Monday, November 29, 2010

Build-A-Web-App Workshop

Creating powerful enterprise-level Web (and mobile) applications doesn't have to be complicated.

Here, you can create a custom, live, lightning-fast, portable and flexible database-driven Web application in just a few minutes with your current skill set.  What's more, you can just as easily create mobile apps.

Enter our Build-A-Web-App Workshop.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The risks of application modernization

You probably know the benefits of application modernization - more capabilities, decreased maintenance cost, increased integration with web services, etc… All in all, most companies stand to gain more than they lose from modernization.

If that’s the case, why isn’t every company rushing to modernize? Well, as with any big undertaking, there are risks, and these risks hold many back. However, most of these risks come from a lack of experience…a fear of the unknown. I’d like to go over 3 of the most common modernization fears and then explain how to avoid them:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

12 amazing productivity boosters

I just read an interesting article on entitled, "12 amazing productivity boosters." While I think it lists some good productivity tools, it got me thinking: What makes you productive?

For example, does a good to-do list make you productive? What about a calendar? While those are most often associated with productivity, I think the productivity gains from a better to-do list or calendar are often minimal. In my opinion, productivity tools are those which help you work faster or easily accomplish difficult tasks.

For example, one of my favorite productivity tools is Dropbox, which lets me access files from any computer without emailing files around or using remote desktop. How about you? Do you have a favorite productivity tool? Feel free to share in the comments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 Thanksgiving recipe: Pistachio Salad

I’d like to share a great Thanksgiving recipe with you. For those wondering why I’m sharing a recipe on a tech/business blog, it’s sort of become a tradition. A few years ago, I shared a recipe with my readers around the holidays, and your feedback was extremely positive. So, I’ve done it every year since. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good recipe around the holidays?

Now, this recipe isn’t mine—it’s a family recipe from a member of our team here at mrc. Word on the street is it’s very delicious, easy to make, and definitely not healthy. So, without further ado, here’s a great, yet simple recipe for pistachio salad.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Data transfers made easy

I’d like to highlight another great (and free) template over in the m-Power Project Exchange. In case you’re unfamiliar with the Project Exchange, check out this page. If you’re unfamiliar with m-Power’s template-based approach to development, check out our build-process page.

Today, I’d like to highlight a simple, yet useful template that you might find useful: The CSV Report Template. As the name implies, this template lets users export their data into a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

IT’s 6 biggest money wasters

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, technology offers plenty of money-saving potential for businesses. That being said, technology can also have the opposite effect if left unchecked.

In what ways might technology waste money? I just read a very interesting article on entitled, "IT’s 6 biggest money wasters." While a couple of the items listed fall more into the “Ways IT can save money” category, I thought it offered some great overall insight. However, I do believe the first and second points should be expanded a bit further.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How companies fail with their data

According to Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), “We now create in two days as much information as humanity did from the beginning of recorded history until 2003.” This growing data trend applies to business too--Gartner predicts that enterprise data in all forms will grow 650% over the next 5 years.

I recently reviewed the results of a business data survey covering 543 executives in 17 countries. The results confirmed Schmidt’s statement and Gartner’s prediction: The majority of respondents feel overwhelmed by the influx of data and believe it will greatly impact their business.

The question is this: What are you doing with all of this data?

Friday, November 12, 2010

5 tips for avoiding management mistakes

As a manager, do you sometimes have trouble with employee performance? Do you sense dips in motivation from time to time? Before confronting them, first analyze your management methods. Leaders have an enormous effect on employee productivity.

How can leaders negatively impact their employees? I recently read a great article in that lists "5 tips for avoiding management mistakes." If you mistakenly participate in any items listed, you may be harming employee productivity.

How about you? Can you add any management mistakes that may harm productivity?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

2011 IT Skills and Salary Guide

I recently read this interesting article on business lessons to take from Blockbuster’s demise. The article brought up a great point: This is a prime example of what happens when you stagnate. It doesn’t matter how great business is right now, how are you innovating for the future?

I think the lesson applies to both IT professionals and companies. If you’re an IT professional, how are you keeping your skills current? As a company, how are you keeping your business current? A great place to start: Staying on top of tech advancements. The best way to stay on top of tech advancements: Help your IT staff maintain current skills.

So, which skills are hot going into 2011? I recently ran across the 2011 IT Salary Guide, which not only lists estimated 2011 IT salaries, but also which skills command a higher salary. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an IT professional or a business, pay attention: Those are the skills that will keep you ahead.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dashboards: Simplified and Interactive (with demo)

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a few of our latest executive dashboard improvements within m-Power. Dashboard creation is easier, dashboards are more customizable, and last but not least, dashboards are interactive. Now, we even have a new dashboard demo which demonstrates a couple of these new upgrades.

When you check out the demo, try a couple things: First, try repositioning the dashboard widgets. It’s all drag and drop. Imagine it’s your dashboard and you want to format the dashboard for optimal readability.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Unaffordable free software

A wise man once said, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” When it comes to software, some might argue with that statement. After all, we have more free software options today than ever before.

But is it really free?

Yes and no. From a purely monetary standpoint, yes, some software is really free. But generally speaking, with free and open source software, what you save in money, you pay in other areas. Here are a couple of the most common ways we pay for free and open source software:

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Top 10 technologies for 2011

Want to save money, increase productivity, or gain a competitive advantage? Stay on top of the latest technology trends. When you keep your eye on the latest trends in the tech world, you’ll run across some new opportunities for your company.

But how do you know which trends will stick and which will fade? Gartner recently published the results of their research into the top technologies for 2011. Technologies on this list will most likely affect many aspects of the business world in the coming years.

I noticed a couple of items on the list which I believe are “can’t miss” trends. In other words, ignore them at your own peril. The first “can’t miss” technology on this list is mobile. There is no doubt that the world is going mobile. What is your company doing about it? If you want my advice, check out the blog post on mobile apps from last week.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Mobile apps: Their time is NOW!

Over the last few years, smartphone adoption has steadily risen.  Right now one in five cell phone users has a smartphone.  Industry estimates say that by 2014, four in five cell phones in use will be smartphones. 

Mobile is the future, and offers businesses many soon-to-be-essential capabilities, such as: real-time data on the road, productivity from anywhere, and another way for customers to find your business or your products/services.

As a business, how do you take advantage of the mobile trend?

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