An individual cannot really hope to match the IT resources that a company has at its disposal. The only domain where an individual is likely to get the better of a company is in individual hardware configuration. The general office workstation is usually a middle section performance machine, designed to handle a minimum of operating tasks and can’t really compare to a home computer tweaked for performance with a custom configuration. Even so, he will lose a fight with one of the specialized company computers, those meant to handle video and image editing, like the ones in the design department or in marketing.
Because of this, a company’s IT assets can represent a real gold mine for some employees. Sooner or later, they might realize that his employer’s servers and internet bandwidth are exactly what they always needed for their personal use but could never afford. His community forum, his upload mirrors or even a torrent site could really thrive in this lush and luxurious new environment.
As such, you could easily find out that your company’s IT assets have been used to host private services. Continue reading →
Taking a break and unwinding is not a luxury, but a necessity of the working cycle. We saw that working for 8, or even 9 hours straight is counterproductive. But how far can one go with entertainment during his lunch break before he goes too far? The limit exists, but the line that should not be crossed is a rather broad one and is anything but straight. Still, going too far is unacceptable, for the possible damages far outweigh the benefits.
The argument that “it’s my break, I’m on my time so I can do anything” is childish and irresponsible.
Just because we are on our break, it does not mean that we’ve been temporarily absolved of our responsibilities towards the company. A little bit of Solitaire or a good run through Minefield might be just what you need to unwind during the break. The games don’t even need to be limited to the Windows classics, but a problem can arise when those games get a little bit too advanced. Even if they are on their break, playing, say Battlefield 3 or Borderlands 2, it can seem unprofessional to your fellow colleagues and even more so to a business client that comes into the office for a meeting. Continue reading →
In the Age of Computers, clandestine software is one of the biggest risks for a company.
The software we are talking about is not a virus that breaches your network defenses and quietly infiltrates your office computers. A far greater problem is the involuntary inside job – careless piracy.
The reasons can vary and are numerous, but the reality is that some employees install or store pirated software on office computers. This can be caused by management offering inadequate resources, independent employee activities or simply personal quirks (the company has a license purchase for Adobe’s Photoshop but I’m used to using Corel’s Painter.) And while this kind of copyright infringement doesn’t sound like it should concern the company, it most definitely does. Continue reading →
Usually, business networks have a rather elaborate and well developed IT system put in place. With limited access, employees can log in from different workstations with the same account, so the work process is a lot more fluid and uninterrupted. On the other side, the IT department has a restricted access gate into each system from where they can limit and exert administrative authority upon a device. This also serves to limit the modification a regular employee can make to an office computer.
However, limiting what software can be installed on a computer without rendering the system ineffective is pretty much impossible
To strip a regular, non-administrative computer user of all power would shut down the activity of any business – permanently. If the IT department would have to individually handle every update for Flash, Java or for a web browser, no one would ever get anything done. Because of this, even regular user accounts have some freedom when it comes to changes being made to the system. The down side however is that this freedom enables for all kind of non-work related software to take residence on an office computer.
An office computer can easily become a nest of unproductive applications
Installed software can range from unlicensed software to personal, non-work related applications and video games. An indexing system that monitors and identifies the nature of the software running on a company’s network can prove to be a vital component that ensures a productive and result-oriented working environment.