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How to Use Technology to Increase Business Productivity

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In a business world where even the smallest technological competitive advantage can change your business fortunes, ignoring the ability of technological tools to increase business productivity is a sin. The last few decades brought about great tools and pieces of software that can be leveraged by organizations to explode their production.

The ability to get things done fast and well is a quality that every organization should seek to develop in their workforce. Fundamentally, you really can’t compete in business if you can’t execute. Luckily for you, technology now makes it easier for organizations to organize, plan, and execute on the things most important to them.

Here are some of the ways in which you can use technology to increase business productivity.

Collaboration and Communication

Various tools available today allow companies to create portals where managers can share projects with their teams, and workers can collaborate and share ideas on the projects they are working on, monitor the progress their partners are making on a shared project, leave group messages, and even work remotely when away from the office.

Technology can allow you to break artificial barriers created by your organizational structure and help all employees communicate in an open and effective manner. An immediate consequence of better communication and collaboration between departments such as marketing, finance, sales, product development, and distribution is better business processes.

Organizations can learn to get better. In fact, a Harvard Business School study asserts that it is better for employees to spend time articulating and communicating what they have already learned than to invest more time learning new things. Easier communication allows employees to quickly troubleshoot problems and bottlenecks, and gain fast access to the information they need to solve these problems.

Employee Training and Development

It used to be that if you wanted to train workers, you had to get them into a room with an instructor. Now all they have to do is fire up their laptop or phone to access training materials. On-job training is one of the most impactful things you can do to increase business productivity. The return on investment when you put money in employee development programs can be tremendous. ISO 9001 specifies training as one of the most important aspects of their certification. You can read more on how to improve your existing ISO 9001 system.

Because of technology available in the average workplace today, training materials can be delivered in the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, audio recordings, and infographics. On-demand knowledge can change how you train your employees. The training doesn’t have to be passive, though. Through the use of collaborative tools, the learning process can be interactive even though the workers consume the materials on demand. Towards Maturity did a study in 2013 that revealed that 86% of employees learn what they need to know about their jobs by collaborating with their fellow employees.

Business Process Automation

There aren’t many strategies that help increase business productivity that is as straightforward as business process automation. Essentially, business process automation involves taking repetitive and complex tasks and then streamlining them using technology so that they are done the same way every time. The automation process helps save employees time and reduces the mental energy employees have to commit to getting the tasks done. The result is that they have more time and mental energy to focus on high-yield tasks.

Every business can take advantage of technology to automate their business processes. You can automate even redundant tasks such as document management. You don’t want to spend lots of time on low-yield operational tasks. Some of the business areas that can benefit from business automation include client management, customer support ticketing, software and website updates, email marketing campaigns, customer relationship management, and employee tracking.

Marketing

Technology now allows businesses to reach their customers without having to go through gatekeepers such as advertising agencies. You can launch a marketing campaign and monitor its performance in real time. Through the use of analytics, you can easily tell whether you are netting a positive ROI from a campaign or not, whether targeted audiences are engaging with your message or not, and how many people your campaign has reached.

Marketing methods such as email marketing can be set up once and left to run on autopilot. You can even tell your email client the exact time to send an email and whether or not to send a follow-up email based on the behavior of the email recipient. Needless to say, there are tools that can tell you how your customers interact with your emails and how they behave when they visit your websites.

Employee Motivation

You can use technology to track your employees’ performance and reward them appropriately when they reach desired milestones. Rewarding employees for a job well done is a great way to boost motivation and help increase productivity. Since people are different, it is up to you to find out what exactly motivates your employees. You can offer different incentive programs to different employees based on their wants and goals.

The beauty of incentivizing high performing employees is that low performing employees will also be persuaded to up their game. If they don’t, the gap between their performance and the performance of elite employees will be readily apparent as the better-performing employees pull ahead in search of even better rewards.

Susan Ranford is a freelance writer who focuses on business, tech, and careers. She's experienced in career tips, business advice, and job search secrets.

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Fast Charging for iPhone and Android Smartphones

Steven Sanders

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Fast charging for our portable devices is becoming a more important thing to use. Smartphones are evolving, they’re becoming a lot more powerful, and therefore they burn into their battery power even faster. To offset this problem, companies have made the batteries that go into their phones larger.

This can cause a problem though, as larger batteries need a longer time to recharge fully. That’s where the fast charging tech, such as Power Delivery and Quick Charge come in. Both of these charging technologies are among the most used with smartphones, and we’re going to be going over chargers that make use of both of them.

