Information Architecture Is The Latest Opportunity in IT

Information architecture is a relatively new term, coined in the 1970’s by Richard Saul Wurman. It encompasses the organizing and structuring of information systems. It may seem like something of an esoteric idea, and in fact there is much debate as to the actual definition of the term as it applies to different sectors of information systems, but it represents a very real opportunity for information technology experts to ply their trade.

In order to understand where the business opportunity comes in when discussing this field, it is necessary to get a better understanding of just what information systems are and how integral they are to a business’s success. Business today is all about information… having information, imparting information and gaining more information to help your business grow. The better you can manage that information, the more successful your business is likely to be.

There are many components to information management, including developing and maintaining computer systems, creating websites, and employing social media to both advertise and keep in contact with current and potential customers. Taking all of these components and forming them into one cohesive package is what information architecture is all about. Think of it in the same way as traditional architecture… taking random ideas and organizing them into one functional design.

Just as an architect produces the blueprint that contractors and designers work from to build the final product, so too does an information architect produce a cohesive information system that a business can use as its foundation. And as a skilled IT professional, you can take that need for an information architect and create a business opportunity for you to step in and provide the guidance that businesses so desperately need.

When you consider information architecture this way, you realize that it’s not just an idea; it’s a very real need for all businesses, large and small. It’s up to you to make sure that business owners understand this as well and begin to see what an asset you could be for them in this capacity. You can help them to consider how important it is to manage their information properly and that includes having the right person to do the job.

Clearly, this can open up a major pathway to business opportunity for IT professionals. Who better to step in and provide the technology management skills so integral to successful business? You can provide information management, development and maintenance as well as the unique ability to organize all information systems into one smoothly functioning whole.

From a flight of fancy to a business reality, information architecture has become the cutting edge of IT and the possibilities are just beginning to be understood. By getting in on this aspect of IT, you can open up all sorts of possibilities for yourself, so you shouldn’t overlook it when you are considering how to present your IT skills. Let businesses know exactly what you have to offer and you can make yourself the architect of their success… and your own!

Renewable Energy Solution – Pros and Cons to Using a Home Wind Power System

Many people are considering alternative energy  solutions  that use renewable energy such as solar and wind energy  systems . Wind power systems are gaining popularity because of the abundance of wind available. But before you decide on installing a windmill for your home’s power consider these following pros and cons.

Pros to Wind Power

1.       Free Energy – Wind power is free after the initial investment of the technology needed to capture it and use it in your home.

2.       Clean for the Environment – Wind energy doesn’t emit any harmful gases in order to provide your home with the energy it needs.

3.       Provides Power to Remote Areas – A wind system can provide power to people who live in a remote area and don’t have access to traditional power.

Cons to Wind Power

1.       Noise – Some people do not like the noise associated with the turning blades of a windmill while it doesn’t both other people.

2.       Could be Damaged in Weather – Windmills can be damaged in severe weather. The most common damage is caused by lighting.

3.       Needs Average Winds of 11 MPH – Wind energy is a great alternative energy solution in areas that have an average wind speed of 11 MPH but are not very effective in area that have lower wind speeds.

So, as you can see, the pros far out way the cons of using a home wind power system if you live in an area with the right amount of wind speed. If you don’t live in an area with the correct amount of wind you may want to consider solar panels as a renewable energy solution for your energy needs.

Don’t Let Your AP Automation Solution Pigeonhole You

The scenario is all too real. A company allocates budget dollars to automate the Procure to Pay (P2P) process, bringing in a solution that seems to handle everything from creating POs and receiving invoices to automating the accounts payable process and submitting the information to the ERP system for payment. But then when it comes down to implementation, it turns out that the solution only automates one piece of the spend. It completes the processing for the indirect spend but doesn’t process POs for direct materials or other supplies. In addition, it can’t handle non-PO based invoices. Instead of truly automating P2P, the solution has pigeonholed the company by only handling a piece of the process. This special report shows you how to avoid being pigeonholed by utilizing an AP automation solution that breaks through the limits so you can process all invoices.

Why Automate in the First Place

Productivity and efficiency are critical factors throughout the AP process. Early-pay discounts are out of reach for most companies due to the inefficiencies of paper-based AP processes. The Aberdeen Group found that the average time to process a single paper invoice is 20 days, and other studies have found even longer cycles to be common. At 20 days, the window for early-pay discounts is closed. Companies that introduce effective automation see dramatic reductions in AP cycle time, and are able to capture significantly more early-pay discounts.

