environment. The Managed Print Service Provider would maintain the print security, closely monitor the supply quantities, assist with repairs, and facilitate the replenishment of necessary supplies. At the end of the contract, the service provider works closely with the school’s IT team on refreshing the print supply as well.

IT Network Security

With a high volume of students and educators using the network in a school, cyber threats can sneak in through the network. It is difficult to properly manage every small threat. At any given time an individual user can open a bad phishing email or download a suspicious program.

The lack of IT Security can leave room for a cyber breach into the school’s network. Reacting to this crisis would prove costly to the administration and cause significant delays to the educational process of students and teachers. Additionally, sensitive data of each individual user can be breached such as passwords, and personally identifiable information.

With the proper firewalls, IT officials can monitor the content each endpoint device has access to; and find suspicious activity in the network. In addition to firewalls, email security is also necessary as is insider threat detection. With the proper configurations and segmentation, the IT team can have an organized network where different levels of officials have different types of exposure into network data.

IT Concerns About Consciousness In The Cloud

In May 2020, Amazon Prime Video released a new show called Upload. The premise of this show was that it was in the future, and there is a new technological tool called “Upload” sponsored by the company Horizon Technologies that enabled individuals to extend their lives by uploading their consciousness into the cloud. They navigate the digital atmosphere through their avatars which are designed to look like them. Uploads also need to pay for perks such as food, drinks, stay, and other types of experiences in their environment. The characters escape into the deep web to purchase illicit services and upgrades for their avatars.

The show delves into many interesting philosophical questions such as whether the uploads are actually alive or deceased, and the ethical connotations of individuals living in the physical world developing a connection with the “deceased” who are uploaded into the cloud.

There was one interesting incident in the show that was worth noting if you follow information technology. The uploads are all stored in a datacenter located on-premise. So this was a hybrid cloud. In this incident, an unknown character attached a device to the datacenter that caused a shock throughout the network. This affected the entire graphics of the system and put the overall digital atmosphere at risk.

As part of the IT industry, the disruption in their datacenter was alarming. I have come up with a few suggestions for IT environments that will be handling these types of software-based consciousness:

Disaster Recovery and Backup

If the data you are storing in the cloud is vital to your organization, as it is for most, then disaster recovery backup solutions are essential to have in place. With the proper disaster recovery solution, your data will be protected during emergency disasters. Typically in a disaster recovery solution, when a datacenter faces a physical or cyberthreat, the data automatically transfers into another datacenter in a separate location. In the show, if Horizon Technologies had a disaster recovery in place, the sensitive data (human consciousness) would be well protected in the event of a disaster.

Cybersecurity

Since in this show, human consciousness are digital entities, they are prone to cyber attacks. The uploads interact directly with their customer service personnel which are individuals in the physical world. The customer service professionals work through a user interface on their office desktops and speak through a microphone and virtual reality gear.

This direct interaction on the office desktops can make the programs vulnerable to threats. In the employees’ desktops, there can be a cyber breach via phishing emails, or web access. To take preventive measures against this vulnerability, the company should adopt high-level firewalls (which they probably already have), email security gateways, and insider threat detection. This can help protect some of the actual lives at stake in this cloud environment from cyber breaches that can literally impact their conscious existence.

In Summary

Every IT environment has delicate data involves sensitive work for the organization involved. In this case, the data are the extension actual human lives and conscious realities. So when it comes to a product as crucial as this, it is important for the decision makers of the organization to develop a robust, IT solution with attention to security and data recovery.

This is not isolated to the fictional company in the television show. It applies to all different types of companies in reality as well. Every company and organization deals with products, services, and data that are sensitive and require protection measures. It is vital for IT and management to align on their environment in order to ensure business continuity, and overall protection of the organization at large.

Business Technology Can Improve The Environment

COVID19 has caught us all by surprise and has had devastating impact on the economy, the public healthcare system, and millions of families. The rapidly contagious nature of the coronavirus has caused millions to practice social distancing and stay at home.

As people are spending more of their time inside at home including for remote work, there has been less consumption of transportation leading to one unexpected beneficiary of the COVID19 pandemic: the environment. In China, the average number of “good quality air days” has increased by 21.5% in February compared to the same time period last year. According to The Guardian, pollution levels in China, South Korea, Italy, and the United Kingdom are drastically lower this year than last year. The shutdown of industrial operations and transportation resources led to less CO2 emissions, and an overall improved air quality.

The Catch

It is unknown when the COVID19 Pandemic will slow down globally and come to an end for us to have a sense of normalcy again. But whenever that day comes, the usage of transportation will go up again and we will see the air quality back to its state before the pandemic. While in this scenario, COVID19 Pandemic is indeed great news, the state of the environment is something we ought to consider as well.

How IT Can Help

It is inevitable that many industrial operations and in-person businesses such as food service will resume. However, there are businesses and organizations that can take many of their roles into remote work. If millions of employees begin to work remote, that would lead to less operational costs for the physical work space and in turn, less people would use transportation.

While this is all a conversation for a time in the future, there are steps companies and organizations that are currently social distancing through remote work can take. Here are some things to consider for management currently:

  • Remote Productivity should be high. Equal to or more than when in the office
  • Reporting and task management protocols should be optimal and convenient for both the management and the employees
  • The necessary IT infrastructure is in place for remote productivity to be high.

If you would like to learn more about remote productivity and infrastructure for your office, click on the image below.

