This year’s Tech Update session was once again led by Randy Johnston.
Randy Johnston is a top rated speaker and has more than 30 years of technology experience. He is also a published author of 5 books and leads a successful technology and business consulting firm – NMGI (Network Management Group Inc.)
The Top Technologies concerns for CPA firms, based on a 2011 AICPA survey are:
- Control and Use of Mobile devices
- Information Security
- Data Retention Policies and Structure
- Remote Access
- Staff and Management Training
- Process Documentation and Improvements
- Saving and Making Money with Technology
- Technology Cost Controls
- Budget Processes
- Project Management & Deployment
- Spreadsheet Management
- Overall Data Proliferation and Control
- Privacy Policies and Compliance
The session covered Hardware, Software, Social Media and Cloud Computing.
- Having an up to date or next generation firewall that is IPv6 compliant is critical. Some of the features to watch for are: application awareness, full stack visibility, Intrusion detection and protection etc.
- Cabling standards: CCCA and NEC regulation changes are pending (No open cable trays)
- Redundant internet access is very important, especially to those companies that rely on Cloud services.
- It is time to consider higher speed switches and routers. Replacing Data Center Switches and Routers with at least 10GB is advisable. They key to ease of manageability and maintenance is to pick a vendor and stay with them. Cisco, Juniper, HP, Dell are only a few of the vendor that provide with solid options for the SMBs.
- Redundancy in scanning could prove vital to companies that are 100% paperless.
- Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs: First generation of Sandy Bride processors have a well-known issue with the SATA controller, causing onboard SATA ports to degrade over time and possibly reduce performance of hard drives.
- Ultra-portable scanning: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 – Creates searchable PDF, editable Word and Excel files. It comes with business card scanning software, and it supports PC and Mac. All that at only 12 Ounces and $199.
- Encryption: make sure to encrypt all data (local or server) as well as email traffic.
- Anti-Virus: Small, medium or large – you need to have a solid centrally managed Anti-Virus program running on all computers in the firm.
- Windows 7: Everyone needs to be planning the upgrade to Windows 7.
- Server 2008 R2: It is time to upgrade your server environment as well. Server 2008 R2 has been out for a while and has proven to be very stable and feature rich. Make sure that all applications will run on the new Operating System before implementing it!
- VPN Reconnect: A new feature of Routing and Remote Access Services (RRAS) that provides users with seamless and consistent VPN connectivity, automatically re-establishing a VPN when users temporarily lose their Internet connections. Users who connect using wireless mobile broadband will benefit most.
- Web conferencing – Time for HD: The leaders in this area are: LifeSize, Tandberg, Cisco UMI, and Polycom. Less expensive options are: Skype, MS Lync, and Oovoo.
- Cloud computing is set to transform global IT.
- NTT Communications Study (2010) shows that 67% of CIOs and CFOs are either not planning to adopt Cloud computing or are unsure of whether their company will adopt Cloud computing during the next two years.
- 46% of respondents feel the definitions of Cloud computing remain unclear
- Office 365: Brings together Cloud versions of Microsoft’s communications and collaboration products with the latest version of their desktop suite. Suitable for businesses of all sizes. Where this service really excels is in the usefulness to smaller companies with no IT department.
- SAS 70: New standards for Data Centers and Service auditors – Service Organization Control (SOC)
- Bottom line for Cloud: Internet connectivity is main concern over all. Features and functionality are next. Security and reliability is critical to .999999
- Forrester research: In a paper called “The ROI of Software-As-A-Service: A Total Economic Impact Analysis Uncovers Long-Term Value in SaaS”, Liz Herbert and Jon Erickson found that there, indeed, is long-term value!
- Facebook or Google may acquire Twitter.
- Facebook has to evolve or become irrelevant
- Businesses are beginning to use Social Networking tools to either eliminate or augment traditional business web sites. Some small businesses forgo a web site at all in favor of a Social Networking site.
- Professional Social Networking Clouds should arise in 2011 going forward, redefining how we engage our customers.
Visit WWW.TECHNOLOGYBESTPRACTICES.COM for an Independent Review of Today’s Top Hardware ofr Business
© 2011, SaaSChronicles. All rights reserved.