For companies that process thousands of invoices per month, paper-based AP processing strains internal resources and traps AP departments into low productivity processes. In today’s cost constrained environment, low productivity processes are under increasing pressure to improve, and organizations are turning to Accounts Payable automation solutions to drive productivity.

Vendor networks and electronic invoices are often seen as the silver bullet to fix the process. However, it is not enough to focus solely on pressing vendors to deliver electronic invoices. Even in companies that have established an electronic invoicing initiative, one study found that more than half of the companies surveyed still received in excess of 85% of their invoices on paper. The costs and challenges for vendors to go paperless have made vendors resistant and slow to convert. Exclusively relying on an e-invoicing initiative to improve AP processing is one more pigeonhole to avoid. A solution that virtualizes the entire back office can deliver the benefits of electronic invoices even when the majority of vendors are still sending paper.

Even after adopting an electronic invoicing initiative, an AP automation solution can pigeonhole a company if it is not able to handle receipt of electronic data in a wide variety of formats. There are multiple vendor networks with various electronic invoice formats. Each network introduces a cost and operational burden on vendors. The result is that your vendors may resist joining the network you select. A comprehensive AP automation solution must handle a broad range of formats including e-invoicing, EDI 810, and P-card information. Otherwise, you will be pigeonholed into only accepting electronic invoices the AP solution can handle. By virtualizing the back office, a variety of electronic invoice formats can be accepted and presented in a consistent manner to approvers.

The Pigeonhole Problem

Numerous companies believe that when they implement a P2P solution, they will also be able to automate the accounts payable process. Unfortunately, they’ve ended up being pigeonholed with a solution that only delivers part of the process. The solution automates the payment of invoices that include POs, but it fails to process non-PO based invoices. By focusing on P2P strategies, companies limit themselves to only a portion of the process. An example of this is a hotel company that issues POs for its indirect spend. It implements a P2P solution that automates the processing of PO-based invoices and the assumption is that it will address all of the AP challenges. The problem is that there are still invoices coming in for food and beverages as well as for direct materials. These invoices don’t have POs associated with them, which means that the company is pigeonholed because it is only automating the indirect spend.

A company can also be pigeonholed by selecting a solution that is not ERP and procurement system neutral. Systems that are tightly coupled to a specific ERP reduce flexibility. Companies change their ERP systems. They may be acquiring or merging with other businesses that have different ERP systems. An AP automation solution needs to be flexible enough to handle information from various ERP systems and not create a roadblock to progress.

EMR Solutions at Your Service

In today’s ever-changing medical field, EMR systems are essential in establishing and maintaining an optimum level of performance for your clients, staff, and practice as a whole. The newest EMR systems allow you to stay ahead of the game and give your clients the attention and trust they need to be confident in you. How will the latest EMR systems help organize, file, and keep up with all your patients? Here’s how:

PATIENTS

Your patients are your #1 concern and should be treated as such. When they feel like they’re your first priority, they’ll put their trust in you and keep coming back to you. To do this, you need to be able to fulfill their patient needs. EMR systems will help you establish and maintain a relationship with the client by:

o Storing and receiving patient charts without hassle

o Easy scheduling and notification of patient appointments

o Storing patient notes: prescriptions, vital signs, labs, etc.

o Using medical billing and charging procedures that are uncomplicated

o Bringing up relevant parts of chart of patient to view

o Securely accessing patient records from any place, at any time, and from any compatible device

All of these functions along with an easy navigation menu will help you access, look up, and chart all the information in one quick, easy-to-do process. More time will be saved and the patient won’t feel as if they are just one of the many patients being treated that day.

STAFF

Not only EMR solutions benefit your clients, but they will also benefit your staff. No longer will your staff need to search through countless files and numbers to find patient records, charts, and other details. This software will enhance and help your staff access, store, and chart information in a smoother fashion. Your staff will be treated with work-to-do lists, desktop alerts and messages, and immediate access to clinical data. Along with maintaining all of these, it also has multi-user read and multi-user write capabilities which mean your staff can view, enter, and edit client information from different workstations without worrying about interfering with each others data.

PRACTICE

EMR systems are also great for solo and group practices. Basic EMR systems will allow you and your staff to scan any paper document and attach those to your patient records and manage dictation tapes and transcribe documents. From this feature, your staff will be able to create, review, edit, and lock patient documents. With fully customizable settings, you’ll arrange data fields that are easy for you and your staff to access. If the basic EMR system doesn’t fulfill your practice needs, you can always get the full-featured system that includes the industry standard HL-7 specification for exchanging data and XML web service connection.

