How to Improve Your Battery Life

a person holding a smart phone with a battery on it

Everyone has encountered a time where their “phone’s about to die” since the battery is too low. There are several methods to prolong your cell phone battery’s life. This article emphasizes the simple and cost-effective solutions to keep your battery charged for an extended amount of time.

Try to Eliminate the Use of Battery-Draining Applications

Your opened applications can take up a lot of your cell phone battery’s life. The applications with more features take up a lot of power; thus draining the battery faster. For example, YouTube or an Internet browser requires the downloading of videos, links, etc. By reducing the amount of time spent using these apps, you can prolong the device’s battery life. 

Lock Your Device and Close Applications When They Are Not in Use

Not only is locking your cell phone extremely helpful from a security perspective, it can also help extend your cell phone battery’s life. Closing your applications can also help improve battery life, but to an extent. Generally speaking, if you no longer need to use an application, you can close it. Thus, removing it from your cell phone’s RAM (also known as, stopping the app from running in the background) resulting in reduced power consumption from the battery. On the other hand, opening an application takes more power than having an application run in the background for a few minutes to an hour.

Update Your Operating System 

The operating system (OS) manages how the cell phone functions. Thus, the OS is also involved with the device’s battery life. Keeping the operating system updated can normally improve your cell phone battery’s life. It will improve the overall performance of your device as it will utilize the available energy in a more efficient and optimized manner. 

Use Sleep Mode

Most cell phone devices will have an option available where the screen is turned off and the applications running in the background are paused until you actively use your phone again. Using the sleep mode setting can be an effective way to conserve battery life. Sleep mode also serves as some type of security measure because when the screen is turned off, it requires a password to start up again. 

Scale Back on Notifications and Location Services

Depending on the kinds of applications you are using, you can probably turn off notifications and location services to extend your cell phone battery’s life. If you do not need to be alerted by notifications for a particular app, it is best to turn off notifications so as not to drain the battery. Majority of applications ask to use your location in order to use various features. There are various options to choose from but if you allow location access only while using the app, this option will help to prolong your cell phone battery’s life. 

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What is Shadow IT?

a silhouette of a hand reaching out of a foggy window

Shadow IT is the collective term used to classify all information technology applications and infrastructure that is used in the workplace without authorization of the company’s IT department. This includes software, web applications/servers, hardware, and cloud technologies. 

Employees often bring in applications into the company that they believe will help them achieve their tasks or complete their projects better. This is often the case as well. Shadow IT is often managed and utilized by employees to improve productivity and efficiency. This is where the gray area part comes in.

Why is Shadow IT a Gray Area

Shadow IT is considered a gray area because although the intentions and purpose of the shadow IT brought in are to increase productivity, there is also a security risk involved with this.

Allowing foreign and unauthorized shadow IT to interact and manipulate the company’s data is a big security risk. Members of the IT department are tasked with ensuring the security and compliance of the data that is transmitted through shadow IT sources. This makes their job of securing company data much harder and increase the risk of foul-play or information theft.

Some companies are willing to embrace the innovation and increased productivity brought on by these shadow IT technologies, while others frown upon it due to the increased security risks. 

The Solution?

The purpose of the shadow IT introduced to the company are primarily to increase productivity and ease of task management. The increased usage of shadow IT creates what is called a digital sprawl. This term means that there is an increase in incoherent application or software that is being used in the company. For example, employee A uses Application X to make their spreadsheets while employee B uses Application Y to achieve the same task. With an increase in the number of different applications used and the number of employees, the digital sprawl can easily become difficult to manage.

This digital sprawl raises data compliance issues and can potentially cost companies a lot. This also makes it difficult to govern the use of applications as well as maintain consistency in the company at the macro-level. High amounts of digital sprawl can mean lots of wasted time, effort, and resources for a company.

Governance and Leniency

In terms of a solution, the company should task the IT department to find technologies that they are willing to authorize that will also allow employees to effectively perform their duties. Then, governance of employees to use the standard application will increase company coherence across teams and departments in the company. 

If it proves too difficult a task to eliminate all shadow IT sources, then creating a technology filter is the best option. A technology filter is essentially where all employees must pass the technology they desire to use to the IT department. From there IT can either authorize the use of the technology or deny it. Making a limit to the number of unique services in the workplace is also important. This will minimize digital sprawl while also allowing the inventiveness and creativity of new technologies to enter. 

By recognizing shadow IT for the potential benefit, yet inherent risk that it is, it is easier to make the best decision for the company. Finding the right tolerance for shadow IT in the company is crucial for the security of information. For more information about shadow IT or IT in general, contact us.

Exactly How Old is Your Old Server?

a row of servers in a server room

While almost everyone can appreciate the value of a classic car, “classic” servers do not necessarily hold their value, especially when they decide to fail during a typical workday. Although very large businesses might have a spare server to fall back on, small businesses typically do not. To rely upon an old server, perhaps offering up a daily prayer that it will continue to run properly even though it is showing signs of age, is not a good business plan.

Why Servers Matter

When operating smoothly, servers run quietly and efficiently in the background of an organization. Most users don’t think much about or even see the server(s) they use — but they are the invisible workhorse(s) providing crucial functions for organizations. Servers allow employees to have internet access, they serve up corporate data in applications for viewing and updating, they allow employees to collaborate on group projects, along with many other critical tasks that employees must complete in any given workday. When a server functions properly, a business can function as well. If a company should experience server failure during a workday, it stops most, if not all employees from working altogether.

A Comprehensive Plan 

The best way to avoid receiving an unpleasant surprise from an old server is to prevent it from failing in the first place. Servers have become much to valuable for companies to have a “set it and forget it” attitude. Enlisting a managed service provider is the first step in taking a proactive stance to effectively managing vital technology hardware.

Managed service providers can monitor a company’s essential equipment and alert interested parties when they discern that older equipment needs replacement. MSPs also monitor equipment patches, ensuring that all equipment stays up to date in order to avoid the latest vulnerabilities. Professional managed service providers can also create an effective backup and data recovery plan to ensure that an organization’s data always remains protected no matter what.

If you would like to know more about protecting your organization’s hardware and software capabilities, please contact us.