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4 Critical Roles Every Project Manager Must Own To Lead Successful Teams

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4 Critical Roles Every Project Manager Must Own To Lead Successful Teams

Whether you’re operating within a DevOps, Agile, or Waterfall environment, the academic principles of project management are clear, tried, and tested.  What is hard to communicate via a textbook or lecture are the gaps that exist between real world execution and academic theory.  Over the course of a career, project managers develop the soft skills of team leadership that fill these gaps and propel their teams to success.  Beyond creating burn charts and capturing user stories, successful project managers must fill four emotionally supportive roles to ensure their teams deliver peak performance...

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Don’t Just List Your Business Assets in Sharepoint: Analyze Them

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Don’t Just List Your Business Assets in Sharepoint: Analyze Them

SharePoint farms are common in large and small businesses, and the ability to set up simple lists, document libraries, schedules and team sites make it a handy multipurpose tool.  SharePoint lists support the business objectives and are also employed to track the resources used to support the business itself.  All businesses use computers to perform their work, and these assets are often tracked for depreciation, warranty repairs, and replacement. How many pieces of equipment are out of warranty? What networking equipment is due for replacement?  When was the inventory list last updated? 

The built-in SharePoint views can be used to answer a few of these questions, but you can also use Excel with its database view and pivot-table feature to simplify the analysis of your current data. 

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Not Your Typical IT Guy

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Not Your Typical IT Guy

As a social person, I often get asked, “What do you do for a living?” I tell them that I work in IT, and I usually get a look of surprise. I often say, “I’m not your typical IT guy.” Most people have a preconceived notion that an IT guy is a nerdy guy who stutters around women and hides behind his computer. In comparison, I’ve found most of my peers to be outgoing and welcoming even when they were a bit introverted. I started my technology career later in life. I decided I wanted to go back to school and learn something I knew would be challenging and exciting. I wanted to be a good provider for my daughter, so I chose cybersecurity and forensics. And, I fell in love with it.

I was stunned at the lack of women attending the computer programs when I first started my classes. But...

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Windows Server 2016: What Makes Server 2016 the Best Deployment Yet?

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Windows Server 2016: What Makes Server 2016 the Best Deployment Yet?

Server 2016 has great enhancements and new features, and you don’t have to move to the cloud to have them. I remember when Server 2012 came out. Everyone was talking about how that version of Windows Server was going to push everyone to the cloud. It did not happen. Server 2016 is here, and it is still not happening. Microsoft is developing enhancements and features that are going to make you want to have your on-premise servers virtualized, if they are not already, and easier to manage.

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Cyber Seniors:  What it Means To Bridge the Technology Gap

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Cyber Seniors: What it Means To Bridge the Technology Gap

Benjamin Franklin was quoted saying, "He that can have patience can have what he will." Never underestimate the determination of an individual who has patience, purpose, and persistence. On Sunday, May 1st, the AfidenceIT team had the honor of leading the Cyber-Seniors event--an international campaign aimed at connecting the older adults with technology. The campaign is part of the Cyber-Seniors documentary, a heartwarming film that addresses the growing gap between the older adults and technology. The idea originated after two sisters, Macaulee (16) and Kascha Cassaday (18) saw the way technology transformed their grandparent's lives. One of our employees sent us the video, and we felt an instant call for action. Armed with a purpose, we partnered with Cedar Village, a not-for-profit retirement community in Mason, Ohio. We developed a cyber seniors program that involved donating 15 Chromebooks, leading three events, and organizing cyber buddy partnerships.

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Wearables: A Timeless Tech or Fashion Fad?

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Wearables: A Timeless Tech or Fashion Fad?

The effects of things we put into our body are no longer a mystery of the universe. Through years of complex studies, we know that not everything that tastes good is good for you! We have countless ways to track caloric intake and calories burned. Possibly the most trending today are wearable health trackers. Even more so, we have miniature phones in the form of watches, and televisions in the form of goggles we wear on our heads. But are wearables a timeless tech or fashion fad?

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3 Reasons You Should Absolutely Use Apple Pay

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3 Reasons You Should Absolutely Use Apple Pay

Apple Pay is an easy and convenient way to pay for your purchases. The need to increase security for payment transactions becomes more evident as retailers continue to report data breaches on a regular basis.  Still, user adoption has been slower than expected. PYMNTS.com reports, “Those who didn’t use Apple Pay in a transaction where they could have (and who had used it in the past) had two primary reasons for not tapping with Apple Pay. As we have seen in past surveys, they either forgot (30.1 percent) or didn’t know that the store they were in offered it (30.1 percent)” (“New Apple Pay Adoptions,” 2015).

Apple has developed a secure and easy-to-use method of making payments from your phone.  Have you made a switch to Apply Pay yet? Here’s why you should.

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Top 5 Reasons a Company Should Outsource Technology

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Top 5 Reasons a Company Should Outsource Technology

Companies that are working in the realm of technology and those who offer products and services know that making sales is the main goal if they want to stay in business. Outsourcing is a prime example of industry evolution. It has become a commonplace especially for corporations, and the world is a more global economy more than ever.

Outsourcing is a result of economic necessity and occurs when one organization specializing in a product or service can produce it more cost effectively than a large company. The more cost-efficient company outsources the project from the larger company. What many don’t realize is that it is imperative to create IT contracts, when outsourcing for a successful business. Some of the top reasons companies should outsource include...

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The Uncommon Sense of Information Technology Strategy

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The Uncommon Sense of Information Technology Strategy

Yesterday my wife asked me to provide a safe method of transportation for our children.  Immediately, I thought of the safest vehicle I could and placed an order for two tanks that will be delivered to our house in about six weeks.  She is going to be happy with this strategy as our children will be very safe while they are driving to school or getting ice cream.  They are well worth the $16 million dollar price tag. Like this example, some IT strategies just do not make sense.