The latest EMR   systems  are your  solution  to more effective customer care and will make life much less complicated for your staff and practice by implementing easy-to-use services.

System Information Software – 7 Ways to Select a System

Choosing a company to get yourself “ system   information  software” to manage your business is confusing these days. Go in for a Google search and there you will come up with thousands of results and that can really baffle you. Try visiting a few of those websites and it is for certain to be more confusing. So what do you do? Follow these simple rules laid down here and you will easily be able to select the company from whom who want to buy your system.

First and fore most avoid those companies advertising too good to be true offers. They would not deliver so you do not need them. And it will also save you from becoming a sitting duck for scams. You do not want that to happen do you?

Target your search; this will bring down your selection option. Name the particular business field in the keyword for your search, and that should take you to the companies having expertise in “ system   information  software” for your particular field of business. This way you will get more targeted options.

Select at least 10 top companies listed for your search and evaluate them. Strike down those companies you do not feel comfortable navigating. That is, if you do not find what you are looking for easily just move away. You are searching for ‘ system   information  software’ to manage your business and if they cannot manage their site properly they are not going to help you manage your business.

Look up their experience they definitely will have some special achievements to show for their experience and that would speak volumes for their expertise. Check out how they are placed now from what they began with. They will know better than you what you want for your business.

Check out the price you will have to pay, if it is not quoted on the site contact them for it. This will definitely help you check whether you will be able to afford them or not. There is no point in hanging out with companies selling beyond your budget however much special features their “ system   information  software” might flout.

Analyze the features of each company s product and verify which of them have the best features to support the management of your business. Some of the features they advertise may not be as useful as they make out to be and you may have different options for them, so the choice should be yours.

Last but not the least rate the customer service of the selected companies. This is the most important factor because you will have to turn to them for their service whenever you have problems. A poorly managed customer service will spell doom to your business because the “ system   information  software” you are likely to buy will play a major role in the successful running of your business. If this particular aspect of their service is not taken care of well, then most often than not you are going to be frustrated with the company for bad customer service. You do not want that for your business do you?

Information System Integration and Management

Information technology has been an important part of improving operational efficiency in the business community for many years. While the types of systems being used hundreds of years ago were very primitive, they laid the groundwork for the highly advanced computer networks that are being used today. Technology has become such an important part of improving profitability and maintaining a competitive advantage that corporate leaders have started paying very high salaries to individuals who understand the technical aspects of computer science and who possess the qualities needed to effectively manage large groups of people in an administrative environment.

In recent years, colleges and universities have developed a specialized degree path that is designed to give students the technical expertise to understand rapidly changing computer hardware and software along with the administrative insight needed to manage people effectively. This new educational track is commonly referred to as Management Information Systems (MIS) Degree. While the MIS Degree is still poorly understood by most people, it represents a very appealing career opportunity for individuals who wish to remain on the forefront of the evolution of commercial operations. Graduates of these programs have discovered that their skills are in very high demand and are capable of commanding salaries that rival traditional careers that require advanced degrees.

The reason that graduates from these programs are in such high demand is related to the fact that there are so many different types of information systems that are used to address specialized needs within individual businesses. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a general term that refers to networks of computer hardware and software that are used to improve the way information flows through a company. These systems are capable of providing feedback to individual business departments so that measures can be taken to improve productivity. They also consolidate data so that corporate executives have the information they need to make informed business decisions.

ERP systems are used in many different operational processes including production, distribution, transaction processing, resource acquisition, supply chain management, inventory control, employee management, accounting, finance, marketing, and many others. Computer networks can be designed as part of a solution for one specific area or can be designed to work with one large system that is intended to replace every aspect of a company’s operational process. Both large and small information systems can be a challenge to implement and often require the specialized knowledge and skills of technology professionals. These individuals understand the unique challenges that come with the system integration process and can ensure that networks are operational within a reasonable period of time.

An additional benefit that comes with hiring MIS Degree graduates is the ability to adequately anticipate problems that might arise as a result of integrating new computerized technology with old operational processes. A thorough integration initiative will include projections on how well the new system will communicate with established systems as well as a detailed evaluation of how employees will react to the new network. There are many other considerations that must be addressed when integrating a new information system and tech savvy administrators will need to be on hand to manage the system both during and after the integration process.