Classroom Management Is Now an IT Matter

The recent COVID19 Pandemic has proven to us that education is an important cornerstone of our society. It is economically crucial to have an educated populace in order to boost the exchange of ideas and help advance areas of society such as technology, science, public policy, etc. In order to maintain quality education; the necessary IT tools and resources need to be made available. Nowadays, schools have adopted remote learning. HP Inc.’s Classroom Manager is a trendy solution that we found would benefit education tremendously.

It is not uncommon to find situations where teachers and students are all in a room full of computers doing work together. However, when students are engaged with the computers, distractions can easily arise. Students can be working with other types of content instead of the main lesson at hand and the educational effort of the teacher would be wasted. HP’s Classroom Manager can address this ordeal.

With Classroom Manager, educators can manage the content that students are exposed to and both teachers and students can share screens. Students can share their screens to present their work to the rest of the class. Teachers can also share their content, avoiding a disconnect on the learning process between the students and the teachers.

Here are the following features teachers have from this solution:

  1. Lock/unlock: Ensure students focus by locking student screens
  2. Blank all: easily clear all students’ devices with a click
  3. Message: Send messages from the teachers’ device to one or all student devices selected.
  4. Help Requests: Students can discreetly alert the teacher when they require assistance.
  5. Student Screen monitoring: View all student screens from the teacher’s PC. Double-click to take control
  6. Q&A: The Question and Answer mode enables the teachers to conduct both individual student and peer assessment scores.
  7. Web Launch: remotely launch a selected website on student devices.
  8. File Transfer: Teacher can quickly transfer file to one or multiple students

This collaborative solution can keep classes synchronized when it comes to the educational progress. HP’s Classroom Manager is a tool for teachers. While the current pain point is that centralizing the productivity has its challenges with every student and teacher in a different location, HP’s Classroom Manager can fine tune how the teachers and students get their point across and make for an improved remote learning experience. Social distancing does not have to mean a reduced quality of education.

For more information on Remote Deployment, click on the image below!

IT Tools For Business Continuity During COVID19

The Coronavirus is spreading quickly around the globe including North America. As this outbreak takes place, it is crucial for businesses and organizations to prepare for business continuity. Business continuity in times of emergency involves remote-enabled employment for the staff. Here are some recommendations for IT Products that can help companies and organizations become remote-enabled in times of crisis.

Citrix Gateway

Citrix Gateway is a customer-managed solution that can be deployed on premises or on any cloud. Citrix Gateway provides users with secure access and single sign-on to all the virtual, SaaS and web applications they need to be productive. The foundations of business continuity in times of trouble is remote connectivity. The end-users will have to connect from home and Citrix Gateway gives you access to all your apps and networks.

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex is a meeting solutions tool that can make meetings between staff easier. Cisco webex has video conferencing, screen sharing, and file sharing. Users can meet with contacts outside of their company and from their same team. With Cisco Webex, users can better synchronize on their work and transparency increases between teammates.

Headsets

Collaboration tools are vital during remote access since teammates need to communicate with one another. One tool are headsets for better hearing and voice communications. As teammates facilitate meetings on tools like Cisco Webex they will need proper tools to enhance their voices and cancel the outside noises.

HP ProBook 455R

Laptops are an important asset during remote enablement. The HP ProBook 455R G6 15.6" Notebook is a full featured, thin and light, the HP ProBook 455R lets professionals stay productive in the office and on the go. Stylish design plus optional quad-core performance and long battery life make this HP ProBook essential for today's workforce.

 

Ideal for professionals in corporate settings or small to medium businesses, wanting an affordable combination of innovation, essential security and multimedia capabilities.

HP Officejet 3830 Inkjet Multifunction Printer

Oftentimes there can be teammates that are working remotely and can need print capabilities. The user may not have their own print capabilities so it can be necessary for the employer to assist with that. That is where HP Officejet 3830 Inkjet Multifunction Printer comes in. HP Officerjet 3830 can connect to the smartphone or tablet of users. Tasks can be simplified and up to 50% of of ink can be saved with this affordable, easy to use all in one with fax. It fits in nearly any space and works quietly in the background. The OfficeJet 3830 has affordable at home printing with HP Instant Ink.

Office 365

Office 365 has most major productive capabilities for the office. In addition to your email via Outlook or basic document creation on Word and Excel, Office 365 also has storage via OneDrive and there is a meeting software with Microsoft Teams.

Cisco Meraki

Cisco Meraki is IT Network Management in the cloud. Through Cisco Meraki, IT Managers can closely monitor endpoint devices and their activity within the network. If a device is problematic or suspicious, the IT Manager can closely monitor the situation and isolate the endpoint device.

Symantec Endpoint Device Security

Symantec Endpoint Security delivers the most complete, integrated endpoint security platform. As the on-premises, hybrid, or cloud based solution, the single-agent Symantec platform protects all your traditional and mobile endpoint devices, and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize security decisions. A unified cloud-based management system simplifies protecting, detecting and responding to all the advanced threats targeting your endpoints.

Data Backup

While it can be challenging to plan for business continuity, it's also absolutely criticla. HPE Small business solutions for Hybrid File and Backup are ready-to-go solutions that enable you to adopt a simple yet robust business continuity plan.

You can keep the business running with a robust business continuity plan that protects business files and data with on-site and cloud backups. You can improve productivity by easily sharing and organizing files - with no need to worry about data loss.

Compulink has a free IT Procurement resource where businesses, public institutions, and nonprofit organizations can visit to do free research on the necessary IT products for your business needs. 

Click below for the product information resource for COVID19.

Click To View The IT Master Pack for Business Continuity

Compulink Technologies is an MBE Certified Firm that has been bringing top-notch IT Service solutions to businesses and government agencies across the nation since 1986.

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