The Importance of Information Technology Training from a Management Perspective

Information technology training for IT managers and systems analysts may seem superfluous – these folks are usually well-learned in their areas of expertise. But, do they understand how a company’s technology fits into the bigger picture from a business perspective? That’s where management training becomes important. Every manager who plays a role in researching, selecting or implementing enterprise technology needs to have a firm grasp on the basics of emerging technologies, as well as how they serve a larger business purpose, to ensure that technology is being used to the company’s best strategic advantage.

Stay Current on Revolutionary, Emerging Technology Applications

A program of continual information technology training is crucial to the success of any IT team. Technology is constantly evolving, and it seems that there is a new application released every day that is meant to simplify doing business. This can be overwhelming if you do not stay current on the high-level trends of technology and their corresponding impact on business. With the Web 2.0 revolution in full swing, management training is a useful tool for managers to become familiar with the online trends such as blogs, wikis, podcasts and RSS feeds, as well as how the trends are going to change the ways we view the Internet and communicate with each other. It is estimated that these technologies will have significant business impact in the coming years, and companies everywhere have to consider directly how it affects their business strategies.

Information technology training can help managers determine the impact of new technologies and how to adapt their business processes. Trying to envision how Web 2.0 changes traditional business models is difficult when you have no knowledge of how these new technical applications are being used from a business perspective. First and foremost, managers must take it upon themselves to become proactive by keeping abreast of emerging trends and understanding them not only from a technical standpoint, but evaluating them from a higher-level, strategic standpoint. Management training courses on technology focus specifically on the ways that emerging technologies affect businesses on a high level. This is the type of knowledge needed to make conscious and informed decisions on what aspects of new technologies will affect your organization in the next few years and transition your thoughts into strategic action and implementation.

Collaboration and information sharing, within and outside of enterprises, are two areas that have made huge strides that management training can help your organization harness to improve business strategies. The advent of user-created content sharing has transformed the way that enterprises communicate. Enterprise-class blogs and wikis boost productivity and innovation by enabling ad hoc teams to participate in complex, collaborative problem solving, and then make the results available to the rest of the organization with ease. Information technology training gives managers the high-level information about these technologies that they need to bring them effectively into your organization.

Large companies will often struggle the most with adopting new business strategies based on emerging technologies due to organizational inertia and the lag that comes from changing any integrated system. Not only do the right people need to be convinced of the value of a new application, but the proper infrastructure often needs to be developed or tweaked to implement the technology. This is where the importance of management information technology training to understand the potential impact of technology from a business perspective comes into play.

Management Training for Appropriate Technology Selection and Recommendation

Management training courses typically deal with logistics and personnel management but fail to guide managers when it comes to making decisions about technology. As a manager in today’s world, what really matters isn’t just your ability to lead and maintain technology infrastructure – it’s your ability to deliver positive business outcomes. Cutting IT costs and managing infrastructure are only part of the equation. Technology must also reduce business risk and generate new opportunities and growth. Information technology training can help managers transition their views of technology as an isolated island off the coast of a business and look at it as one working part of the whole machine that is the organization.

Finding a cool application that has all the shiny bells and whistles you dreamed of and recommending implementation based on the technology’s sheer innovation is no longer enough to make a good business case. Before presenting a recommendation, you must understand every step involved with the successful implementation of the technology. A thorough study will need to be conducted to determine what departments, processes and functions will need to be modified in order to benefit from the new technology. Management training courses focusing on information technology gives managers the tools they need to make that determination.

If you are going to make an impact on the decision makers of a business, you have to get on their level. When it comes down to making a decision, for many business people it is all about the numbers. That is why it is essential to participate in information technology training courses that help you perform your due diligence and gather the data you need to compile hard numbers around your recommendation. What is the true return on investment that the company can expect to achieve by implementing the technology? It is much easier to convince an associate of the merits of your idea if you can show a real increase in profit based on proven research instead of attempting to sway them based on opinion only.

Conclusion

Technology is rapidly changing the way that businesses communicate and function every day. It is important for managers to take a proactive role in understanding emerging technology trends and how they may affect a company’s business model by investing in an ongoing program of information technology training for all levels of staff. Management training in particular is essential for ensuring the right technologies are pursued to ensure business success. Viewing technology as a direct influencer on the business as a whole ensures consistent alignment of goals throughout the enterprise.

5 Marks of a Great Content Management System

The functionality and appeal of your CMS website rests on your ability to select the best content management system for your needs. There are a lot of big names competing for attention as well as some smaller names that have great promise to become big names. This means lots and lots of choices for those who want to design CMS websites.

To make the selection process a bit easier, consider five tell-tale marks of a great content management system:

#1: You don’t need an IT crew on staff to install the CMS.

Installation is where some of the less effective content management systems fail. If a user cannot figure out how to get the system installed they start to wonder if they will be able to actually use the system once it is installed. The best content management systems will be very easy to install even if the IT guy isn’t down the hallway.

#2: The backend must be very easy to use.

