Cloud computing is simply utilizing services on the Internet to conduct business such as document file sharing, contact management, and other Internet-based programs. All working documents and relevant information is stored securely online (in the “cloud”) rather than living physically on your local computer hard drive.
Cloud computing has become a big trend in business. Here are five reasons to take it seriously:
The main advantage of cloud computing is mobility. Using a web-based service means that your documents are available wherever you have Internet access, making it easy to work from home. You can also take advantage of many central information sites to collaborate with colleagues and clients.
Cloud-based services are also updated immediately. Programmers work behind the scenes to make small fixes and enhance functionality, meaning you don't have to wait for a new version release. With your program in the cloud, you eliminate the need for downloading versions, upgrades and other fixes directly to your personal computer.
Another attractive element of cloud computing is the cost. Traditional boxed software ...
Social Security taxes officially went up on New Year's Day as the withholding rate returned to 6.2 percent for employees. This action officially ends the 2 percent payroll tax holiday in effect for 2011 and 2012.
Social Security tax, along with Medicare tax, is a mandatory contribution under the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA). Employers deduct fixed amounts from employee's paychecks to fund Social Security and Medicare, and traditionally match the amounts deducted.
However, for the past two years, employers contributed 6.2 percent to Social Security while employees contributed 4.2 percent. The Medicare tax remained at 1.45 percent. The payroll tax holiday was a temporary measure designed to stimulate the economy, but was allowed to expire for 2013.
The IRS advises that employers start using the 6.2 percent rate for employee withholding as soon as possible and no later than Feb. 15, 2013. Employers should make any adjustments to correct under-withholding no later than March 31, 2013 (the end of the first quarter). For more information on withholding, refer to Notice 1036 from the Internal Revenue Service.
This article was provided by Patriot ...
Big Data has become the latest buzzword to hit the HR world. Experts say it’s going to revolutionize business. But what is big data? Can it really change the way human resources works? What can you expect from it? Are there risks?
What Big Data Is, and Why It’s Invading HR
In short, big data is any type of analytical software program that can track and analyze small actions on a large scale. At such scales, conventional statistical programs do not have the computing power to draw valuable conclusions in short time scales. For HR, big data represents the decline of spreadsheets and classical databases, and a renewed emphasis on the value of minute changes at an individual level.
Big data: Hard to process with classic methods. Flickr/Kent Bye
Whereas old data systems could identify obvious trends—perhaps that engaged employees are more productive—big data is better able to make specific recommendations—like how long a lunch break should be in order to maximize positive recognition.
There’s now more data available to employers than ever before. Big data can make it easier to sort through everything from salary trends to ...
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Alsbridge
Cloud computing is the all the rage these days, but many companies are still having a tough time making the transition. The major stumbling block is not the technology—which is proven—but the "So what?" So, you have the cloud capability. What is it going to do for you beyond deliver lower costs? This challenge has created a significant opportunity in the marketplace for advisory firms that can guide companies through the change management, operational alignment, and business case validation required to produce positive business and financial results.
No advisory firm has filled the niche for transformation advice more aggressively and successfully than Alsbridge, the fast-growing Dallas-based global consulting firm that provides data-driven sourcing advisory and benchmarking services for IT, Finance and Sourcing executives worldwide. Alsbridge's core competency is helping companies reduce costs and get more value from their vendors by leveraging proprietary tools and information databases to identify and engage the optimal vendors for each client, negotiate best practice terms at fair ...
In the cult-hit movie, Caddyshack, Chevy Chase advises his caddy to "Be the ball, be the ball." (Driving it while blindfolded, so he can have a truly Zen-like ball moment.)
Great advice for making presentations, too. Be the audience, be the audience ...not you. Be that butt in the chair that experiences your presentation. In her terrific HBR blog post, Disarm Your Audience, presentation-guru Nancy Duarte covers three types of audience resistance which come with most every butt in the chair: • Logical Resistance • Emotional Resistance • Practical Resistance Which are the same things as, and why I advice everyone to organize all presentations around... Know, Feel, Do
• Know: Be the audience... What's the one thing that your audience most wants to (or needs to) understand, grasp or have an Aha about. Addressing this takes true mastery — this can't be the one thing YOU want them to understand. It has to be from THEIR perspective, not yours. As Duarte says, in order to overcome resistance, when preparing, try to make the argument against your key points...Somewhere in there is their perspective.
