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Rebuilding America's Infrastructure Would Ignite Small Business Growth

May 21, 2019


Seizing this bipartisan opportunity could have a profound impact on America’s small businesses.

It’s no secret that infrastructure in the United States is lagging behind. The latest report card published by the American Society of Civil Engineers gives our country’s infrastructure a D+ rating, and 1 out of every 5 miles of highway pavement is now in poor condition. But you don’t have to be an engineer to realize our infrastructure needs attention.

Americans now spend about 42 hours – nearly two full days – stuck in traffic every year, and our crumbling infrastructure costs the average family about $3,400 in disposable income annually, according to analysis by ASCE. From pothole-pocketed roads and collapsed bridges to limited cell service and poor broadband access, every American can see that this is a problem in dire need of a solution.

Less discussed but no less important is how America’s deteriorating infrastructure is stalling small business growth and crippling our economy.

Small business owners’ concerns about infrastructure

Through interviews with 1,000 small business owners last quarter, the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index shed light on the impact infrastructure has on small business operations. Most business owners say that high-speed internet (64%), local roads and bridges (57%), and cell networks (55%) are very important to the success of their companies.

The problem is, 62% rate the quality of local roads and bridges as average, poor or very poor. Forty-three percent said the same about the quality of the high-speed internet in their area, while 41% reported that cell service is average, poor or very poor.

Overall, about half of small business business owners worry that U.S. infrastructure is not keeping pace with technological advancement in other nations, according to the index.

When asked where to focus improvements, 85% of …

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Rethink Corporate Social Responsibility and Turn Social Good Into a Business KPI

May 15, 2019


They have generally shown earnest efforts to reduce their carbon footprints, improve equality in the workplace, and extend the sustainability of their resources.

That’s no longer enough though. In a world of ever-widening social, economic, and environmental gaps, corporations must step up and take on much bigger roles to make a more meaningful impact on society. Whether it’s tackling poverty, hunger, discrimination, education, healthcare, climate change, or sustainability, corporations can and should do exponentially more to improve these global conditions while still maintaining their competitiveness. Our future depends on it.

A perfect storm for more dramatic change is brewing. In a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey, 73% of respondents stated that they expected a company they worked for to “take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates.” 

From research and personal experience, I know that employees, customers, and partners all want to work for and with organizations that share altruistic values to do more social good. And millennials, in particular, an increasingly larger percentage of the workforce, want to work for organizations that make a positive difference in their communities.

Unfortunately, while employees, activist investors and increasingly customers are driving large corporations in this direction, it is still hard to find Fortune 1000 companies (Dannon is a notable exception) among the 2,500 B-Corporations that balance purpose and profit. Moreover, we still see very few CEOs even mention social issues in their regular communications, and even fewer are integrating societal goals into their primary corporate strategies.

It’s clear the time for a dramatic change is now. But how? I think the answer is to begin incorporating quantitative business metrics into CSR programs, whether it’s key performance indicators (KPIs), executive incentives, or positive outcomes from technology and innovation programs. …

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The Connected Intelligence of NOW and How It Can Help Your Company's Efficiency

May 8, 2019


 

Today, organizations are shifting strategies to simplify their meeting experience, expedite the meeting experience, and dramatically reduce the friction caused by outdated systems. It’s all about the New Optimised Workforce (NOW).

Intelligent interaction

The culture of NOW is having access in an instant to services that remove the barriers to effective communications delivering a seamless experience for the workforce to operate more efficiently. The benefits of collaborative meeting solutions are enormous including, the reduction of unnecessary IT or technical costs, simplifying the infrastructure, the elimination of futile travel, improving the architectural security posture, and much more.

New communication solutions are constantly being introduced into the market. According to global consulting firm Deloitte in their Global Human Capital Trends Report 2018, “The hyper-connected nature of the workplace means that interactions between and among workers and the outside world can be a tremendous source for analysis if managed appropriately.” In addition, “70% of respondents believe workers will spend more time on collaboration platforms in the future, 67% see growth in ‘work-based social media’ and 62% predict an increase in instant messaging.”

In fact, this is also supported by findings from the StarLeaf cloud data intelligence, where the growth in global cloud-based point-to-point video conferencing usage has increased by 880% (October 2014 compared to October 2018). This data intelligence is vital to assessing the usage and productivity of solutions to show the return on investment. The knowledge enables enterprises to understand video meetings trends and how they are helping employees collaborate more efficiently. With increasing pressures to meet tight deadlines, the need for people to swiftly reach out to field-based teams and cater to a growing remote workforce is becoming more prevalent.

Transformative enterprises are now seeking intelligent meeting solutions to support these four critical initiatives:

  • Intelligent debate: Smarter systems provide both
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20 Top Career Paths for the Tech Geeks

May 1, 2019


Are you looking for an attractive career opportunity to pursue? Keep on reading and find out some of the best career paths that will work best for you.

1. Data scientist

By being a data scientist, you will need to understand the algorithms behind data science, engineer data sets and communicate solutions that are tailor-fitted to the specific needs of the client. You can work with big brands and you can also choose to pursue a freelance career if you are seeking freedom. To start with, check out MastersinDataScience.org’s Data Scientist Guide and learn how the latter can help you build your knowledge and skills to be able to pursue an opportunity in data science.

2. Computer systems analyst

In this modern age of business, companies rely on the use of computers. Therefore, they will need an expert with the main responsibility of evaluating and improving the computer systems in an organization, making sure that it is fool-proof. According to Forbes, the median salary is $78,000 and the demand for this position is expected to grow as much as 22% from 2010 to 2020.

3. Software developer

When we talk about jobs for tech whizzes, being a software developer is one of the first things that come into mind. If you are good at programming and creating software solutions that will meet the needs of an organization, you are in for a treat. Some of the specific job roles include coding and testing new software, troubleshooting existing software, and collaborating with the stakeholders to develop the right software.

4. Mobile application developer

In an age when people are always on their smartphones, there is a huge demand for a mobile application developer. Basically, you will need to develop a mobile app that satisfies the needs of a business. You …

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Top 9 Industries For Virtual Reality

April 24, 2019


Virtual reality is likely not what you expect. You probably associate it with gaming, entertainment ads in malls, or movies like Ready Player One. But today virtual reality has been adjusted to serve various industries that seek new innovative ways to achieve success. Although there are many ways and spheres to apply this technology, some fields can benefit highly. 

1. Retail

VR technology is an excellent tool to increase profit and attract customers in retail. People have shown their appreciation of e-commerce service and are eager to go further. 70% of customers admitted they are strongly interested in virtual shopping.

Virtual reality experience provides customers with a completely new level of service from an ability to try on clothes while at home to decorating a room that is not even built yet. Variety of solutions makes it a highly applicable and adjustable tool. Big companies like IKEA, eBay or Topshop have already put VR into practice, each of them in their unique way. While IKEA suggests their customers a tour to a virtual kitchen of their dreams, eBay has built an interactive personalized catalog for easy shopping.

2. Health care

We all hope one day there will be no diseases and the world will be a perfectly healthy place. But until then we should keep developing the health care industry and the latest technology is what can help. Virtual reality is among them.

VR in healthcare can be useful for both patients and doctors. People receive therapy with VR applications to fight fears and phobias. There already exist solutions aimed to educate and share experience: virtual surgeries, emergency training, VR anatomy applications. There was even a live stream of an operation – that’s how far it went.

But this is only the beginning. We have just started discovering the full …

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