That’s because most Android smartphones are compatible with Quick Charge, they’re also able to fast charge with a  USB-C Power Delivery port, too. Whereas, the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and the iPhone XS are not Quick Charge compatible, but they are Power Delivery compatible and can be charged with a Type-C port with a C to Lightning cable.

RAVPower USB-C Power Delivery Wall Charger with Quick Charge

Starting off very simple, this wall charger has a single USB-C Power Delivery port and a Quick Charge port. When it comes to fast charging for a Power Delivery port, you have to make sure that the port has an 18W charging speed or higher. Which is what this wall charger has.

Even though this wall charger does have both fast charging technologies, the negative part is that it has a max output of 18W, too. So you can use the full power of a single port only once at a time.

However, the lack of power is made up with the form factor of the charger, as it has a retractable AC adapter that makes the charger into a cube.

Satechi Power Delivery Desktop Charger with Quick Charge

Then there are desktop chargers, which are practically wall chargers, but they have more charging ports, and they use a power cord, instead of a built-in AC adapter. Some might think that the use of a power cord can be cumbersome, but it allows you to place the charger closer to where you want to charge your devices.

This Satechi charger has a very powerful USB-C Power Delivery port with a 60Watt charging speed. You’re definitely able to fast charge an iPhone or Android smartphone with the Type-C port, but it doesn’t just stop there. No, you can actually charge USB-C laptops with this Satechi charger, too, as there’s so much PD charging to use.

The other three ports on this charger are a Quick Charge port and two 12W ports.

To top it all off, the charger has a light sensor, and it dims its LED power light when the charger is in a dark room and the light brightens up when the charger is in a bright room.

AIDEAZ 20,000mAh Power Delivery Quick Charge Wireless Charging Power Bank


One charging product that basically everyone should own is a portable charger. It happens all the time, you know when you’re out and about and then you suddenly get the message that your phone is low on battery power. Panic sets in and then your phone is useless with a dead battery.

All that anxiety can practically be erased with the use of a portable charger, which can charge your smartphone while you’re on the move.

The power bank above isn’t some sort of fancy title that we gave, the AIDEAZ power bank is actually capable of those three things. So the charger does have a Power Delivery port with an 18W charging speed, a Quick Charge port, and yes, you can even place your Qi-compatible phone on top of the power bank and it’ll charge.

One other very cool part of this power bank is its use of an LCD display. The display shows how much power is remaining and what charging method is being used.

Aukey 10,000mAh Quick Charge Power Delivery Slim Power Bank


On the lower capacity side, this is Aukey’s Power Delivery portable charger with Quick Charge. The charger has a 10,000mAh power capacity that can be used to charge most smartphones to full power about two times.

What’s most notable about this power bank is recharging it. That’s because it has three input ports that can be used to recharge it. There’s a Micro-USB input, a USB-C input (which is also the USB-C Power Delivery output), and there’s also a Lightning input port, too. Not many portable chargers make use of a Lightning input port, but it’s a huge plus for iPhone users as they can make use of it a lot more easily.

A charger like this Aukey one is one of the best portable chargers to get, as you have so many options to recharge it.

Aukey Power Delivery Car Charger with Quick Charge


One other charging product that many people should consider using more often are car chargers. The reason that car chargers are so helpful is that you’re not using your phone and the screen is off. When that’s happening, your phone is able to charge at its fast charging rate.

This Aukey charger has a Type-C Power Delivery port, and a Quick Charge USB-A port. The most notable part of the charger though, is that it has a flush fit form factor. Therefore the entirety of the charger is able to fit into a 12Volt outlet and not get in the way and it’s super low-profile.

Anker PowerWave Wireless Charging Stand


Then to top it all off, there are wireless chargers. If you’ve got an Apple iPhone that is Qi compatible, meaning any iPhone that came after the iPhone X, then you’re able to wirelessly charge your iPhone. On the Android side, if you have a Samsung smartphone, having a wireless charger is even better, too, as Samsung wireless charging smartphones are fast charging compatible, too.

The same is true for iPhones.

iPhones are able to have fast wireless charging speed of 7.5W, while Samsung phones are able to charge at a 10W charging speed. The main thing to remember though is that there are select chargers that are able to provide “Fast Wireless Charging”.

The Anker Powerwave Wireless Charging stand above is able to fast charge Samsung smartphones at a 10W charging speed and iPhones at a 7.5W speed. Along with that, you get the stand form factor that makes it easier to use your smartphone while it charges on it. You can also place your phone horizontally as the charger has two coils, one at the top and one at the bottom.