This may be debatable for some people, but in most cases the backend of a CMS website should be incredibly simple to use. Most people using a CMS don’t know HTML code or don’t want to waste time messing with code. This means they are looking for a very simple system that allows them to add to, tweak and change their websites without getting into complicated procedures.

The simpler the backend is, the better suited a CMS will be to those who don’t know how to completely code a website for themselves. This is important if you are designing websites for consumers who don’t know much about web design. The easier the backend is for them to maneuver, the fewer calls of frustration the designer will receive after the product is in the hands of the client.

#3: The CMS should offer templates that are relatively easy to modify.

The great thing about designing a CMS website is the ability to easily modify templates to come out with the perfect website for a given client. You should be able to take a template and make changes so it matches what you want your site to be or what a client wants their site to be. If the modification is too difficult or not possible, then the CMS fails to live up to its main purpose.

#4: A great CMS will allow easy manipulation of extensions to extend the functionality of the CMS website.

If you can’t add extensions, you can’t get the most out of your CMS website. The best content management systems will make it easy to work with extensions so you can create the perfect website with any template.

#5: There should be some form of community or support service where help in the design process can be found.

Finally, make sure the content management system you select has some type of support where you can ask questions and get the opinions of others familiar with the system. This rules out some very small or new content management systems that are still in the developing stages, but it might also rule out some of the bigger guys that don’t necessarily have valuable support communities.

All of these marks identify content management systems that are easy to use. That is essentially the purpose of creating a CMS website. They are just easier to use and much faster to work with than a website designed on basic HTML code.

Ten Must Own Games for Playstation 2

Hundreds of games were released for PlayStation 2 during the console's lifetime. There are so many, that it can be hard to choose which you want to buy for your collection. Below is a list of the ten must own games for the PS2 and why they should be in your collection.

10. Final Fantasy X – The first Final Fantasy game on PlayStation 2 successfully evolves the best selling RPG franchise. FFX has a very deep battle system with even more complex stat upgrades. Your characters can literally take on hundreds of combinations of skills and abilities.

9. Guitar Hero – Live your rock and roll dreams in Guitar Hero. Use a real guitar controller to play all your favorite rock ballads and guitar solos. Hours of songs to play, multiple difficulty levels for even master players, and a song list with tons of classics. This game is great for casual players because it is so easy to pick up, but will keep you coming back with the steady increase in difficulty.

8. Katamari Damacy – A very strange promise, but very fun game. Roll a ball around a level. Smaller objects get stuck to the ball making it bigger, then you can roll over bigger objects. You have to grow your ball to a certain size to clear every level. Tons of replayability, random and funny cut-scenes, and solid game play make this a very unique but great game for the PlayStation 2.

7. Ico – The game did not sell very well, but has a great story, good puzzle design, and environments that make you forget you are playing a game sometimes. You play as a boy who is destined to be sacrificed to appease the Gods. He must make his way way through the world and solve puzzles or face his grim fate.

6. Kingdom Hearts – Square Enix combines the Final Fantasy and Disney characters into one role playing adventure. You play as Sora but fight along side Donald and Goofy and meet Ariel, Aladdin, and other great Disney characters along the way. Kingdom Hearts is great for RPG fans and fun for Disney fans too. You will love all the cameos from the Disney movies and cartoons.

5. Metal Gear Solid 2 – The sequel to Metal Gear Solid for the original Playstation. Play as Solid Snake as attempts to stop a resistance group from gaining control of a high-tech weapon. Unlike other action games, you have to use stealth and planning to get through the game. You can just kill everything. In-depth story and great cinematics help solidify its place in the top ten.

4. Grand Theft Auto III – The smash hit that went on to create it's own genre. In GTA 3, you can do almost anything you want. Want to follow the story, go ahead. Just want to steal cars and get into police chases, you can do that too. It led to multiple sequels and countless copycat games and helped spark the massive success of the PlayStation 2 during its first year.

3. Resident Evil 4 – Originally released as a Gamecube game, Resident Evil 4 for PlayStation 2 has all the same features plus more levels. Its an action packed, heart pounding horror game as Leon tries to save the President's daughter. With a 95% review score from gamerankings.com it is the best reviewed PS2 game of all time.

2. Gran Turismo 3 – Hands down the best racing simulator. Gran Turismo 3 is a realistic racing game with real cars, real tracks, and real life attributes for all of them. Racing a VW Bug will feel different than racing a Corvette. Different acceleration, speed, and handling for each car and track. And I did not even mention the impressive graphics yet. If you love cars, this is the best racing game you can get.

1. God of War – Great graphics, epic story, near perfect controls. This is the best game on PlayStation 2 and one of the better games released the past generation. Play as Kratos as he makes his way through ancient Greece fighting mythological creatures and using his fallen foes powers to vanquish future enemies. A best seller, highly reviewed, and all around great game.

If any of these games are not in your PlayStation 2 collection you should buy them. All ten games of these games are great gaming experiences that every gamer should experience.

Copyright (c) 2007 JJ Hendricks