What would you do if the computer system storing your customer records or sales information suffered a hard drive failure or other catastrophic event that caused it to lose all of its stored data? Would your business be able to continue operating? Could you continue to market, advertise and fulfill orders?

With the growing value of data as a money-making asset, today’s businesses must face the challenge of protecting and maintaining their important information in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. To meet this challenge, business owners need to carefully define their business requirements and recovery objectives and then decide on the right backup and recovery technologies to deploy. […]

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to devote a little bit of thought to how you want to improve your business and productivity technology in the months ahead. You don’t really need to come up with a set of Technology New Year’s Resolutions, mainly because resolutions are, by rule, made to be broken. But wouldn’t it help to have a simple plan for making a few improvements or easy changes that can lead to safer, more productive computing for your business in 2013?

I don’t mean major tech projects like installing a new office network or buying a fleet of new desktops for the staff. Budget-intensive initiatives like those need to be part of your fiscal planning process. There are plenty of inexpensive — even free — things that you can do within your existing infrastructure to improve the impact of technology on your business’ bottom line. Here are a couple of examples. […]

In a post last week, I mentioned that sometimes something good accidentally happens as a result of the dark machinations of the technology industry’s various would-be Evil Overlords. In the interest of fairness, this week I’m going to point out that more often than not, when the Evil Overlords get involved in the affairs of mere mortals, something wicked this way comes.

The networking mega-corporation Cisco is usually so far behind the scenes that it’s never considered a contender for the Evil Overlord label. If you work in a large company, maybe you’ve heard somebody from tech support ranting about the frustration of taking a Cisco certification exam (although obviously they’ve never experienced the arcane adventure that is Novell Netware). Otherwise, you seldom hear the name spoken in public. Until a few weeks ago, anyway. […]

Back in the Internet’s version of the Age of Steam — around 2002 — retail giant Walmart (which was still officially “Wal Mart” at the time) made a bold move to insource all of its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) functions. EDI is a critical behind-the-scenes operation that allows huge retail chains to manage their supply chains and logistics. […]

Depending on the sources you read or the people you listen to, the humble PCs that help power your business are either the handiest tools invented since the crescent wrench or a sinister cluster of ticking time bombs waiting for just the right moment to blast all of your important business data to smithereens.

While the “smithereens” proponents may have gotten a boost from McAfee’s recent flub of an anti-virus update, the truth of the matter lies closer to the “handiest tools” end of the spectrum. For many businesses, computers are indispensible. Period. So the trick becomes figuring out how to integrate computers into your business without putting your most important information at risk of getting blown to Kingdom Come. […]

If you haven’t yet considered upgrading your business’ computers to the Windows 7 operating system,  this just might be a good time to give it some thought. Windows 7 offers some significant improvements over both Windows XP and Windows Vista that will make the change worth the effort for most business users – and home users, for that matter. […]