Tag Archives: Windows business tablets

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More With Less: Cut Back On Cost Using Technology

Organizations see the wisdom in deploying technology that allows them to do more with less. Forging an IT strategy that helps you cut back on cost using technology does not have to be a time-consuming endeavor. In many cases, awareness about the available and emerging technologies helps businesses manage their IT budget efficiently and gain a competitive edge.

A study by Accenture estimates that IT spending is 1%-15% of total corporate spending, and suggests the steps to minimize it:

  • shift the focus from short- to long-term goals
  • coordinate goals throughout the organization
  • optimize for efficiency
  • future-proof IT investment
  • drive IT-enabled business value

With that in mind, let us look at the ways technology can help you cut back on cost and improve your bottom line, long-term.

Energy Efficiency

Unregulated energy consumption is wasted money. Managing power consumption across a distributed infrastructure is a challenge. As you acquire new equipment, make sure to go for Energy Star-certified computers. These have extensive power management capabilities backed by automation and remote management. Deploying Energy Star equipment and power management tools with ample customization and automation features allows organizations to cut back on power consumption.

Energy efficiency goes beyond power management. For example, powered carts are known to have issues with batteries – they often fail and require frequent replacement. The batteries in BYOD tablets and smartphones do not last the full shift, requiring untimely recharging, which leads to the loss of productivity. This aspect is seldom accounted for when the IT spending is calculated. However, if you calculate the cost of downtime due to the lacking batteries in your cable-less devices such as powered carts, tablets, laptops and smartphones, you can bet the price is high.

Basing acquisition decisions solely on the initial purchase price of a computer is a short-sighted strategy. If calculated correctly, the costs of such decisions outweigh the initial gain. So, when assessing potential acquisitions, spend due diligence researching the battery capacity, durability, lifespan, and certifications.

With Windows business tablets and all-in-one computers with internal batteries, energy efficiency and uptime rely on several cornerstones:

  • certified according to industry standards, industrial-grade batteries with a long lifecycle
  • reliable uptime
  • hot-swap feature with the second set of batteries and charging station
  • proven track record of low failure rate

Cable-Free Operations

Accommodating the energy needs of new equipment is expensive if you need to create additional power outlets. If some of your operations rely on mobile solutions, self-powered all-in-one computers offer the flexibility and feasibility you need. As the charging station can be positioned near any power outlet, your computers stay mobile and reliable.

More so, with our revolutionary AIO computer that powers itself and peripherals – printers, barcode scanners, and others. You no longer need a nearby power outlet or a bulky UPS, as the computer powers itself and peripherals.

Device Convergence

Converging multiple devices into one has unprecedented savings potential. All-in-one business or industrial computers and business tablets now integrate peripherals, which have been external traditionally. The customization is key, so you can choose the configuration you require. Embed barcode scanner, RFID reader, Imprivata SSO, Smart Card CAC Reader and enjoy the durability of industrial grade build.

Improve Connectivity of Remote Workers, Control Data Plans

Business tablets are not locked to any Internet or phone service provider, so you can use your current plan, and manage costs accordingly. Irrespective of whether you use GSM or CDMA, 3G or 4G, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, your field workers will be connected; your data plan – controlled.

Future-Proofing

Implement systems and devices that can grow with you. Opt for computers that offer:

a) advanced customization options to accommodate your current needs,
b) extensive upgradeability to future-proof your investment

For example, many computers and most laptops in use at healthcare organizations required replacement because they could not handle the operational load of EHR software.

If you rely on resource-hungry applications, your computers and tablets must be able to accommodate them now and in future. You must be able to add memory and expand storage.

If you rely on visually intensive applications, it makes sense to opt for 4K UHD all-in-ones instead of HDTV monitors. The image processing applications and capturing devices are capable of working with increasingly higher resolutions, so limiting that potential to already dated technology now means you will have to buy newer monitors tomorrow when everyone else is already running 4K.

