IT Jobs and Careers

With the IT market being so competitive, it can be difficult choosing or looking for the right job description that fits you and your experiences the best. This can be true for you whether you are a looking for an entry level job or are an expert in the field with multiple job experiences under your belt. Because of this we have decided to review some of many IT job positions that exist and the responsibilities they require.

IT Consultant:

An IT consultant works directly alongside clients (individuals and businesses) evaluating and researching solutions for any concern they may have about their own technology systems.

Cloud Architect:

IT professionals with this job title are in charge of monitoring a company’s cloud system and make sure it is organized and being maintained properly in order to prevent any data or security issues.

Software Developer:

These professionals are the creative geniuses behind the development of different applications and programs that help companies complete specific tasks. They can either work on their own or with a team and are in charge of updating and testing codes to ensure they work the way they are meant to.

IT Director:

These professionals are also known as IT managers and IT leaders. IT Directors are in charge of the evaluating the function of the technology used at a business and executing the changes needed to maintain a productive work environment.

System Administrator:

These professionals are also known as sysadmins. Their overall responsibility is to manage, support and troubleshoot servers.  

Tech Skills for 2017

As mentioned in our previous blog, the IT industry can be a competitive one, especially for those who are looking for an entry level job. Because of this, we have decided to share with you some marketable technological skills that could help you land an IT job in this New Year. If you find that you have many of these tech skills already, be sure to advertise them when attending job interviews.

Programming Skills:

Programming skills are a useful skill to have for software and application developments. Many companies that have applications or specific software also hire those with programming skills to help upkeep and maintain it.

Technical Support Skills:

By this we mean having the full knowledge of various software and hardware to be able to help other businesses and individuals with any technological complications. Being able to have such skill could help you sell yourself in many interviews since this type of job is the most in demand.

Analytics Skills:

If you are analytics certified, market it! This is just almost as important of a skill as coding/programming in the IT industry. Being able to know and understand how to analyze certain information is important in helping businesses determine the advantages and weaknesses of each company.

Cloud Computing Skills:

Because many businesses are switching to cloud computing to better save and easily access their data, being able to observe, organize, and maintain cloud services is a significantly useful skill. Many businesses with unique cloud computing services need to have a well organized service in order to be able to do work efficiently and cloud architects can help ensure that it gets done without complications.

There are many other skills not mentioned here that can help you land an IT job. Simply be prepared to know which ones could be the most important for the job you are interviewing for in order to stand out.

New Samsung Update

Samsung has updated their laptops in the Notebook 9 series! There has been a lot of talk about the new updated laptops and how they compare to the other versions, such as its speed and graphics. While doing research, however, we found some interesting details that contradicted each other, such as the lifespan of their batteries. Let’s take a closer look at our research findings.

The updated Notebook 9 will be available in 2 different sizes: 13-in. and 15-in. screen. They have a lightweight design with full HD display, which means better graphics, to convenience professionals who are constantly “on the go.” The update is also meant to be faster than the last version. According to Computer World, it is measured “an improvement of 5 percent to 15 percent in Kaby Lake performance.” The aspect that is unclear, however, is the lifespan of their battery. When you look into the laptop’s description on Samsung’s website, they claim the lifespan to be between 10-12 hours, depending on the laptop’s size, while Computer World claims that the new model has a battery life of 7 hours. Regardless of its lifespan, the battery is said to have a quick charging rate.

Some other laptop features include:

      256 GB storage

      720p webcam

      2 USB 3.0 ports

      1 USB-C port

      HDMI port

      MicroSD port

      1 USB 2.0 port (15-in. laptop only)

The new update also comes with enhanced security features such as pattern login, secret screen and record block to protect all files.

Preparing your Company for Technology Changes

Technology is always changing and advancing. It is safe to say that technological change is inevitable especially with the younger professional generation applying new software programs to help get their work done more efficiently. Because of these constant changes, it is crucial to develop a plan to help your business make a smooth transition into new technology changes.

The first thing you want to make sure you do is developing a plan to communicate the changes with all the staff within the business. Either the head of the business or the head of the IT Department would be the best to deliver the announcements of change.

The next step would be to train your project manager or hire a strong project manager to manage all the outside work while the internal IT works is being completed. They would have to be the point of reference for vendors, internal staff and consultants.

Once the changes have been made or are being processed, it is important to track the progress. The IT department should observe and make sure things are working as they should. You would also have to make sure that everyone fully understands how to use or work with the new advancements. The best way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows how to work with specific devices is to host a session for the staff that will go into details of the function.

If you are going through any specific changes in your company and need more extensive help on transitioning your company into new technology, contact M&H Consultant for guidance!

The Do’s and Don’ts of IT Consulting

With IT Consulting being a competitive market, there are many things IT professionals are willing to be flexible about without realizing the damage it may cause to their reputation. These include: lowering fees, taking on various tasks that aren’t of specialty, and more. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help guide IT professionals towards the right direction.

What you should do:

      Determine what your niche is before recruiting clients. The more specialized your work is, the more you’ll be able to market your unique aspects and land more customers.

      Network with businesses you would wish to consult in the future and other professionals to help build a clientele and reference.

      Before meeting with a client, write out a checklist of potential issues to discuss with them as a starter point and let them know who you will need to communicate and work with in the company.

      Set up a time and fee point up front to settle future conflicts.

      Set up an office space if working from home to help maintain focus.

What you should not do:

      Don’t hesitate to ask for contract status updates.

      Don’t feel uncomfortable raising your fees for future clients.

      Don’t take on whatever tasks regardless of the specialty it may require. This can ruin your reputation if something were to go wrong.

      Most importantly, don’t undervalue your work. Set your fees according to the work it will require.

Microsoft Updates – A Study of Why You Need Professional IT Consultants

This past fall, Microsoft announced cumulative update and reports of installation problems were widespread. Although Windows 10 was a welcome upgrade from Windows 8 when it was first announced, almost a year ago, for many users it was just one big headache after another. In fact, Google search “Windows 10 problems” and potential fixes and you will see hundreds and hundreds of hits. Web pages addressing this issue exist. They explain the problems users have encountered and quick fixes as well as more complex workarounds.

Some of the more common problems that users seem to be having include:

  • Activation Problems
  • Error Messages
  • Rebooting Continuously
  • Trouble with Video, Sound and other drivers
  • Start Menu Not Working
  • Mail Unable to Sync
  • Windows 10 Store Won’t Start

According to Thurrott, The Home for Tech Enthusiasts, the update that is causing the problem, KB3194496, is not installing correctly for users. The update, when it does fail, is causing some machines to restart, often multiple times, as Windows 10 attempts to remove the failed update. Worse, after a restart, the file will attempt to install again resulting in the loop of failed install, reboot, re-install and failure again.

So, what if your technological expertise is limited and you don’t have a clue how to uninstall the issue – in order to reinstall the update? And, worse yet, what if you don’t use the right patch or workaround? This is a prime example of why you need professional help when it comes to these types of software issues. Call M&H Consultants if you have questions, problems or need help with updates and installation.

Business Computer Guide – the Laptop

Shopping for a business laptop? Sounds easy, but if your office debates about the minutia of things like Coke vs Pepsi, Arrow vs the Flash, Desktop vs Laptop and PC vs Mac then you might have a serious decision on your hands.

Desktops offer a great value, especially if you are investing is a large number for your workforce. Laptops, however, allow employees and business leadership to have crucial applications and files at all times: at the office, at home, and on the road. And while, in general, a laptop is still more pricey than a similarly configured desktop, the price gap has narrowed enough that you won’t have to spend a lot more to gain that convenience and motility. It is for that reason that more and more businesses are opting for the accessibility factor of buying a business laptop.

Laptops for Business

If that is where your business has landed, in your quest for new computers, the choice comes down to . . . . which laptop is the best for the type of business you run? This is an entirely different set of considerations before making that purchase. Since a laptop will be used on the fly and for things like presentations and graphics, you will need to take into consideration durability, security and multimedia functions. Here is a list of things to consider before making your business laptop purchase.

  • Choose an Operating System – There are three major laptop operating systems that you may want to choose from: Windows, OS X, and Chrome OS. Windows 10, the latest version of the operating system, comes with a handful of new features that can boost your productivity. However, many consumers prefer OS X, favoring its slick design and integration with Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Chrome OS doesn’t run Mac or Windows software; instead, it relies on internet applications. This decision will likely be one of your more difficult depending upon the applications and services you will need to successfully run your business.
  • Durability – Obviously, a laptop is meant to go from place-to-place and handle movement and potential bumps along the way. Therefore, durability is a huge thing to consider when choosing a laptop. Almost every business-class notebook comes with a shock-mounted hard drive that’s designed to cushion vibration when setting the machine down. A solidly constructed laptop will save you money in the long run.
  • Security – Business laptops may carry sensitive business data including credit card and personal information about clients or employees. For your everyday laptops around the office, most business buyers will be well-served by strong Windows and Web passwords and passphrases. But, for salespeople, managers, and executives who have sensitive client, customer, or employee information on their laptops, layered security consisting of a biometric reader and drive encryption is a must. You may want to consider security items like BitLocker (Windows), fingerprint scanner or a Smart card.
  • Extras – There are many extras that you can swap in and out of laptops that may give you wiggle room when it comes to software that you really need. Upgrading battery components and length of warranties may also be an extra that you are willing to pay for.

Top Tech Trends to Watch for in 2017

People in the tech world are not really known for being trend setters, at least when it comes to fashion or other things in the non-tech world. However, they are tech trend watchers when it comes to what may be launching or coming “down-the-pike” in the future. We like to keep our finger on the pulse of the tech world, so here are just a few of the tech trends we are watching for 2017.

  • Advanced Intelligence – Creating intelligent systems that learn, adapt and potentially act autonomously rather than simply execute predefined instructions is primarily battleground for technology vendors through at least 2020. Systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.
  • Intelligent Apps – Intelligent apps, which include technologies like virtual personal assistants (VPAs), have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier (prioritizing emails) and its users more effective (highlighting important content and interactions). Think about how much we love Siri and Alexa already – just expand it!  
  • Intelligent Things – We have already seen drones take flight, appliance that think and homes that are considered Smart Homes, well now expect to see more of these items in 2017. Gartner anticipates a shift from stand-alone intelligent things to a collaborative intelligent things model.
  • Digital Twin – A digital twin is a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system that relies on sensor data to understand its state, respond to changes, improve operations and add value. (Source: IT Business Edge)

Do you like watching the trends develop?  Follow us on Facebook or check back with our weekly blogs here at M&H Consultants.

Ten Questions you Should Ask Before Hiring an IT Consultant

 

Technology is the backbone of many businesses today. There are a wide array of services and products offered and handled online and via the internet, as well as other devices. It seems that the reliance on IT is growing with each passing day. How would you function if the system “went down?” Would you be able to conduct business if you could not access certain software, files or databases? These are some of the things you should think about when outsourcing to a professional IT Consultant firm like M&H Consultants.

Here are ten important questions to consider when you are looking for an IT Management Company.

 

  • What Exactly is Included in Your Contract? For example, ask what comes with your monthly or annual contract? Does it include emergency calls or are those “extras”? Ask to specify invoices and what is being charged. The last thing you want is extra charges for services you thought were covered.

 

  1. Ask About Response Times. While some technical issues may not be an emergency and can wait for the IT management company to return your call, other times issues may be an emergency. Does the IT company guarantee a response time? Do they have priority calls? A written guaranteed response time should be standard.
  2. How Accessible is the IT Consulting Company? Many issues arise during normal working hours. Unfortunately, many times emergencies or problems occur at night or over the weekends. Is there a 24/7 call help line?  
  3. How Advanced are the Technicians? IT technicians, many times, will have cross training expertise that allows them to service many different types of problems. Ask questions about the level of training for technicians.
  4. How Proactive is the IT Consulting Company? While it is great to have a technician on call and ready to help at all hours, it is also necessary to have a team of IT techs letting you know about the newest software and hardware being released. Ask if there will be technicians looking out for your best interest.
  5. Do they Offer Training for your Employees? Good technicians are trained to have the ‘heart of a teacher’ and will take time to answer your questions and explain everything in simple terms.
  6. How Often and Thoroughly are they Monitoring your System? A remote network monitoring system watches over your network to constantly look for developing problems, security issues and other problems so your IT company can address them BEFORE they turn into bigger problems and network downtime.
  7. Does the IT Consulting Firm Provide Reports and Documentation? For example, all software and applications have licensing and legal documentation. Is this something the consultant will be dealing with? Does the management company keep detailed records of what has been done and plans for the future?
  8. How Many Technicians will Understand your System? Having more than one technician know the ins and outs of your system will help if someone is on vacation or happens to be sick.
  9. Are the Technicians Familiar with (and can they support) your Unique Line of Business Applications? Any computer consultant should own the problems with all of your line of business applications.

The Future of Mobile 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if the tech industry had a crystal ball and was able to see what was coming in the future of our industry? We would be able to see things like new threats such as: spyware, ransomware and malware that threaten our networks. We would be able to see the newest gadgets that are yet to be invented that will save us time and money. . . and some that might help save our world a little. The future is pretty exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.

One area that we can almost predict, or at least see where the trajectory is headed, is the future of the mobile industry as it relates to internet use. According to Zenith’s new Mobile Advertising Forecasts, mobile devices will account for 75 per cent of global internet use next year. The mobile proportion of internet use has increased rapidly, from 40 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in 2016, and Zenith forecasts it to reach 79 percent by 2018.

It is no surprise that mobile use has grown so much and will continue to expand as the penetration of the mobile market has dispersed across Western Europe, Asia and North America. In 2012, just 23 percent of people in our 60 markets had a smartphone, and four per cent had a tablet. Smartphone penetration has now reached 56 percent, and increase of 2.4 times over four years. Zenith forecasts it to rise to 63 percent by 2018. Tablets are more of a luxury item and have not spread nearly so widely: they are owned by 15 percent of people in our 60 markets now, and Zenith expects them to reach 17 percent penetration in 2018.

Due to these major growths in mobile use, marketing and internet use via mobile is expected to overtake desktop advertising in 2017, increasing its share of global internet advertising to 52 percent from 44 percent this year. In 2018, it is expected for mobile advertising to account for 60 percent of all internet advertising.

If your company does not have a mobile plan in place or needs to beef up your current plan, call M&H Consultants to talk about the future of mobile for your company.