Tech

Is4profit’s tech section covers a variety of features on how small and medium enterprises can utilise technology hardware, digital software, business broadband and hosting and mobile apps to help them grow and succeed.

IT Jargon Explained

IT Jargon Explained What? You don’t know your ADSL from your Ethernet? Find out the definitions of all common and popular IT Jargon in our handy “IT Jargon explained” section. »

IT Self Assessment

The Challenge The bottom line of any small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) is to increase profits and increase competitiveness. Over 80% of British companies consider that information and communication technologies have an important impact on business competitiveness. Source: NOP Research Group But when SMEs do invest in technology, many find it hard to realise business benefits. The challenge is to look beyond boxes of hardware or the latest gizmo and understand how to reshape the processes that run a business. Businesses who invest in the right computerised tools are using them to: Automate Innovate Speed Up Keep up The Answer This self-assessment will help you boost your competitiveness by highlighting the need for re-organisation to jump the key hurdles that SMEs can falter at. It wil... »

Network Infrastructure, Basic Guide to

Nearly all businesses – whatever their size – use some form of network. As soon as two or more computers are used, they need to communicate with each other so they can share common files, databases, business application software etc. And most businesses use various methods of working together that require networks, such as outsourcing and partnerships. With improvements in network capacity and the ability to work wirelessly or remotely, successful businesses should regularly revaluate their needs and their IT infrastructure. This guide looks at the different networking options available; how other businesses have approached this issue; and how you can upgrade your existing system. This Network Infrastructure Guide based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2013 »

Online Auctions

Online auctions Online auctions are already having a huge impact on companies’ balance sheets. In 2010 eBay made sales of an estimated £800 million in the UK with around 19 million unique users a month in this country. Online auctions make good business sense. They help suppliers manage their stocks more efficiently and improve profitability, while customers can cut time and cost from their purchasing process. Read on to find out about forward and reverse auctions, the benefits of getting involved in online auctions and a list of useful links to get you started. Online Auctions business advice article Crown Copyright © 2003-2013 »

Open Source Software

Open source software is increasing choice in the software market and helping businesses to cut their IT costs. Introduction Open source software is a way of writing, selling and supplying software that can help businesses get cheaper, more flexible software. The idea is simple: the source code of the software (the instructions that computers follow) is publicly available for anyone to change, improve and distribute. This contrasts with most current software which is “proprietary” – that is to say, users have to pay for branded programs or products in which the source code is kept hidden from the user. Users of open source software claim proprietary software is restrictive, expensive and inflexible, and that open source software can bring a whole range of benefits. This bu... »

Production Technology

How will technology help your production? Production is the process of assembling the final product or service that you sell to your customers. Electronic solutions can help you drive down cost and improve efficiency in production. What are the benefits? Automating production will help your business to reduce lead times and respond better to shifts in demand. The opportunities include: collaborative working – with networked computers everyone involved in production can work together precision – use technology to increase accuracy and reduce waste flexibility – computer controlled production allows units to be customised more easily cheaper product testing – products can be modelled using computer simulation speed – automated production lines reduce the time to... »

Protecting Laptop Computers From Theft

The increased use and ownership of laptop computers has been accompanied by a rise in theft because they are easy to steal and open to opportunistic theft. Apart from the loss of the hardware there may be the loss of sensitive commercial information which is of a far higher monetary value than the laptop itself. The practice of “hot desking” has increased the reliance on complex and valuable IT equipment by roving staff. Although there are electronic devices able to locate and track equipment and in some cases even immobilise the unit, it is rare for laptops to be returned to their owner. The protection of laptops requires good management practices. Where users have a responsibility for their laptops the incidence of theft and loss can be reduced significantly. Observing a few ... »

Purchasing Electronically

Purchasing involves sourcing products and services. It can be time-consuming, expensive, and often make a significant difference to the ‘bottom line’. Manufacturing organisations can spend over half their sales revenue on the purchase of materials, components and services, while the proportion for retailers is even higher. It can often be difficult to track down the most competitive suppliers. Some of the issues are: Identifying potential suppliers Obtaining the latest information about their capabilities Forming the right contacts Specifying your needs Negotiating prices and terms Drawing up and agreeing contracts Bidding and tendering Quality assurance Internal purchasing procedures Find out how you can reduce prices and increase efficiency by purchasing electronically. This ... »

Smartphones

What are Smartphones? Smartphones are digital wireless phones that can send and receive voice, data and video as well as storing information and running software. Features vary from phone to phone, but all can connect to the internet for e-mail and web access. A smartphone consolidates mobile phone technology with that of the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to create a powerful mobile communication tool. Most of the latest smartphones can also incorporate 3G capabilities. 3G stands for third generation and is a collective term for the new communication procedures, standards, and devices that will improve the speed and quality of services available on the move. 4G services are expected soon as the Government sells llicences for the 4G network in the UK. Smartphones article Crown Copyright ... »

Technology & Supply Chain Relationships with Customers & Suppliers

More businesses – large and small – are working in partnership with each other. Trading is increasingly based on long-term benefits to all: quality, delivery, flexibility, better service and increased competitiveness. Taking advantage of technology can help make your relationships with customers and suppliers more productive. This document is for: Any business that wants to improve business processes and strengthen its position in the supply chain. It covers: Business processes from product development to delivery and logistics, with advice on how to improve these processes by closer collaboration with supply chain partners, and best practice information from other UK businesses. Technology & Supply Chain Relationships with Customers & Suppliers business advice – ... »

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