6 ways to be a better project manager

SHARON FLORENTINE | June 10, 2016

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"Project managers wear many hats: facilitators, managers, problem-solvers and even interpreters -- translating business needs into actionable plans for teams and aligning resources. They must work around constraints, map skills and set timeframes to ensure positive outcomes for the business. In a “do more with less,” digital era, project managers are critical to the success of a business, especially in the fast-moving world of IT and software. Project management software firm Workfront recently polled project management (PM) professionals across industries and from various business sizes -- from small businesses to large enterprises -- to glean the best tips and tricks for improving project management skills and experience. Eighty-one professionals weighed in, sharing responses to help PMs improve in five areas: communication; time management and productivity; building community; framework, workflow and project scheduling; leadership and collaboration; and management tools. Here are the best pieces of advice based on those results."

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Proficio is a world-class Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) providing managed detection and response solutions, 24×7 security monitoring and advanced data breach prevention services to organizations globally. Our rapid growth is being fueled by the rise in cloud-based services, the acceptance of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, and the increasing number of cyber security attacks on businesses, hospitals and government.

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The Benefits of Managed Services

Article | July 21, 2021

In today’s world, everyone and everything needs an expert’s work. Every sector and organization thrives to achieve perfection for themselves and their customers. But with the evolving scenario and new technologies emerging, perfection needs outsourcing. On that account, every organization is building its services to provide other organizations with managed services. In simple words, managed services are the need of the hour. They have been around for a pretty long time; however, the benefits of managed services have proved their efficiency in the past few years. Managed services are not limited to IT but provide services from supply management to call centers because of its optimal efficiency and organizational performance. This goes for the IT and non-IT sectors as well. Every organization comprises of an IT department. But what happens when the IT department is involved in solving the technical issues of the organization, rather than focusing on their core work? The business goes haywire resulting in more investment than ROI. In the past few years, every business has realized the importance of managed services. As a result, the managed services market’s global business value, which was valued at US$185.98 billion in 2019 is estimated to reach US$356.24 billion by 2025. And this is the result of the benefits of managed services. What are Managed Services? In the post-Covid era, almost all businesses are relying on their IT infrastructure to keep them going. Technology is the need of the hour to assure the best efficiency and gain maximum profits. But an in-house team to manage all the IT work and the infrastructure from servers to networks costs a lot. This is a huge blow to the resources especially for start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses. This is where managed services come to the rescue. Managed services providers have the expertise and infrastructure to ensure that your network administration runs perfectly well. From data backup to security, they take care of everything required for IT support. The benefits of managed services can highly be availed by start-ups and small to medium scale businesses. Implementing managed services provides them with the latest infrastructure and updated technology at nominal costs. As said earlier, managed services can be outsourcing to any part of the business, but IT managed services play a significant role these days. Thus, we will focus on the benefits of managed services related to IT. Benefits of Managed Services Managed services simplify your IT management. They have abolished the break-fix method and paved the way for regular and consistent service. We would not wait for something to break and then repair it while wasting resources. Managed services assure that there is no break or downtime in your IT system. Whether you have a start-up or a multinational company, the benefits of managed services make sure that you focus on the things that matter the most. Here are the top 5 benefits of managed services for your business. Low Costs Managed services lower the IT costs incredibly. Lots of dollars are spent hiring and training the IT staff, plus the in-house infrastructure costs a fortune. In addition, the maintenance of the equipment and the retention of the staff can create financial issues in the organization. Thus, availing IT managed services will widen your resource base. You can put your resources to use in the right place and avail the best IT support services at nominal costs. Your IT services are streamlined and managed by a single provider. It helps to increase and decrease the services according to your demand and supply in the market. In addition, the monthly or yearly subscription plans will help keep your budget as planned. Minimum or No Downtime It is estimated that network downtime can cost a business almost US$5600 a minute. So, now you can take into account how the benefits of the low cost of managed services help your business. Server failures, machine malfunctioning, electrical