We have been using LastPass at Gembadesk since our inception in 2014, and have been recommending it to anyone who still writes their password on post-it notes. In spite of the low price of $1 per month for Premium, people have still been hesitant to sign up. Now, they have announced that multi-device support is FREE! We highly recommend this company, make sure you head over to their website to read the full announcement.
We often remind our clients “there is no such thing as a healthy hard drive” to motivate them to back up all their data, and to consider the implications to business continuity of a data loss event.
As Livemint reported this month, the executives at Kinfisher Airlines would have done well to heed this advice. In a stunning example of corporate irresponsibility, the financial records completely disappeared during a fraud investigation when the IT vendor reclaimed the servers.
“It was rather strange when the top management representatives of Kingfisher Airlines informed us that the airline has lost its books and accounts as vendors pulled out the system which had the accounts. The airline executives claimed that they never had a backup,” said one unnamed government official.
Back up your data!!
Ransomware such as Cryptolocker is the name given to a type of malware that locks your files and holds them for ransom, requiring you to pay a fee to unlock them.
Business owners who fall victim to ransomware are faced with a hard choice: Pay the $500 ransom or lose potentially priceless data. The choice is, unfortunately, often to pay the ransom. This is unfortunate because it literally funds the next wave of ransomware attacks, and it is for this reason that these attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and common.
The most common infection vector is what is commonly known as Phishing, or tricking users to click on something to install the file. User education combined with in-network malware/phishing scanning is the most effective way to prevent a ransomware infection. Remind your users that you will never ask them for their password and to immediately report any suspicious activity to IT.
Everybody understands the idea of consequence or that action A leads to B. In order to be truly proactive, IT companies need to stop thinking linearly about consequences and instead view the IT environment as a system.
In this series, we will explore systems thinking and its impact on IT service delivery.
Total Quality Management, or TQM, is a management approach in which an entire organization aims deliver value to its customers through continuous improvement and is a concept that we have incorporated into our culture at Gembadesk.
This post is the first in a series that explores TQM, it history, its role in manufacturing, and how we have incorporated it into the way we manage technology.
The Importance of Learning
The ability to learn quickly is critical to entrepreneurial success. The importance of a new company’s ability to learn from mistakes and turn mistakes into learning opportunities cannot be understated; while 15% of Canadian startups fail in the first year, only 51% of startups make it to the five-year mark (“The State of Entrepreneurship in Canada”, 2010). Although there are many factors that can contribute to the demise of a company, companies that learn from their failures and turn mistakes into learning opportunities are more likely to succeed than companies that can’t adapt as quickly. Accepting at face value that organizational learning is beneficial to startups, it cannot be assumed that learning is automatic. Even when learning exists at an individual level in entrepreneurial teams, it can’t be assumed that this ability will translate into organizational learning as the company matures.
Developing Formal Learning Structures
If organizational learning in startups cannot be taken for granted, does that mean it can be created and built? A substantial body of knowledge exists regarding the development of management theories that facilitate organizational learning for large organizations. Many prevalent management theories, from Total Quality Management (TQM) to the Deming Management theory through the Toyota Production System all emphasize and promote continuous improvement, the core of which is the ability to learn. There is no improvement without learning. There is no learning, and therefore no improvement, without the philosophical acceptance that failure is not an end state but a learning process.
The challenge is that most entrepreneurs do not study management theory, thereby making the lessons on organizational learning that have been developed by working with large organizations inaccessible to most entrepreneurs. Many of the points developed in theories were scoped for large organizations and do not directly apply to startups, further obscuring the points that do apply from entrepreneurs.
Therefore we should develop a learning theory for entrepreneurs that can be applied at the startup phase and embedded in the culture of the organization so it continues to scale as the company grows.
In this series we will discuss the importance of developing formalized learning structures and explore their application in startups.