Safeguard Against Liabilities

In most industries, regulations governing employee/patient safety and data security lead to significant liabilities in fines, audits, license suspension or revocation. Bad publicity adds to the cost count associated with data breaches or safety-related accidents.

On the safety front, devices that adhere to industry standards and come with corresponding certifications do the job. Be it electric, radiation safety, or antimicrobial safety, waterproof IP protection, rugged MIL-STD build, and components – depending on your environment you must choose the corresponding hardware. Consumer-grade computers and BYOD might seem like an attractive proposition, but they are not made to work 24/7. They have a high fail rate when used in resource-hungry industrial, healthcare or business environments.

Protect Your Devices and Data

On the data protection front, you can protect your physical and digital assets with advanced authentication, timely updates, patches, remote administration, and troubleshooting.

The keyword is remote. With the current shortage of skilled IT and cybersecurity pros, you need to equip them with tools and functionality that make them productive. Remote administration and maintenance of business computers and tablets reduce downtime, service costs, and pressure on the IT staff. Faster and better service translates into lower costs (and satisfied users).

Data leaks and privacy breaches are costly and damage brand reputation. Cybersecurity is considered an expensive area, but it is not if you follow best practices, and if your hardware allows it. For example, Windows-powered business tablets or all-in-one computers allow organizations to:

  • manage devices remotely – patch, update, troubleshoot, locate, wipe
  • enable advanced authentication – native Windows + RFID Imprivata SSO, Smart Card or CAC Reader, biometric reader/fingerprint scanner
  • encrypt the hard drive
  • use end-to-end data encryption
  • Windows business tablets let you encrypt data on external hard drives
  • customize hardware and OS features – disk imaging, disabling app store, webcam, or microphone
  • whitelist and blacklist apps and connections, disable access to public WiFi, deploy corporate VPN and more.

Save on Software, OS Licenses

Business tablets and all-in-one computers provide compatibility with your professional software and hardware. They run on Windows or Linux, so can accommodate the needs of any professional software, and you can use the already purchased licenses. You can order the free disk imaging and avoid time-consuming deployment, as the bloatware gets removed.

Additionally, Windows and Linux have the world’s largest pool of free, open-source software, which becomes increasingly popular among savvy business users due to frequent updates and community audits, which mean functionality and security – at no cost.

Compatibility with Legacy Hardware

On the hardware level, opt for maximum compatibility with legacy systems. Compatibility comes through the availability of serial ports you can customize, and computers’ and tablets’ ability to interface with HMI, MMI and automation processes.

Some organizations have successfully integrated their legacy equipment into modern systems with our all-in-one PCs and extended the lifecycle of the otherwise dated hardware.

Regain Data Visibility, Purge Obsolete and Control Vital Data

Recent research indicates that more than 50% of corporate data is dark data. It means organizations do not know what they store, where, if that data is protected or has value. Some of the dark data has value; some is obsolete or redundant. Yet, organizations spend substantial storage and maintenance budgets on servicing the data nobody has accessed in three years.

Regaining data visibility is important not only from the cost but also from the compliance perspective. As data protection regulations become more stringent (think GDPR), companies will face liabilities for failing to manage employee, customer and partner data properly.

Data visibility is only possible through corporate control of devices and software used by employees. BYOD does not offer feasible ways of streamlining corporate control and data visibility. Corporate-owned computers and tablets do.

Contact Cybernet today to learn more about how business grade all-in-one computers and tablets help organizations cut costs.

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5 Ways To Make Your Data Unhackable

In A Digital World, No Company Is Immune

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack wrecked havoc around the globe and highlighted the problems of cyber security in many industries. No country or industry was “left behind.” State institutions, telecoms companies, health care organizations, educational institutions, oil and gas companies, manufacturing across the world seized operations. Downtime, regress to pen-and-paper operations and panic – these are the takeaways of WannaCry for the majority of affected businesses.

