Reasons for Planning

Whether you're just starting out, growing your business or seeking outside help, good business planning will help you achieve that goal. And take note: this means you, business owners. The startups know why they need a plan, but we business owners often think planning is just for startups. That’s not the case.

Also, to be clear, I’m writing about planning, not just a plan. That’s an important distinction. It’s almost 2017. Planning means planning process, a lean business plan with monthly reviews and revisions to guide management. Planning is not a document that you use once and throw away. It’s an ongoing management process.

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Data Breaches Making the Headlines in 2016

We've written about a small business user and his aftermath of Yahoo 1Billion email address data breach.  There were plenty of others.  Here's a summary of some of the other major data breaches in 2016.

980 data breaches occurred in 2016. That left an approximate 35,233,317 known records exposed. Over the years, data breaches have become more sophisticated, and cybercriminals target both large corporations and small businesses.

2016 saw a string of data breaches that left sensitive information of millions of people at the mercy of cybercriminals. In addition to financial consequences, these data breaches ruined customer trust and the reputation of the companies in question.

As we look back at 2016 here are some of the most impactful data breaches that shook the world.

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A Yahoo eMail Hack Victim

Nearly every day, we read scary stuff regarding the Yahoo email hack last December. In these pages, we try to be careful about “crying wolf” and being overly sensational. However, this story resonates because it could happen to any of us and involves a friend.

Last Friday, a business owner and friend of mine in another part of the US in a non-technology business told me a tale of how an innocuous mistake has spun out control and is threatening the existence of his business.

The mistake was simple – one that many of us could make even though there are plenty of warnings out there. Last Monday, his company sold a multi-thousand dollar item to an individual in Minnesota. Payment had been arranged to be made via wire-transfer. My friend emailed the buyer the wiring instructions including the bank, routing, and account numbers.

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Supporting our Local Economy

 

Jennifer Tavares - President - Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce

The Computing Center has been a member of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce since our founding in 1978. We work hard to support local businesses of all sizes and the vast majority of our clients are in Tompkins County. Please consider keeping business and personal purchases local.  It helps us all. 

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local—and that’s kind of the same.” – Unknown

It may seem a little early to mention shopping locally for the holidays—after all, I’m still picking up Halloween candy wrappers. Having accidentally started my holiday shopping during Ithaca’s Wizarding Weekend on Saturday, I feel like it’s early, too. I can share, however, that my purchase felt really good, because it was from a small, independent, locally owned business—which also happened to be a Chamber member.

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Time to Ditch you Desktop?

Our friends at Hewlett Packard have a vested interest in providing new PC, laptops and other mobile devices to the industry.  Given that, this is a good discussion of when it's time for a business or organization to consider whether to continue with desktop PCs or consider other devices.

Desktops have supported your business and workforce for years. But with new developments (wireless docking) and new form factors (Ultrabooks, detachables, tablets), desktops are now just one of a number of viable options for businesses looking to replace their aging fleet and/or upgrade their existing capabilities.

So the question is: desktops or mobile devices? Here are four questions to help you make the right decision for your needs.

1. Do you need to upgrade your PCs soon?
While it's nice to think ahead, you probably don't want to replace your desktops while they're still performing well and meeting your needs. As a general guide, large enterprises refresh their PCs once every three years on average,1 while small businesses hold on to their PCs for five to seven years on average.2

Answer yes if:

  • Your desktops are taking longer and longer to start up or complete complex tasks
  • You're holding off on upgrading an important piece of software because you're concerned your desktops can't handle it
  • You're spending more than you'd like on annual PC maintenance

Answer no if:

  • Your desktops are performing as expected
  • Employees have the tools and performance they need to function without unnecessary delays

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