How To Not Go Mad When using My Computers in Business?
Of course, in business these days the most important thing & usually the most maddening thing in our daily lives is computers…
Now, I say this as an I.T. consultant without a seconds thought. I have been a mechanic, worked in sales, obviously went to school. Yes, throughout all those jobs, the most infuriating part of my days was/is computers – And I’m pretty good with them! So, how can we reduce the pain we suffer in our day to day lives? What can ‘we’ do as every day, maybe not so tech savvy people? WELL, let me help!
What can We Do?
Want to get the most out of your computer?
- Do a short computer course – Truly, what I’ve definitely learnt working in I.T. and also being a millennial dealing with people ‘a little bit older than myself’ is this. Sometimes, people just don’t want to learn how to use their computer or smart phone. I understand how painful it can be but believe me, it is a WHOLE lot less painful than realising how much time you have wasted when you could have just learnt the basics.
- Use the best Apps – I’ve seen people using the ‘Microsoft Mail’ app that comes with a Windows machine. Also, I’ve seen people use ‘Internet Explorer’ recently & even using ‘notepad’ or ‘WordPad’ as their primary word processing program. Do yourself a favour and use Office 365 applications for email & word processing. Also, I recommend ‘Google Chrome’ as the browser of choice, for a few reasons; it’s smooth, compatible & much more secure than the others.
Computer running slowly?
- Windows Updates – it’s crazy when I go onsite to a new business and see they are about 6 – 7 versions behind the current version of Windows or Mac OSX – Always update! Now, this is for a few reasons.
- Security updates are fundamental to not being hit by already discovered/mitigated viruses & hacking attempts.
- Feature updates mean that your applications can run more smoothly as well as the operating system itself.
- Say ‘No’ to hard drives – SSDs (Solids state drives) are the way of the future, much like the CD & DVD were replaced with the USB. Not only are they faster, but Windows 10 & the latest versions of Mac OSX were ‘designed’ to run on SSDs. To put it in perspective, the fastest non-enterprise hard drives available are 7200RPM (the speed the disc inside spins). Now, the standard 2.5” laptop SSD is about 5 – 10 times faster than the hard drive.
- Time to get a new machine? – In business we recommend replacing all mission critical machine within their warranty period. Now, a mission critical machine is the primary workstation you use, if this machine dies right now your business comes almost to a grinding halt! If your warranty period is 3 years, replace that computer after 2 years 11 months. To save on costs for instance, if you manage a resort with 3 computers, of which the primary computer at the front desk needs to always be operating and the other 2 are less important. With this, I would recommend replacing the front desk workstation within warranty period & using that old machine as the new machine to replace one of the other 2. This way your machines are always ‘semi-current’.
Who should I trust with my computers?
- Uncle John – Ok, so I’ve seen a lot of these instances, where the owner of a business has a family member who ‘happens’ to know a thing or 2 about computers. This is dangerous – Very dangerous. Now, 20 years ago this for a small business would probably have been fine. However, technology is becoming more complicated & especially with the increase in scams, malware & hacks in the past 5 – 10 years. Let me tell you a short story, I promise it’ll be short. Ok, we dealt shortly with a firm that deals with a LOT of sensitive data that could be the end of their business should their systems be compromised. The owner has a brother who ‘happens’ to know a few things about I.T., has basically zero knowledge regarding security, modern technology or best practice. So, this business decided to get him to handle their I.T. moving forward. If they were simply a sole trader dealing in small amount of money & needing basic computer support, this would be fine – They are not. This business has over 10 staff & deal with extremely sensitive information. Don’t be one of these businesses, you will get compromised, you will not enjoy the end result.
- Local Computer Store – JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Joyce Mayne & similar companies all have great products. Yes, they all have great, friendly staff; but no, they don’t know much about computers. I almost started at a Joyce Mayne when I was younger & decided not to because I don’t like selling people bad products. They are sales people, much like a car dealer or an insurance salesman. Also, not trained on what products produce the best results or how a certain technology can improve your business lifestyle. They are trained to sell whatever product needs to be sold to make way for the next product.
- I.T. personnel – A person who trains in I.T. such as a local computer repair shop, the I.T. department for your business or an I.T. consultant are going to have the best knowledge around. We all deal in computer every day! So, much like a car that you should take to your local mechanic or a lump you need checked by your doctor; an I.T. specialist is who you should consult about your computer woes. We’re nerds, we don’t want to rip you off, we want to fix your stuff, increase your businesses performance & keep you secure!
I hope this blog has helped guide you in the right direction & you managed to reach the end. Thankyou for reading.