Can You Really Afford Not to Have a Backup Plan?

According to Symantec SMB, 50% of SMBs admit to having no backup and disaster recovery plan in place. 41% of those surveyed confessed that they had never even given much thought to implementing a disaster recovery or business continuity plan. If you are one of them, then you really need to think about whether you can afford the status quo. Answering these questions will help you decide.
1. How often is employee productivity and customer accessibility or service stalled each day from a downed network or system?
2. How much downtime can your business truly afford and what kind of backup or recovery solutions are in effect when systems are unavailable?
3. What level of IT support can be accessed? Can it be accessed quickly enough to minimize damage? Are you confident that your business can either be back online or be able to access lost data with minimal disruption, no matter what?
4. Is your most critical data frequently backed up? Is the data on the personal laptops, iPads or Blackberrys of employees backed up? Are all backups stored in a location off-site and quickly accessible in the event of theft, fire or flooding? Are you using any custom installed software and is the supplier still in business should this software need to be re-installed or updated? Are account details, licensing agreements, and security settings somewhere on record, and is it duplicated off-site?
5. Are your systems truly protected from theft, hackers, and viruses? Are passwords to sensitive data changed whenever employees leave the company or business unit?
6. When was the last time you tested backup processes to ensure they are working properly? How quick were your back ups?
Answering these questions will help you understand if you are needlessly bleeding money every day by subjecting your business to the high hourly rates, service charges, trip fees and wait times of on-call IT support. If you are an SMB, you don’t have to fear technology failure. A trusted MSP can help you resolve these challenges in a more effective and efficient manner.

The Most Innovative Technology Powering the 2018 Super Bowl

Sourced from Inc.com

Drones, AR, and digital media have all changed the big game. Here’s what’s new this year.

Millions of eyes will be on the playing field when the Eagles take on the Patriots at Super Bowl LII. Some of you will be watching and analyzing the ads and picking those winners and losers. I, for one, will be looking out for the technology behind the game. In recent years, the Super Bowl has become the epicenter for the latest in sports technology–both on and off the field.

Advertising.

Brands started integrating their digital campaigns with their Super Bowl TV ad buys years ago. Crowdsourcing creative ideas is nothing new and leaking ads in advance of the big game is commonplace. What’s new for 2018? This year, the #metoo campaign is certain to spark real-time discussions about how women are portrayed in ads. Jeanine Poggi, media reporter at Ad Age, notes that 49 percent of Super Bowl viewers last year were women but that the people creating ads are still largely men. “Over the past decade, 76 percent of Super Bowl ads featured men as the principle character. And 14 of last year’s ads didn’t include women at all,” Poggi reports. “Don’t get your hopes up that things will be significantly better,” she warns.

Tech-centric  companies Groupon, Squarespace, and Intuit will be joining the food, beverage, and car brand advertisers, according to CNBC.

The Halftime Show.

Last year,  300 Intel drones created a light show as part of Lady Gaga’s performance. Justin Timberlake’s 13-minute performance has been preceded by lots of social-media hype. Pink will be performing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Despite the high-tech production value of these performances, the music choices are designed to appeal to a cross-generational viewership.

Stadium Security and Connectivity.

U.S. Bank Stadium was built with the latest in indoor sports technologies, according to Security magazine. They include 1,300 Wi-Fi access points (so fans can share the excitement with their friends and families), thousands of TV screens, and close monitoring of 365 stadium doors.

The Game Itself.

Although the players and viewers are still human, they are aided by a range of technologies. Minneapolis is hosting a competition for sports tech startups the week prior to the Super Bowl. Augmented reality will help people plan their seating and parking, courtesy of a new StubHub feature, and AR will also be used to entertain viewers with new football-themed competitions. Although helmet technology has come a long way, the race is still on to invent concussion-preventing headgear.

Who will ultimately walk away with the Super Bowl ring? Last year, Swarm AI accurately predicted the winner and the precise score, according to Digital Trends. Natural language generation (NLG) programs are being used to report sports scores. Can the robot sportscaster be far behind?

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Jan 24, 2018
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