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Can You Make It Through Your Work Day Without Sharepoint?

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Can You Make It Through Your Work Day Without Sharepoint?

SharePoint On-Premise and SharePoint Online are Microsoft's fastest growing products. SharePoint is a business platform that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office. It is used to pull knowledge workers together, automate manual business processes, and give you a dashboard of critical business information. Unless you are saying that you cannot make it through the workday without SharePoint, then it is being underutilized in your organization.

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IT Security: 11 Tips to Keep Your Network Secure

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IT Security: 11 Tips to Keep Your Network Secure

As IT professionals, our goal is to remain transparent to the end users of our company.  All too often, while we are trying to keep up with the demands of the environment, we neglect one of the most important elements in IT security: maintenance. When we first design our networks, we design them for security, efficiency, and redundancy. Most of those design elements don’t change over time. But many parts of a network need constant attention to maintain a high level of security. So, what are top eleven tips to keep your network secure?

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Lessons From Megaprojects Can Deliver More Value To Your Business

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Lessons From Megaprojects Can Deliver More Value To Your Business

While megaprojects are appealing for the four sublimes, they often go wrong. According to Dr. Flyvbjerg, 9 out of 10 megaprojects take longer, cost more than estimated, or produce fewer benefits than expected.  Many megaprojects were discovered to have all three of these failures. In spite of these realities, the Megaprojects Paradox, the term invented by Dr. Flyvbjerg, confirms that megaprojects are getting bigger as a percentage of GDP, but delivery is worsening, and stakeholders are less happy.

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Battling Breach Fatigue: The End is Not in Sight?

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Battling Breach Fatigue: The End is Not in Sight?

As 2015 comes to a close, and we wipe our brow from “breach fatigue,” rest assured, the exhaustion is not over. In fact, it’s far from over. Companies are grappling with the increased demand to protect their information and assets from the growing threat landscape.  At the same time, they are trying to manage a shrinking budget and a constant push from the C-suite to do more with less.  This delicate balancing act sounds impossible when trying to secure your company, but with the right focus and support, it can be done.  But first, why do you need security, and how do you approach it more strategically?

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Data Security and Your Mindset

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Data Security and Your Mindset

So much is at stake with your personal liability and livelihood.  Because of that, I offer yet another IT blog discussing security. I am sure you see many posts in this genre, but keeping security top of mind is important, so please read on.

On October 5, 2014, CBSNewsreported FBI Director James Comey saying, "There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who've been hacked by the Chinese and those who don't know they've been hacked by the Chinese" (Pelley, 2014).

Wow!  So that’s it?  Cash in our chips and call it a game well played?  No! Of course not!  IT security is not a one-time deal where we have already won, or we have already lost.  IT security is not a project that got funded last fiscal year and wrapped up before the budget dried up. Security is a matter of vigilance, continuous review, and a critical examination. So what mindset do we need to maintain to protect our investments and livelihoods?

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Potential Data Breach: Over 1000 UC Health Patients May Be At Risk

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Potential Data Breach: Over 1000 UC Health Patients May Be At Risk

Security and compliance are not the same, but they must have a collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship. Shannon Glass, AfidenceIT cyber security expert, was interviewed by WLWT about a possible data breach that affected UC Health patients. WLWT reports that a one letter mix up had the potential of costing UC Health the private medical information of many patients. Diana Lara, UC Health Spokeswoman, explains in the Media Release that UC had to inform 1,064 patients about the "incident involving some of their personal information.” 

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Business Continuity: A Must Have for Business Survival

Business Continuity: A Must Have for Business Survival

As a consultant, I’ve had the good fortune of working with many great companies.  All have high reliance on their technology being available to conduct business.  I have felt personal responsibility to ensure that IT outages do not have any adverse effects on their ability to run the business.  Sometimes this outage avoidance involves preventative investment in their technology environment. At times, it is challenging to balance expenditure on an IT project that mitigates a perceived risk against the cost of that project. The benefits of investment in a technology solution may not always be obvious or seem pressing.

11 Tips to Design a Secure, Efficient, and Scalable Network

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11 Tips to Design a Secure, Efficient, and Scalable Network

A great number of factors need to be considered when designing a secure, efficient, and scalable network.  While individual network demands will vary greatly between networks, it is important to think through your network design. Here are eleven design tips that will make your network secure, efficient, and scalable.

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 Three Classical Assumptions

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Three Classical Assumptions

A study published in Physical Review Letters, by physicists Radu Ionicioiu et al., confirmed “that the three apparently reasonable classical assumptions—objectivity, determinism, and independence—are mutually incompatible with any theory” (Zyga). Lisa Zyga discussed the three classical assumptions in article, Could Classical Theory Be Just as Weird as Quantum Theory? Zyga indicated that “while any two of the three assumptions are compatible, all three are not.”

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7 Things I Like Best About Windows 10

7 Things I Like Best About Windows 10

Windows 10 is the newest and most powerful operating system from Microsoft. Are you still validating the pros and cons of Windows 10 installation? I’ve recently upgraded, so I wanted to share seven things I like best about Windows 10. According to The Verge, after just four weeks, 75 million PCs had Windows 10 installed (Warren, 2015).  So, what features may be worth the upgrade?

Meet MiP: Taste of IT Robot Giveaway

Meet MiP: Taste of IT Robot Giveaway

One of our featured items at this year’s Taste of IT is a giveaway of a MiP robot toy. Taste of IT conference is hosted by Technology First. The conference is on November 18, 2015 at the Sinclair Community College Ponitz Center in Dayton, Ohio. Taste of IT represents Technology First’s biggest conference of the year. Many attendees have an opportunity to experience MiP in action at the AfidenceIT booth.