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Cut IT Spending in Tough Times? Not so fast.

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by under Company News, Hardware | No Comments

Information Technology SpendingInformation technology spending has always been an easy target for CFOs when budget-crunching time comes around. Delaying projects or doing without the latest technology can offer significant savings. But what will cutting IT Spending do to your business?

In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, the companies that are thriving are the ones that are truly technology-driven. Investments in technology boost productivity and profits. Falling behind in use of technology has been the final tipping point for many failed companies.

While this could certainly be considered a self-serving position, that doesn’t mean it’s without value. What brought this topic to mind was an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, called “Cut Those Costs! (But Not Tech).”

The article lays out the new landscape that companies are presented with; how to cut costs without losing your competitive edge and hurting the business. One example given is an Engineering firm in Colorado, CH2M Hill. From the article:

 The Englewood, Colo., engineering firm is cutting back on expenses like corporate events and bonuses for employees, yet it plans to boost its $100 million-a-year information-technology budget by as much as 20% this year. In part, the money will go to fund new systems that will make it easier for workers to use a variety of mobile devices on the job.

“We’re very concerned about the economy and trying to take some measures to cut costs,” says Mike Lucki, CH2M’s chief financial officer. “But this is an investment that we need to make to stay competitive. If you don’t do it, you’re not in the game.”

Mr. Lucki is not alone. A recent survey by Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business found that CFO’s are planning to increase IT spending on average by 10% in 2012. Compare this to 2008, when plans were to hold even or decrease spending. Needless to say, the tech explosion has opened more than a few eyes of financial decision-makers who were once quick to make technology their sacrificial lamb.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy or fool-proof. Increasing IT spending in tough times requires careful planning and even more careful evaluation of specific technologies and the potential returns to the business. But if you’re not thinking this way now, as Mr. Lucki says in the article, you’ll never make it to your 2015 plan. I recommend you read the whole article (link above). It’s a worthwhile 5 minutes out of your day.

Creating Private Folders in Microsoft Windows XP

Posted on: December 5th, 2010 by under Company News, Microsoft, Operating Systems | No Comments

Creating private folders in Microsoft Windows XP is a simple, if somewhat limited process. Here is a quick how-to on how to accomplish this.

There are two possible scenarios.

1) You want to make some folders accessible only when you are logged on with your user account.

2) You want to make some folders inaccessible to anyone without a password, including administrator.

Scenario 1:
•Open My Computer
•Double-click the drive where Windows is installed (usually drive (C:), unless you have more than one drive on your computer).
•If the contents of the drive are hidden, under System Tasks, click Show the contents of this drive.
•Double-click the Documents and Settings folder.
•Double-click your user folder.
•Right-click any folder in your user profile, and then click Properties.
•On the Sharing tab, select the Make this folder private so that only I have access to it check box.


•This option is only available for folders included in your user profile. Folders in your user profile include My Documents and its subfolders, Desktop, Start Menu, Cookies, and Favorites. If you do not make these folders private, they are available to everyone who uses your computer.
•When you make a folder private, all of its subfolders are private as well. For example, when you make My Documents private, you also make My Music and My Pictures private. When you share a folder, you also share all of its subfolders unless you make them private.
•You cannot make your folders private if your drive is not formatted as NTFS. For information about converting your drive to NTFS, check here.

Scenario 2:

My Private Folder is a free Microsoft utility that can be used to password protect one folder per user (profile) applying encryption without resorting to full fledged EFS Windows Encrypting File System.

My Private Folder can be downloaded here, and the install is straightforward. The utility places a shortcut to the password protected folder in C:\Documents and Settings\ on your desktop.

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