Individuals who feel that they might enjoy the unique challenges that accompany a career as a technology professional are encouraged to explore the opportunities that are available to management information system specialists. This career field is experiencing tremendous amounts of growth due to an increased need for corporate integration of computer networks and is anticipated to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. The new technology needs of both large and small businesses have created many unique and highly profitable career opportunities in both the private employment arena and in the consulting industry.

Decision Support System – Brief Information

The plan of a DSS or Decision Support System is very broad and its meanings differ depending upon the writer’s point of view. A Decision Support System could take a lot of different forms and the term could be utilized in a lot of different ways.

In a more exact way, it could be defined as:

“A flexible, interactive, and adaptable computer based info system, particularly developed for assisting the solution of a non structured management trouble for enhanced decision making. It uses data, gives an easy to utilize interface, and allows for the decision maker’s own opinions.”

Decision Support Systems are computer based assistance for management decision makers who are dealing with semi structured troubles. With admiration to computer term, it could be defined as: “Interactive computer based systems that assist decision makers use models and data to solve unstructured troubles.”

Though, it is not possible to provide an exact definition including the facets of the DSS. However, the term DSS remains an inclusive and useful term for a lot of types of info systems that help decision making. Each time a computerized system isn’t an OLTP or Online Transaction Processing System, somebody will be convinced to call it a Decision Support System. As it could be see that there is no universally accepted meaning of Decision Support System. Additionally, a DSS also is a detailed Software application that aids to study data contained with a database. This move toward to customers is utilized when deciding on customer habits and target markets.

Applications

There are hypothetical possibilities of constructing such systems in some knowledge domain. One of the cases is Clinical DSS for medical analysis. Other examples comprise a bank loan officer checking the credit of an applicant or an engineering company that has bids on a few projects and likes to know if they could be competitive with their expenses.

A perfect example is the CNR or Canadian National Railway system, which examines its equipment frequently using a DSS. A problem encountered by any railroad is defective or worn out rails, which could result in a lot of derailments yearly. Under a DSS, CN managed to lessen the derailment incidences at the same time other firms were experiencing a raise.

DSS has a lot of applications that have been spoken about. Nevertheless, it can be utilized in any field where organization is required. In addition, a DSS could be designed to assist make decisions on stock market, or making a decision on which segment or area to market a product toward. Decision Support System has unlimited possibilities that could be utilized anytime and anywhere, for its decision making needs.

Solutions Based on Information, Then Technology

Many teachers and professors are looking for the magic touch of technology to implement into their classroom experience. They review many software titles, read up on the latest and greatest technology, go to conferences, and in general get very involved and engrossed in researching the products available to them that they could use in their class or school. Some companies will tell them there is a great  solution  to their  information  technology needs, involving complex  systems  and high cost.

Sometimes, contractors or consultants are brought in to suggest a solution, usually suggesting the technology their organization happens to sell. School IT directors read how information technology workers will be the workers of the future, and that without this type of learning, their learners will slip and fall behind technology workers in other parts of the world. As we speak, India intends to pass the U.S. in graduates with higher degrees that can do work at less cost and faster than their American counterparts.

Administrators see these signs and become concerned that they need to implement a similar solution to a peer school or college, in order to keep student numbers or improve grades. But what is the correct solution, the right approach to harnessing technology in the classroom? The correct approach should be geared on information, not technology. A little explanation: What is the purpose of bringing technology into the classroom? Is it to simply say “We use technology day to day in our learning environment”?

Is it to meet a mandate of a particular number of computers or hardware pieces per learner or student? Almost always, these reasons will not suffice for giving a student information technology skills. The reason should be to provide  information  to students and teachers, using the best  information  technology  solution  to meet that goal. Technology is changing very rapidly, but the information it is providing is timeless. Whichever solution is chosen, it should help the learning, not necessarily be the object of the learning. The technology solution should provide the means of learning for students, it should be flexible, and robust, and not interfere with the learning in the classroom.

For the same reason, when choosing a vendor, implementer, consultant, or contractor, they should understand these basic facts also, and be encouraged to work with the school or learning institution to sufficiently meet the goal of enabling a rich learning environment. The best  information  technology  solutions  are the ones that have emphasis on  information , with the technology geared toward providing it.

Why Contract Staffing May Be a Hiring Solution for Your Company

Contract workers may be the staffing solution of choice for your company if you’re not ready to make permanent hiring commitments.