disruptions, or unintentional human errors can cause downtime. However, managed services can cut down downtime or even make sure that it does not occur. Their proactive approach to the maintenance of the system through remote monitoring and management ensures business continuity. An Expert’s Approach Technologies to a managed service are like solutions to every problem. Their in-depth knowledge, state-of-art infrastructure, and updated technologies guarantee top-notch services and support. An in-house IT service may or may not be able to find solutions to all the technical hurdles. Plus, their training can be expensive and time-consuming. So instead of wasting resources and trying to hit the target in the dark, it is better to avail specialized services. These services can be used according to your requirements. Thus, the benefits of managed services include expert IT services according to your cost, time, and project requirements. Security & Compliance These reasons to use managed services stand out more prominently than others. For instance, even if your company data is accessed by a third party, then an authenticated service provider will regulate to keep all the information secure. Plus, they update the system on a timely basis to keep it safe from security threats and breaches. A managed service provider ensures that your organization is up to date with the required compliances and audits. This saves you from violating data regulations that you may be unaware of. The trusted service provider conducts regular audits and provides system reports while assuring your system is updated with the current technology. Scalability Along with cost savings, the benefits of managed services include scalability. Scalability saves your resources, time and assures that your employees perform the tasks that they are hired for. When you hire a managed service provider, you can scale the acquired services according to your demands. For example, during holiday seasons, when there is increased demand, you can upscale your services, and at the end of the season, you can revert to the original requirements. Scalable solutions allow you to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions while assuring productivity, system availability, and minimal or no downtime. How to Choose the Right Managed Service Provider? The benefits of managed services are totally worth every penny you spend. But it would help if you were extra careful about choosing the provider. Look systematically at the managed services model of the provider and decide. You need an extremely trustable and recognized managed service partner to manage your services. Consider the below factors while deciding. Pre-defined agreements Ample experience 24X7 customer service Total commitment & flexibility Single point of contact Continuous remote monitoring Expert team If the managed service provider fulfills the above considerations and more, you know you have made the right choice. Have an Open Approach to Managed Services You may have a list of the pros and cons of managed services. But we are confident that the pros outgrow the cons. The demand for managed services has surged in the pandemic as businesses are running efficiently even in remote conditions. All thanks to these services, you can now easily utilize managed services for seamless, secure connections and maximum ROI. Frequently Asked Questions What is the value of managed services? Managed services are economical for an organization in terms of time and cost if you compare recruitment or involvement of in-house staff and infrastructure. They provide maintenance, regular reports, minimal or no downtime, and expert security for your systems. Do I need IT managed services? Whether you are a start-up, small to medium-sized business, or a multinational company, you need IT managed services. We all know IT services demand expensive training and infrastructure, and if there is downtime, it costs huge losses to the businesses. As a result, availing these services ensures productivity, maximum ROI, and reliable IT operations with minimum investment. How do you explain managed services? Managed services are processes or tasks that are outsourced to a service provider who handles them exclusively. They improve operations, cut expenses and increase the productivity of the organizations. Managed services let you focus on your core business while your other processes are outsourced efficiently and securely. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the value of managed services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Managed services are economical for an organization in terms of time and cost if you compare recruitment or involvement of in-house staff and infrastructure. They provide maintenance, regular reports, minimal or no downtime, and expert security for your systems." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Do I need IT managed services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Whether you are a start-up, small to medium-sized business, or a multinational company, you need IT managed services. We all know IT services demand expensive training and infrastructure, and if there is downtime, it costs huge losses to the businesses. As a result, availing these services ensures productivity, maximum ROI, and reliable IT operations with minimum investment." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you explain managed services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Managed services are processes or tasks that are outsourced to a service provider who handles them exclusively. They improve operations, cut expenses and increase the productivity of the organizations. Managed services let you focus on your core business while your other processes are outsourced efficiently and securely." } }] }