Several issues have come to the forefront in the aftermath of the attack:

  • the use of the long-discontinued Windows XP across organizations
  • the lax attitude to software updates and data backups
  • the lack of proper security protocols

Fortune notes that “every company is a digital company now.” Every business nowadays relies on technology and the Internet for a variety of operations. Cloud is hosting a broad range of business operations from customer service to accounting. Once a company gains a digital footprint, it has a digital landscape to protect. One is inseparable from the other. Just like you protect the safe boxes in your office, you ought to protect the digital assets of your organization.

No organization is immune to cyber attacks. Small and medium-sized businesses might think they are not the priority targets, but reality says otherwise. SMBs are among the top targets for cyber criminals because they lag in cyber security, as compared to larger organizations. Additionally, SMBs present an easy entry point for attacks targeting their bigger partners, as was the case with Target.

Why Customer Data Protection Is Important

There are many reasons, but mainly due to – 1) legal liabilities, 2) brand reputation, 3) financial damage.

In the US, EU, and Asia, there are disparate, yet increasingly strict data protection regulations. Companies dealing with customer – or patient – private data are responsible for its privacy and security. Most known data breaches end up in administrative fines, audits and even revocation or suspension of license.

Once the data breach becomes known, customers seek to indemnify the damage of having their personal data compromised. Trust is broken, loyalty is undermined.

Brand damage usually goes beyond discontent customers. Lost contracts, mergers, and compromised partnerships can be enough to push an SMB out of business and cause a significant stock drop for large companies. Combined with the expenses associated with the downtime, breach investigation, and mitigation expenses, the cost of a data breach is an average of $4 million.

Must Do’s

1. OS and Software Updates

WannaCry outbreak once again highlighted the importance of timely patches and system updates. Many state institutions and businesses worldwide were reluctant to update from the discontinued Win XP to the newer Windows versions. Despite its convenience in many aspects, there are too many risks associated with running the outdated OS.

Windows 7, 8 and 10 can be set up to receive automatic updates and security patches from Microsoft. On the contrary, if uncontrolled updates are not in line with your company policy, your admins can control the updates.

Windows tablets, medical and enterprise class, allow remote administration, including the updates and fixes. Your admins can push OS and software updates remotely, overseeing the process for the entire fleet of your devices. This eliminates the pressure on the not-so-technically-savvy end users working with these devices.

Remote administration is an essential part of cybersecurity. Your admins can sandbox applications, disable apps store, webcam, microphone, or access to public Wi-Fi. They can black- and whitelist applications and connections.

Only Windows OS allows for such flexibility and advanced control over corporate devices, so business tablets and medical grade tablets powered by Windows offer the high-end security capabilities.

2. Secure Authentication

Advanced authentication is possible when software and hardware capabilities work together to ensure only authorized personnel can access the contents of the device.

BYOD does not provide the level of sophistication, ease of use and flexibility necessary to protect your corporate and customer data from unauthorized access.

Business tablets and medical tablets, as much as business all-in-one computers, incorporate the native Windows authentication features with security of RFID SSO, Smart and CAC card reader, biometric scanners and fingerprint readers.

Security must be robust but easy-to-use. When security is too difficult and time-consuming, the employees “forget” to adhere. Advanced authentication is indispensable under the circumstances. It allows you to enforce stringent protection and grant your employees the ease of use.

3. Safe Wi-Fi and Data Encryption

Data encryption is crucial in any cyber security strategy. Windows business tablets and medical tablets come with several USB ports, and support encryption of data on external hard drives. This means your workers can encrypt data on USB dongles and external hard drives directly from the tablet – fast, secure, simple.

Configuring your corporate devices to avoid connecting automatically to insecure public Wi-Fi is equally important. When access to corporate Wi-Fi is impossible, your business tablets will ensure your field workers are online due to advanced connectivity options. Supporting 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, GSM, CDMA, business tablets are not locked to any telecoms provider, so you can set up your payment plans and bandwidth the way you need it – not the way your locked device dictates.

4. User Management, Access Restriction

Restricting access to personal information (of your employees, customers, and partners) is essential to data protection. Employees who have no need to know should have no access to confidential data.

Likewise, administrators must be able to see who accesses what data, when, from where and what they do with it. They must be able to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Windows remote management streamlines user administration – adding, removing users and privileges, setting up accounts and passwords.

Employee Left or Fired Access Not Terminated is a severe problem that often leads to compromise of corporate data. Eliminating ELOFANTs from your networks is another must-do.

Employees with privileged access must be able to use secure connections when outside of the office (VPN, end-to-end encryption, zero-knowledge cloud provider).

Of special note is, again, advanced authentication for employees traveling with corporate devices. Lost or stolen corporate laptops and personal smartphones often lead to data breaches. That is why business tablets come with advanced authentication mechanisms on the hardware and software level enforced by the remote location, lock and wipe capabilities.

5. Data Visibility and Control

According to Veritas and Vanson Bourne, 52% of corporate data is dark data. “Dark” is the data a company knows nothing about. Some of that data is business-critical, and its compromise brings liabilities. Some of it is obsolete, redundant or trivial. It means companies are spending large sums on maintaining cloud and on-premise data storage, 50% of which is clogged with the dark data.

The loss of data visibility is a grave issue:

  • 86% of ITs believe the clog of data increases the time it takes to respond to a cyber attack.
  • The average cost of storing 1PB of data per year is $5 million.
  • You spend 52% of your data storage budget on the data you know nothing about.
  • Worse yet, 41% of that budget goes to storing the data no one in your organization has touched in 3+ years.

BYOD and unregulated use of consumer applications (cloud, email, chat) contribute volumes to the problem. Employees treat corporate storage as personal, uploading terabytes of personal photos, videos, movies, and music files.

With corporate-controlled business tablets, your admins can regulate the storage, uploads, downloads, installations and file sharing, regaining visibility of your data and identifying data that can drive value.

To prevent your IT budget from becoming bloated and ineffective, you must regain visibility of and control over your data. Corporate-owned business tablets let you do that. BYOD does not.

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Best Practices for a Productive Mobile Workforce

Enabling a productive and efficient collaboration is one of the top priorities of today’s IT professionals because it is the productive and successful teamwork that makes a great company. Even though that statement has been true for decades, the technology that helps enable the productive workforce has changed. Mobile technology allows businesses to recruit top talent across oceans now, and empower their on-site workers with devices that afford the superior level of connectivity and productivity on the go.

Know Your Employees’ Needs

The technical field workers aren’t the only employees who need powerful mobile solutions. Many jobs suggest a certain degree of a remote lifestyle. Employees who regularly have meetings with clients, or business trips, telecommuters of all sorts, engineers and sales people, drivers, and even PR and marketing rely on the mobile technology to do more within the work hours. Some of them require the mobility to be able to work late hours that do not coincide with your typical office hours. Yet, they need to be able to connect to corporate systems, have access to the relevant data and communicate with the rest of the team efficiently.

Irrespective of the duties, assignments, location and the time difference, your employees need to be able to collaborate and communicate as if there was no location or time limitation at all.

If you understand the challenges of your mobile workforce, you will be able to choose the adequate mobile solution to ensure their connectivity and flexibility needs are met. We believe Windows business tablets have a wealth of advantages that make your mobile workforce efficient, and here is why.

First, let us outline the most common and urgent feature requests of the workers who rely heavily on mobile devices to do their work.

