Do you want to know what's available but don't want to talk to sales people?
There are a lot of technology vendors out there who are constantly pushing to sell their products, so visiting technology expos can be a risky proposition for business owners and managers. Giving your contact details to sales people can result in months of being pestered and pushed to buy technology that's not necessarily right for your business.
As an independent consultant I love to research and talk to potential vendors on your behalf, building up my knowledge of what possible solutions are available in today's technology market.
CeBIT Australia 2018
Last month I attended the CeBIT Australia expo, where I visited lot of vendor stalls and listened to some very interesting talks over two days.
A panel spoke about artificial intelligence and machine learning and how this is changing the future of business - for example a law firm
that's started up without employing any lawyers.
Insights about security (or lack of it) for the internet of things and how crypto-hackers are infiltrating our smart devices.
War stories from entrepreneurs about the 'f-ups', candidly sharing with us what went wrong so that we can learn from their mistakes.
Cool technology on display, including segways, a driverless bus., virtual reality games and animated hosts.
Fun and frivolity while meeting lots of interesting people at the networking drinks!
Lack of security in the internet of things
The internet can be a very scary place, and now there's a whole new world for criminals to exploit - the internet of things. There is a myriad of smart devices that are always on and always connected; internet fridges, smart televisions, Google and Amazon smart speakers, security cameras and even door bells. But the problem with these smart devices is their lack of security, and there's no way to pop in a CD and install your own security software!
Cyber-criminals love the new "internet of everything" and take advantage of lax security to create botnets, where millions of devices are hacked and used to mine for crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. If your devices are hacked and become part of these networks it's unlikely you'll even be aware of it. The only thing you might notice is that a device is starting to run a little slower than normal, because most of its processing power has been hijacked.
What can you do to prevent against your smart devices being hacked?
- Always change the default manufacturer's password to one of your own. Cyber-criminals can easily learn these default passwords, making it simple for
them to take over your device. And of course don't use the same password for everything, if it gets compromised you lose the lot!
- Protect your borders by having good security on your wifi router. Having a well monitored and secure network is vital to block malicious traffice and stop the attackers before they get to your smart devices.
Entrepreneurs' F-Up talks
Some very brave entrepreneurs shared their war stories with us, describing their 'f-ups' candidly, in the hope we could learn from their mistakes.
A very enthusiastic and young entrepreneur had created a fabulous app that relied on people signing up and paying through the Amazon online store. But when the Amazon site had a glitch and servers were rebooted, the links from her app to the store were all broken. Unfortunately she'd relied on a friend to develop the app and had no knowledge about how to fix the broken links, so her app was out of commission for a week. That doesn't sound too bad until you consider the app had been encouraging daily use! It took a long time to rebuild the following and regain their market share. The moral of this story is to never rely on one person for vital areas of your business and be sure there's a backup plan.
Another entrepreneur was the victim of his own hubris and pride. He'd partnered with an accountant and gave them control of all the accounts, believing
he'd picked a trustworthy and reliable partner to work with. Unfortunately he was proved wrong and was a victim of fraud, losing everything and
learning a very difficult life lesson in the process. The moral of his story is that you must be very careful to take business partnerships as
seriously as a marriage.
Entrepreneurs' Programme June workshops
If you're interested in investing in technology for your business, why not attend one of the free Entrepreneurs' Programme workshops I'll be facilitating this month.
Attending this workshop will help you scope your requirements for your IT, so you can quickly and efficiently identify improvements in relevant systems and work towards their implementation.
I'll be in Perth on June 8th, Adelaide on June 12th, Melbourne on June 25th, Perth again on June 25th and Bunbury on June 27th.
This is a free event hosted by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Entrepreneurs' Programme. Places are strictly limited, so book early to be sure you don't miss out.
For more information on this workshop, please contact Carissa Greenough, phone 0439 558 656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to see you at one of these workshops, we'll have a lot of fun while demystifying the world of Information Technology.