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Artificial intelligence can help some businesses but may not work for others

Article | March 31, 2020

AI should not be applied to every business in the same manner, according to Chris Meyer, professor of practice and the director of undergraduate education at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He details his research on the subject in a new conceptual paper published today in a special issue of the Journal of Service Management on "AI and Machine Learning in Service Management." "AI has the potential to upend our ideas about what tasks are uniquely suited to humans, but poorly implemented or strategically inappropriate service automation can alienate customers, and that will hurt businesses in the long term," Meyer said.

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How Artificial Intelligence Is Influencing the Banking Sector

Article | April 16, 2020

The banking industry has always seemed to be one of the most developed and willing to invest in new technologies. It's no wonder that artificial intelligence has quickly become one of the technical pillars on which the entire modern financial market is built. Not everyone is aware that AI is not only leading analytical solution, but also a way to change the way customers interact with services provided by the financial industry. Let's take a closer look at this extraordinary relationship, its impact on the way we use banks, and on issues such as fraud detection and compliance regulations.

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These Mindblowing Theories About Human Consciousness Will Change How You Look At The World

Article | October 21, 2020

Consciousness—it’s one of the biggest questions out there. One thing that people today have in common with those from the earliest ages is questioning consciousness and our own existence. It’s taken different forms through the years, but the questions are largely similar at their core and the answers are still at large after all this time. The good news is that while we don’t have the answers yet, or even a timetable for when we might get those answers, we know more now than we have at any other point in human history. It’s easier to share information than it ever was in the past, and in this era, even an average person can study the big questions about life without the requirement of a formal education or access to a university. But in this age where it’s easier to ask questions, what kind of answers are we actually being led towards? We could be in a simulation—but not in the way you think One of the more modern theories on consciousness proposes that we might be living in a simulation. And modern really is the right word to describe this one, because it would have been an unthinkable idea even 20 years ago. However, as computing has grown stronger and stronger over the years, a key question was raised by these advancements: Is it possible that somewhere, computers are already powerful enough to run an entire universe? And if that’s the case, are we living in one of these simulations? While this sounds outlandish, it’s certainly a theory that has at least some support. That includes support from Elon Musk, who says we probably are living in a simulation. Don’t think, however, that we’re living in some version of the Sims catered to an alien audience. Games might be the first thing that comes to mind for us when simulations are brought up, but a more serious answer is quite a bit different from that idea. Rather than a game, such a simulation may be for, to put it simply, historical purposes. That is to say, instead of some advanced alien civilization running their own simulated universe, it may be advanced humans from the future simulating the lives of their ancestors. But this simulation of the past would be real enough that for the simulated person on the other side, everything feels real and there’s no way to tell that it is a simulation. This isn’t just an idea from science fiction, as much as it might sound like one. It was proposed by Nick Bostrom, an Oxford professor. There’s a lot of possible reasons why a future society might want to run a simulation in this way, ranging from studying history to preserving the records of the past. If you don’t think this would be possible from a technical perspective, just consider the jump in quality between early computers and the computers of today. Computing has already improved exponentially within our lifetime. In the very far future, this growth may have continued to heights that would have been unimaginable previously, just like computers today would have been unimaginable to someone used to the first computers. Quantum mechanics could be part of the explanation We don’t know much about how the brain works. While there’s been a lot of scientific progress since the questions around the nature of consciousness were first raised, there’s still a long way to go in figuring out just what makes the brain tick so to speak. Quantum mechanics, however, is good at explaining these kinds of things that don’t operate along the regular laws of physics. It’s hard to explain exactly how quantum mechanics work also, but we do know a bit more about them than we know about the brain. Essentially, if you break things down to a small enough level, they begin to respond differently. Some of the laws and theories that would have dictated their behavior previously begin to behave more loosely. Take a toothpick for example. You can move it around or drop it or throw it and it follows the same laws of physics. And if you snapped it in half, those halves would also follow the same rules. However, if you kept doing this until you reached a certain tiny, microscopic level, things would get weird. But just saying that the brain might work on quantum mechanics doesn’t actually explain much. After all, that statement says nothing about what these mechanics may actually do, and more importantly, what that means for us. Fortunately, though, more detailed theories on the subject do exist. It’s been said that quantum mechanics could explain these different quantum laws working with our brain to create consciousness from a “fourth dimension” around us. Quantum laws may also dictate that particles behave differently depending on if they’re being observed or not. Of course, the definitions are complex. Observation is a general term that doesn’t literally mean looking at something in the context that the word would come up in a regular conversation. But at least in theory, it’s possible that much of how we experience the world has to do with our brain observing and interacting with particles around us at the quantum level. These observations may be a basic building block behind everything—a source code, so to speak, for the universe at large. Universal consciousness remains a theory Universal consciousness might be the oldest theory on this list. It predates the more modern ideas mentioned with quantum mechanics and the simulation theory, but there’s enough anecdotal evidence surrounding the subject to at least consider it. It’s not complicated such as quantum mechanics. On the other hand, it’s probably the easiest theory to understand between the three. It’s the idea that essentially we come from the same place, or that consciousness itself is an extension of the universe. This belief has been seen in religions from differing times and places, with Buddhism notably claiming that consciousness is around us everywhere. It’s not just Buddhism that has reflected these ideas, however. There’s many anecdotal stories over the years of people who have been close to death or have medically died and believed that during these experiences, they’ve become one with the universe or something else along those lines. Of course, these stories won’t hold up in the opinion of the scientific community and it’s obviously hard to study this kind of phenomenon in a meaningful way. But to consider a subject like consciousness, something that we don’t understand, entirely using the same scientific methods used for other things may be a mistake. After all, the concept of the universal mind has been around since at least 480 B.C., when it was introduced by Anaxagoras, a philosopher from before the time of Socrates. While this much time passed doesn’t necessarily mean the theory is true, a lot of people have put their belief behind it between that time period and now. Optimism about the future Earlier in this article, we mentioned Elon Musk’s belief that humanity is living in a simulation. It’s not the only time Musk has spoken about things that would be considered outlandish by a lot of people. He’s spoken of other things that might as well sound like something out of a science fiction novel, such as the threat of artificial intelligence. When Musk did speak about AI, however, he had a notable quote that didn’t have to do directly with that specific subject matter at all. Rather, it was a general outlook on philosophy and life. “You kind of have to be optimistic about the future. There’s no point in being pessimistic,” Musk said. “I’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.” It’s philosophical advice worth keeping in mind. The fact of the matter is, we don’t have the answers. There’s various places to draw the answers from, whether it’s conventional theories or these newer modern ones about simulations and quantum physics, or even religions which have been around for hundreds or thousands of years. Whatever you do believe about the mind, or even if you don’t believe anything at all and you’re just waiting to see what answers scientists come up with in the future, keep your head up. When the answers aren’t around yet and all of them could be wrong, you can only keep a positive outlook on things and hold a hope that your preferred theory is one with truth behind it.

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Proficio

Proficio is a world-class Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) providing managed detection and response solutions, 24×7 security monitoring and advanced data breach prevention services to organizations globally. Our rapid growth is being fueled by the rise in cloud-based services, the acceptance of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, and the increasing number of cyber security attacks on businesses, hospitals and government.

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