A relationship that was very important to me just fell apart. Yes, deep sadness. Yes, big hurt. Yes, of course, I own at least 50% of whatever caused it to end.
But this post isn't really about that. It's about a choice I made, and kept making, and wouldn't change. Even now. I chose to be vulnerable. To trust even when that left me open to be hurt more than the other person. To always create new ways to resolve things without covering my back or attacking.* To always Do the Right Thing, regardless of the consequences to me. To make each and every decision according to a set of values, without regard for whether or not that would be successful or not.*
To invest more than I got back. To sacrifice my needs for the needs of others.*
And I'd do all that again in a heartbeat.
Why? Because more important than the pain and hurt right now, is how I feel I gotta live my life.
As I write this, a killer storm is heading our way. Hurricane Sally. Which makes me realize, for me at least: there's a difference between storms 'out there' and storms that happen within relationships. It would be foolish to intentionally leave oneself ...
Subtitle... From GeekSpeak to Daily To Do's In this excellent post for Sayville University, Jorge Taborga walks us through a map for meaning-making and happiness. Excellent, but still just a tad geeky. Taborga explains the four quadrants from a Lips-Wiersma doctoral dissertation. 1) Developing the inner self, 2) unity with others, 3) expressing full potential, and 4) service to others. According to the research, people reaching fulfillment in each of the four quadrants lived happy and fulfilling lives, finding meaning in most everything they did. Let's de-geek that... 1. Developing your inner self. Lao Tzu once said, "He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened" which means... Stop searching for meaning for something from "out there" or from "them." Making sense of things and having them mean things to you begins with you knowing who you are! Doris Mortman once said, "Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have" which means... Most of whatever meaning and clarity you're searching for is inside of you...your values, your way of seeing the world. Stop looking for others to create meaning for ...
The Real-Time Imperative
The business environment is no longer a closed, easily controllable ecosystem. For the first time in history, we have four generations in the workplace at the same time. Many of these workers make a habit of publicly sharing personal information in ways that have never previously been possible. And most employees are connected to friends, family, co-workers, and the world, 24 hours a day
Creating a high-performance culture amid such complexity and connectivity requires new tools and new approaches that work in harmony with this new fluid environment. Not only will compliance, control and enforcement fail to produce the exceptional culture you need to remain competitive, they simply don’t work in today’s workplaces.
Don't waste time! The real-time imperative demands that you act on what you learn from feedback as quickly as possible. Photo by Ben Dodson.
This is what we call the Real-Time Imperative.
Competing in Real-Time
Change is happening now, not later: If things are not going well in your organization, your employees are searching for the next opportunity as you read this article; When your company makes a mistake with ...
Big Data — analytics — is one of the foundations of all successful businesses. Yes, great people and great products and great ways of treating customers are at the core of that foundation. But analytics (if used wisely and appropriately) help us understand and connect the dots between those things.
Most business people do not know how to look at data. Most everyone around every table when data are discussed have an agenda, and they're there to push their agenda using their data set. All that does is create "I'm right, you're wrong" tensions. A power struggle. Here is a three-step process I've used successfully for a couple decades with thousands of executives in hundreds of companies...
1. Be Switzerland. (Be neutral). Do NOT stake out a "right" position. Set up a conversation that's about the gaps and connections between the data sets. (See 2 and 3)
2. Triangulate. (This is the same way geologists examine earthquakes... Looking at it from three different perspectives uncovers the epicenter of the quake). Pick three different data sets (if you're good, you can use more or less than three) that tell three different stories. e.g., 1. ...
(Subtitle: And Why We Must Understand What Disgusts Us)
I found a lot of Ryan Holiday's Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator disgusting, reprehensible, and a scathing report on the sorry state of communication today. And yet, we should all be following some of his advice. Here's why...
Holiday's main point is that today's liars and manipulators are taking us back to the past when yellow journalism ran rampant, when the arts of scandal-mongering and sensationalism were perfected.
The 21st century version of that began with bloggers, and now even the lamestream media, following these tactics. It's all about how many click-throughs they can suck out of us. • Headlines matter (See above for how I wrote mine to adhere to the remaining rules) • Truth and integrity in headlines do not matter (when it comes to capturing eyeballs and monetized click-throughs) • Headlines that titillate, provoke, piss off, and offend matter • The blogosphere has us by the family jewels, but it's our own fault — they're just monetizing human nature, ...
Among Trust Me's rules for communication: