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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Could You Soon Have a Four-Day Workweek?

The idea of a four-day workweek has been popular for some time now, to the point where it is actively being tested in practical settings. Let’s discuss how successful this approach has been (spoiler alert: it’s been quite successful indeed).

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Technology Gives You Near-Ubiquitous Access to Employees. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use It

Have you ever gotten a message that just makes your heart sink in your chest? Like, your dread piques the moment you see it? Chances are pretty good that your team members feel that way whenever you send them a particular message, particularly during certain times. Let’s consider why this may be the case, and how you can better manage your communications to more effectively communicate with your team.

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The Haunting of North Shore Software

The following story and events are true, however, to protect the families of the innocent, all names have been changed. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or businesses, is purely coincidental. Enjoy and happy Halloween!

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One Hidden Benefit of Managed IT Services

We hate to be the bad guy, but we’re certain that you cannot multitask nearly as well as you think you can. Multitasking is just not how the human brain works, and whether or not you believe in the psychology of it, we think you stand to benefit by outsourcing some of the tasks on your plate to a managed service provider.

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Protecting Your Data is Easier Through Network Segmentation

As Miguel de Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote, “...is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.” It was wise advice then, and it’s wise advice now—especially when it comes to your business’ network and your data security.

Let’s explore the concept of network segmentation, and how it can help to protect your business.

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What Can Businesses Expect in 2023?

2023 is right around the corner, and if the past few years are any indication, it will be rife with challenges for businesses to overcome. Let’s consider some of these challenges, and what technologies can help minimize or even eliminate them.

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How to Select the Collaboration Tool That’s Right for Your Needs

Nowadays, the better your employees collaborate, the better your offering is going to be. This means getting the collaboration tools needed to make it simple for your staff to work together to create something great is critical. This month, we take a minute to discuss some of the problems businesses have with collaboration and how you can circumvent these challenges. 

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4 Steps to Better Solve Employee Burnout

It doesn’t matter if your workplace is your typical office space or if it is remote. There will always be factors that can contribute to burnout. These struggles are not exclusive to the location of the office, and if left unchecked they can impact work performance, productivity, mental health, and so on. It’s important that you have coping mechanisms and strategies in place to address burnout before it becomes too severe to counter.

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Debunking the Myth of Quiet Quitting (and Why It Might Be Confusing)

Quiet quitting…it’s a buzzword that many might misunderstand that has seen increasing virality on social media. Let’s take a few moments to honestly evaluate what quiet quitting really means, and what it means for your business.

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Emotions Can Run High in the Workplace… Here’s How to Manage Yours

The average person will spend an estimated one-third of their life at work. One third. That’s a lot of time, providing plenty of opportunity to accumulate stress. Over time, these emotions could potentially overwhelm your employees and lead to a breakdown. This is, naturally, harmful to your business, so let’s explore some strategies you can share with your team to help them deal with their workday stresses.

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Hybrid Work Practices are Altering How Office Space is Used

Many businesses, seeking to balance the positives brought by remote work to the value that in-person, face-to-face operations have to offer, have leaned into hybrid work practices. This has led to many reconsidering how their office space is set up. Let’s dive into how these considerations are now shaping the workplace.

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What Today’s Business Leaders Need to Know About IT

Look, I’m not going to pretend that the executive level of any size of business doesn’t already have plenty on its plate. Having said that, it is important that a business’ top dogs are on the same page as its IT team members. Let’s run through the different points that this relationship should focus on for your operational benefit.

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How to Manage Your Remote Team Members

Remote work remains a fundamental approach to workplace operations right now. While this has led to great opportunities, remote work adds a new level of complexity to managing your employees. Let’s go over a few practices that can help make this management simpler and more effective.

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Burnout is a Serious Threat to Your Business’ Cybersecurity

Chances are pretty good that, by this point, you’ve heard of burnout—maybe you’ve even suffered from it before yourself—but, just in case you’re a remarkably lucky human being, it’s the phenomenon where your employees become disengaged to the point where their performance suffers. While this isn’t good in any facet of your business, it can be especially damaging in terms of your security.

