Why your big data collection is failing

Dark dataThe world’s enterprise data is doubling every two years, but for most organizations, it isn’t doing much good. One in three businesses rely on incomplete or unreliable data, and only 4 percent are using best practices to get the most out of their data.

Unfortunately, most data uncertainty comes from simple mistakes business owners don’t realize they’re making. Data can be immensely helpful, but left unchecked, human error can turn a data lake into a swamp and render your data useless. (more…)

What IT can learn from greeting cards

Most greeting cards are basically the same: cookie-cutter messages in standard formats, each looking like the next. They get the job done, but most are one size fits all.

Which is why I recently started using Punkpost, an app that sends personalized, handwritten cards. Even if two cards are the same on the outside, the handwriting adds a unique touch that gets a better reaction than typical greeting cards. Each card is an individual work of art. (more…)

6 tech trends that took over in 2016

Technology continues to become more and more integrated into our everyday lives—it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t use software to help run their business more smoothly. At SHI, we help organizations across a number of industries find the solutions they need, from printer security to healthy cubicle hacks and more. It gives us a great view of some of the trends that emerge each year, including what hit it big in 2016. (more…)

Before buying a UPS, answer these 4 questions

uninterruptible-power-supplyWhen was your last time downtime incident? If you’re like the respondents in a recent IHS survey, you’ve seen five downtime events in the past month.

That adds up to millions of dollars in lost revenue and productivity – midsize companies reported one downtime event cost approximately $1 million — and possible equipment repairs or replacements. Lost or damaged data is an unquantifiable cost.

If you don’t already have a proper battery backup and power protection plan in place, it’s time to do so. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system that costs a few hundred dollars will pay for itself many times over if it gets your organization through even a single power failure. (more…)

3 educational technology resources to help any new teacher

educationYour millennial teachers are important assets. They love collaborating and sharing ideas. They’re masters of technology. They’re flexible, authentic, and always seeking new ways to engage students.

But they fall prey to the same challenges facing every new teacher: classroom management, lesson planning, and one-on-one interaction with students, among others.

As technology drives new teaching strategies and learning opportunities, it also gives new teachers better tools to save time, spark student interest, and measure their progress. Let’s look at three tech resources designed to help any young teacher. (more…)

SD-WAN 101: Understanding the technology that makes your network more efficient

SDWANThere are a few clear signs that your school’s network deserves a failing grade. Do students in the computer lab struggle to do research because the administrative offices are hogging bandwidth? Is it difficult to scale and manage, especially across multiple buildings? If so, it might be time to rethink your networking.

For many, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) is the gold standard for wide-area network (WAN) routing. But if you’re experiencing the challenges above, it might be time to look into SD-WAN. (more…)

The SIEM-ple way to spot a data breach as it’s happening

logLast July, the Office of Personnel Management announced it had discovered a huge data breach: The background check records of current, former, and prospective federal employees and contractors were stolen, including 21.5 million Social Security numbers. Like many security breaches, this one could have been averted with the right tools in place.

In its 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon found that 84 percent of organizations that suffered a security breach the previous year had evidence of that breach in their logs. Every action your employees — or nefarious outsiders — take generates a kernel of information, which can become evidence of unusual behavior, or a trail of crumbs to follow after an attack to see how it was carried out.

But with so many logs and so much information to sift through, most organizations don’t tap the information these logs contain. (more…)

How VMware vSphere licensing changes could affect you

changes-aheadIt’s almost the end of the road for some VMware products. After June 30, organizations will be unable to purchase licenses for three VMware offerings:

  • vSphere Enterprise
  • vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) Standard
  • vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) Enterprise

Though your organization can’t purchase new licenses for these products after that date, you do have several options moving forward. Let’s review. (more…)

How E-Rate funding can help schools and libraries secure their wireless networks

erate securitySchool districts across the country just wrapped up the application process for the next round of E-Rate funding, while libraries still have a few weeks until the deadline. As the adoption of mobile devices, tablets, virtual reality, and 3D printers adds pressure to their wireless capabilities, many are planning to expand their networks through the E-Rate program.

But as they do, they should keep in mind that schools and libraries can be breeding grounds for viruses and bugs – security bugs, that is. A growing wireless network poses additional challenges to IT staff, who must think about security as funding helps expand their network. (more…)