According to a 2016 survey by ESG Group, employees have a significant impact on the business mobility strategies, and their requests shape the IT solutions organizations deploy. In fact, the IT decision-makers base their choices on the employee requests, as these are key to ensuring the employees can perform their functions properly throughout an extended period. Here are the top employee requests that influence an organization’s mobility strategy:

  • Enhanced collaboration – easy to use collaboration tools for teamwork, email, chat, video conferences, file sharing, document verification and signing capabilities are paramount. They must be secure and consistent throughout the organization. Windows, as no other OS, provides the compatibility with your enterprise applications and the familiarity of the interface. So, your employees do not waste time on sorting out the new UI, location of the settings, apps, and the keyboard layout.
  • Remote access to business applications. All employees need to have a timely and secure connection to company servers and the tools they rely on to do their work. Your field and mobile employees are no exceptions. They should be able to access the latest versions of the files, the CRM, or the cloud storage without their business tablets freezing or lagging. Some need the resources for graphic-intensive applications and video playback. Others need advanced connectivity for those cases when WiFi is unavailable. You need to provide them with the 3G, 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM and CDMA mobile network support that is not tied to a particular provider, and our business tablets come with advanced connectivity options and ample resources for heavy multitasking.
  • Simplified login process. Security must be reliable but easy-to-use. Otherwise, it hampers the productivity, if your employees need to spend a lot of time on security precautions. Integrated RFID Single Sign-On, fingerprint scanner, Smart Card or CAC reader ensure your employees can login fast and securely. It also means no one can access your corporate data if the device is lost, stolen, or left in a public place. No BYOD device affords such level of remote administration and cyber security tools as Windows business tablets with integrated biometric scanner or SSO.
  • Simplified file access and edit. Windows business tablets provide the most fully-fledged document editing capabilities out of all mobile platforms. MS Office combined with your file storage enable the efficient document access and editing features equal to those of your desktop computers.
  • Uptime. Insufficient battery capacity hampers the entire idea of a productive mobile workforce. Your employees need a full-shift uptime and flexible charging options, such as hot-swap batteries, or backup batteries that provide business-class uptime.

On the other end of the line is your IT department that needs to ensure:

  • Ease of use (for the end users) to minimize the volume of support queries. Usability is important to employee satisfaction and productivity. We have seen many well-intended initiatives fail because they lacked the simplicity required by non-technically-savvy users.
  • IT control – security, visibility and control must be top of mind when deploying any mobile initiative. Too often, BYOD and uncontrolled use of consumer applications and cloud storage solutions lead to the loss of data visibility. It means the organizations no longer know what data they have, where it is stored, who can access it, how and if it is protected. This scenario spells doom to companies that need to comply with certain data protection regulations, such as HIPAA in the U.S. healthcare system, or the incoming GDPR for any organization that offers goods or services to the European citizens.

    The IT control also expands to the device visibility, when your IT staff can easily manage data, applications, and devices on your network and beyond it, remotely. You must be able to limit the use of potentially harmful applications and hardware components – it is a business necessity in many sectors. For example, Deutsche Bank banned the use of consumer chat applications, such as WhatsApp or Skype, for any work-related communication. Many companies have banned the notorious Pokemon GO for its privacy-invasive practices that border on surveillance.

  • Compatibility with legacy infrastructure. Introducing new IT solutions into an existing infrastructure that has a heavy footprint of legacy systems always gives rise to an increased complexity – of deployment, troubleshooting, and usability. Windows business tablets fit well into a legacy infrastructure, supporting the older interfaces and affording the luxury of full-size and mini USB ports, and the ability to transfer data to and from USB dongles, and even encrypting it on the go. The ability to customize the ports you need in every business tablet lets you provide the mobile solution that best fits your employees’ needs from the first day of use.
  • Customization. Organizations embrace the technological change and deploy new IT solutions to help their employees be connected, productive and satisfied. Sometimes, the best of intentions fail because a technology does not work as advertised – the end users find it difficult to use, lacking features or coming with a steep learning curve. To avoid that pitfall, make sure your key departments have the time to test the business tablets prior to the acquisition, and the manufacturer is responsive and flexible enough to accommodate your requests in a customized build. Adding (or removing) hardware components, features and software affords you the flexibility that translates into high ROI of your mobile initiative.

Cybernet offers a risk-free demo of our business tablets and wall-mountable touchscreen All-in-One computers, so that you get the performance and features you need. Contact us today to request a free demo unit!