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Why Virtual Workstations Might Be a Good Choice for Your Company

When you virtualize a software solution, you are essentially storing it in an online environment where it can live. In other words, it remains in the cloud and is accessed through the Internet. This approach is helpful for many businesses, so why not flip this concept on its head and give hardware virtualization a shot? You might find that virtual workstations, for example, offer many benefits that can help your company be more productive and efficient.

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How to Take Advantage of Zero-Trust in Your Business

Considering what today’s cyberthreat environment looks like, more and more rigorous cybersecurity is strictly needed. One means that businesses have to accomplish this is a cybersecurity practice known as a zero-trust model.

Let’s go over what zero-trust entails, and how to put it in place.

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Is it Worth Pushing for a Return to Office?

Now, you may or may not have already made the transition back to the office, and this really applies more to those who haven’t yet. However, even those who have may find some utility here—specifically, in determining if a push to a full return to office was the right move.

Let’s explore how today’s employees may react to the news that remote work will no longer be an option.

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Why there Always Seems to Be a Tech Boom in Struggling Economies

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. This is clearly demonstrated in the perceptible phenomenon of technology advancement and innovation being boosted in tough economic times. Let’s dive into why this is the case.

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How do Managed Services Stack Up to Break/Fix Services in Price?

Outsourced IT is a great option for the modern small business, and no matter where your shortcomings lie in managing technology, we are confident you can find value in the service. Whether you need a full-fledged IT department or someone to help implement new solutions, we’ve got you covered, and for the right price point, too! Let’s take a look at some of the trends you can expect from managed IT, as well as how they influence the costs compared to those of the traditional break-fix model.

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Tip of the Week: How to Manage People Better by Using Technology

When all is said and done, being a manager is a far different experience than being an employee. So, when you promote one of your team members to this position—or perhaps you’ve recently been promoted to management yourself—it is important that a few practices are incorporated into their new workflow. Let’s go over these practices, and how the right IT can help.

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5 Reasons Why You Need Managed IT

When it comes to your technology, you can never be too careful. It’s critical that you look at your IT infrastructure as an investment, and one that will save you countless hours and considerable sums of money if you take proper care of it. Here are five reasons your business should prioritize proactive IT maintenance over reactive, or break-fix, IT maintenance.

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Is the Four-Day Workweek an Option for Your Business?

The workspace is changing in spades these days, with remote work—once a taboo topic in some offices—being commonplace, along with resignations in the face of a return to the office becoming more of a regular occurrence. Employees want more control over their work schedule so they can balance their personal responsibilities with their professional. A shorter workweek might be the key to making this happen.

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Digital Security Cameras for Business Use

A quality surveillance system can help you keep an eye on your business when you aren’t there—a critical responsibility that warrants some serious deliberation if it is to be approached. With so many considerations to make, it is important to make sure that you are balancing your needs with the systems available to you. 

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As Remote Work Continues, Zero-Trust Security is Paramount

With many people continuing to work remotely to some extent, it would be irresponsible not to acknowledge that remote work can introduce a level of risk to an organization’s cybersecurity. This makes it all the more important that this security is locked down. Let’s discuss the concept behind zero-trust security, and why it is becoming the benchmark that organizations of all sizes should meet.

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Are Employees Leaving Because They Might Have to Go Back to the Office?

The past several years have brought about a shift in the workforce, and it’s not one that anyone could have seen coming. More people than ever before are leaving their jobs. How can you keep your employees engaged so they have a minimal chance of leaving their position within your company?

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How to Ensure Your Business Survives a Disaster

It doesn’t matter where your business is located; whether it’s a tornado that rolls through your city, a structural fire that renders your office uninhabitable, or a freak snowstorm that brings down power lines or grinds travel to a halt, you’ll want to be ready for it all. We’ll go over what kinds of solutions your business can implement to ensure that no disaster, be it natural or artificial, like a cyberattack, puts a stop to your operations.

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How To Design a Workspace with Productivity in Mind

The workplace is, fittingly, a place for work to be done. While there are a lot of factors that can contribute to a person’s day-to-day productivity, having a space that is conducive to accomplishing their work tasks can be seen as essential. Let’s go over how you can design a workspace that does just that:

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Are Your Collaboration Tools Actually Isolating Your Employees?