Even though you may have learned to do more with less in your business during economic uncertainty, there comes a point where you’ll eventually have to hire additional workers to improve productivity, promote growth, or just stay ahead of the competition…BUT what if you’re nervous when it comes to moving forward with permanent employees? Contract staffing allows you to put your toes back in the water without making the jump into hiring full force.

Studies, surveys, and reports show that temporary staffing is the hiring option that many employers choose when they decide that they want to “ease” into hiring for reasons that include things such as cutting costs on all employee-related costs, or just plain low confidence levels in the financial arena. Additionally, some businesses use temporary staffing when they need extra help on a special project or when they need to cover an employee’s position during a leave of absence.

How Contract Staffing Benefits Your Business

So, what is it about contract staffing solutions that attract companies like yours–what are the advantages to hiring contract workers?

By using contract staffing solutions, you can bring a high-caliber worker on board quickly to decrease downtime when the goal is to increase productivity as the need arises and turn around and downsize when things slow down. A contract worker can also bring value to your company when it comes to problem-solving by offering a fresh perspective. His varied experiences and background make it easier for him to think out of the box because he doesn’t have the history with your company and its employees that get used to seeing things as status quo.

Your business may also reap other benefits from temporary staffing such as not having to worry about adding to the payroll permanently since the costs are temporary, eliminating unexpected layoff scenarios (contractors know their time is limited), and cutting down on your organization’s obligation to pay benefit, payroll tax, insurance, and other employee-related costs. Temporary staffing solutions also allow your company to find out if a contractor may be a good “permanent fit” for your business if you decide to ultimately keep him or her on board.

How Contract Staffing Benefits Workers

On the flip side, temporary staffing workers can use short-term assignments with your company to sharpen their current skills and keep up with the latest methods and techniques, enjoy flexible schedules, get a change of pace from project to project, meet and network with an almost unlimited pool of high-level talent, and more often than not, command and get higher wages for their expertise since their stay is temporary. Additionally, a contract worker is already strategically positioned in the right place–at the right time–if your company decides to offer a more permanent opportunity.

Contract Staffing: Flexibility in Hiring When You Need It

Contract staffing solutions have a place in the hiring world for companies that are unsure about making hiring commitments until they are ready. A contract workforce can be an advantage for your business because it allows you to obtain a group of talented and flexible staff that can be used when and where you need them most!

2 Top Alternative Market Data Solutions For Cost And Data Management Efficiency

Many companies consider it practical to look for ways to reduce their expenditures especially in the current unsteady economic environment. Market data and software solutions are amongst the targets for costs reduction. Fortunately, innovations have made it easier to find alternative market data solutions that are not only cost efficient but also effective in storing, collecting and distributing real-time data, delayed data and static data from source to networks.

Aside from the “off-the-shelf” solutions that have contributed a lot to cost efficiency, service providers are able to design solutions that can adjust the needs of every organization. Generally, service providers encourage the use of their own historical database together with an establishment’s current data silo structure in the entire process of creating a comprehensive   information   system  that can supply data and analysis to that establishment’s clients and employees.

Below are two alternative market data solutions that can offer cost and data management efficiency:

Real-Time Data Protocol

Companies no longer have to build their own low latency distribution system as service providers already produce a data distribution protocol that has integrated database silo storage facilities and data management systems. There are services that provide a set of software that can efficiently distribute real-time data.

These software tools can support multiple input feed handlers as well as provide several outputs such as Excel spreadsheets, Java applets and web based Comet/AJAX based applications. In addition, they provide a selection of API’s that allow users to customize inputs and outputs.

This group of software tools consists of applications such as charting, news story, data retrieval and data publishing. By connecting the standard database of an establishment to the historical database of a certain service, the establishment is able to retrieve data with ease.

Real-Time Data Sharing and Exchange Using Excel

There are tools that enable Excel users to publish and subscribe to data from the internet, data vendors and even internal sources. This alternative market data solution has provided benefits such as:

  • Sharing or distribution of real-time data among various Excel users.
  • Allows complete authorization and compliance monitoring.
  • It provides a low latency solution that can immediately alter protocols to match the network architecture.
  • It allows the configuration and retrieval of data in an event there is high throughput traffic.

Exiting alternative market data solutions have not only reduced expenditures but also preserved the quality of data management. Innovation has created a solution to help establishments cope with economic instability.