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Console vs. Mobile vs. PC: Three Kinds of Gaming

Steven Sanders

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Video games have come a long way since Pong, and we now have a variety of different genres to play across a range of platforms. Gamers will always debate amongst themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, but they will nearly always show some form of bias for their preferred gaming system.

Over the course of this article, we’ll be covering the three primary types of game systems in this day and age. We’ll take a look at highly portable mobile platforms, available game consoles, and powerful gaming PCs, comparing each of them so that you can see exactly how they differ from each other.

PC

PC gaming is often seen as the most cutting-edge way to play your games, and it makes sense. A gaming PC is a lot easier to keep updated than a console since you can replace the components as soon as they come out. Console gamers instead have to wait until the next iteration of their system comes out.

Of course, a PC is also much more versatile than a console, as you can custom-make one that isn’t constrained by whether or not it will be feasible on the market. Keep in mind that gaming PCs pay for their impressive performance and graphics when it comes to stability, with the quality of releases depending on their degree of optimization.

Console

Console gaming is often seen as the more convenient alternative to PC gaming, and there is significant overlap between the games that are available on both types of systems. Console games will typically run at a lower frame rate and a lower resolution than PC games due to the inherent limitations of the systems.

Since a game console has to be reasonably priced, then there is a limit to the performance they can output, and yet they provide immense value for money. You would be hard pressed to find a gaming PC complete with a keyboard, mouse, operating system, and monitor for the price of a console.

Mobile

Finally, mobile gaming takes up a huge percentage of the global gaming market, and that’s what makes it so attractive for game development services. Whenever you have a bit of downtime, you can simply take out your smartphone and start playing a game, and the massive number of ads rakes in a tidy profit.

While there are some games (like Fortnite) that are available on mobile, console, and PC, you’ll find that the majority of mobile games are not available on the other systems due to their simplicity. Mobile games usually have simple control schemes due to the difficulty of adapting them to a touchscreen.

Conclusion

There is no “best” way to play video games, so don’t let anyone discourage you based on your preferred platform. We hope that this guide has summarized the differences between each of these kinds of game systems.

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The Pros and Cons Behind DevOps as a Service

Steven Sanders

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It seems as though every component of business computing is being used as a service, including DevOps. The advantages of using devops as a service are obvious: You are able to rent computing resources instead of having to buy and manage them on your own.

However, is it possible to outsource each aspect of business operation? Can DevOps as service work for your organization? Does the cloud collaboration between operations and developments help speed up projects, or does it mean that your company will lose control of business-centric applications?

Before discovering the arguments supporting and refuting devops as a service, it’s good to define the meaning behind DevOps?

What is DevOps as a Service?

The term DevOps comes from the creation of operations and development, two different disciplines. Some traditional companies have departmental silos that make it difficult for IT professionals to work on creating business automation software.

DevOps creates an environment needed for the rapid testing and development of custom business software. Making a DevOps-based collaborative environment is easier for security specialists, IT engineers, QA engineers, and other teammates to ensure that there is synchronization, integration, and synergy between workflows.

To ensure that your DevOps environment is successful, your team will need to use agile software methodologies. The more difficult the project, the more enterprise components you’ll need to ensure that your team works properly.

DevOps as a service allows you to relocate those enterprise resources towards the cloud. Rather than using basic software development tools, DevOps as a service collects the development tools towards a platform that’s hosted in the cloud.

Advantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are some reasons why companies are starting to use DevOps as a service:

  • DevOps as a service hides the complexity of information and data flow, which means your DevOps team members can focus on their team specific tools without having to know the entire toolchain. For instance, a software developer can conduct tests through source code management tools, and IT operators can make changes with configuration management tools.
  • DevOps allows users to collaborate as it places tools on the cloud. This allows users anywhere to work together and complete projects.
  • Using cloud-based services is a data-driven process where everyone has the same data set. This leads to better quality control and documentation.

Disadvantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are the disadvantages that exist when using DevOps for your IT team:

  • Security is always a huge concern. Your security team isn’t always apart of DevOps and the DevOps teams usually choose speed over security when creating software. With DevOps cloud services, you can create unnecessary exposure and risks, especially if its the transport layer that’s left unsecured.
  • Outsourcing DevOps infrastructure will require some level of software development expertise, including having an understanding of orchestrating a workflow, infrastructure, and integration. You’ll need experts and tools of DevOps as a Service in order to be successful.

Conclusion

When you’re using DevOps as a service, you’re increasing your IT teams’ productivity. And if you’re thinking about making a new DevOps strategy, DevOps as a Service will help shorten the time to deploy apps and will give you versatility as you create new business process applications.

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