Many businesses were very suddenly introduced to the capabilities of modern collaboration tools, as… circumstances forced them to either go remote or cease operations for an unknown amount of time. However, while collaboration tools were suddenly a requisite for work, could these tools now be responsible for isolating your team members from one another?

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Smart Businesses Encourage Their Staff to Get Computer Support

This one is for all of the business owners, C-level executives, directors, and office managers throughout Otsego, Delaware, and Chenango county. I think your intentions are pure, but you might be doing something at work each and every day that is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

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With a Managed Service Provider, Every Day is Backup Day

Tomorrow, March 31st, is the official World Backup Day, a day intended to remind us all of the importance of taking backups for the sake of data continuity. While this kind of day can be a valuable reminder of a critical best practice, we contend that your awareness of your backup (and the associated maintenance of it) should not be limited to a single day.

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As a Boss, Can I Monitor My Employees Through Their Webcams?

One of the great obstacles many businesses have to remote work is the fact that, well, the team will be remote—not in the office, safely under supervision. This has led many to consider using the webcams installed in their employees’ devices to keep tabs on them. Let’s explore the idea of monitoring your team, and why it probably isn’t a good one.

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Tip of the Week: Why Your Team is Resistant to IT (or Any) Change

Change, whether you’re referring to that of your technology or any other business process, is often a point of contention between management and the rest of the business. Let’s explore this resistance to change that so many feel, and how you can help them overcome it

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Take a Long Look at Your Cybersecurity

Gauging the effectiveness of your cybersecurity can be a bit of a daunting task, especially when asking if it could make a major difference in protecting your organization’s network infrastructure. If you want to track and measure your business’ cybersecurity preparedness, here are four steps to help you perform an evaluation.

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Calculate and Control Your Carbon Footprint

You’ve probably heard people talk about a business’ carbon footprint. You even might think you have a good idea of what your business’ footprint is. With global climate change evident by the rising temperature of the planet, having an idea of what effect your business’ environmental impact has is not only good for the planet, it can help avoid risk or even save you money. There are a lot of factors that go into determining your carbon footprint and many of them you may not consider. Today, we will go through how to calculate your business’ carbon footprint and what you can do to reduce it.

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Will Businesses Still Have Departments Going Forward?

Sales. HR. Customer Service. IT. Accounting. Management. These different business departments have (for the most part) been categorized and compartmentalized for decades, cooperating to some extent but largely operating independently of one another. The question is, will this remain to be the case, with so many people now working remotely and communicating with their teammates as needed? Let’s try to make a few predictions as to the future of the departments we are all so familiar with.

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After Another Year of Working from Home, How Does Remote Security Look?

Many, many companies have adopted remote work policies and practices since the COVID-19 pandemic forced most to downsize (if not cease outright) on-site operations about two years ago. Now, as we enter 2022, it seems a good time to reexamine the security that we have protecting our businesses and the workers currently operating remotely.

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What We Can Learn from the Facebook Outage

We’re all aware of the outage that Facebook experienced a few weeks before it announced its Meta rebrand, which prevented users around the world from accessing the services that the social media giant provides. While it may not sound like a huge deal that people couldn’t share their thoughts with one another for a short time, the ramifications stretched far beyond the inability to scroll through a Newsfeed.

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Have You Bitten Off More Software Than You Can Chew?

While we certainly have a lot to say about the benefits of the right IT solutions, even we can acknowledge that there is a point of diminishing returns. So, how much technology is too much technology, specifically in terms of the software your team relies on? Let’s explore some of the warning signs.

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A Hard Look at a Four-Day Workweek

When you think about the workweek, there’s a good chance that some iteration of the 40-hour week, broken into 9-to-5 shifts on the weekdays is what comes to mind. It’s just the way things are done. However, this may not be a good thing. Let’s consider the origins of our modern work schedule, and how changing it could provide us all with some serious benefits.

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How to Tell If Your IT Training is Insufficient

While the right IT solutions can be a major benefit to your business and its processes, this will only be the case if your team members are trained to use them correctly. Let’s go over some of the training that you need to prioritize in order to ensure your team is ready to use your technology the way it should be used.

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