How Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Halifax are Using Technology

Recently my business partner, Dave Nicholson, did a survey  to find out how small and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs – in the Halifax Regional Municipality make use of technology.

What he found was quite interesting.

Read the survey results on our web site:

GHP Connector Program

I was recently honoured by being given the opportunity of being the first “connector” in the Greater Halifax Partnership’s Connector Program, to help immigrants find employment. Have a look at the following link for a description of this program:

Does Your Business Have a Plan in the Event of a Pandemic?

Imagine what your company would be like if fifty percent of your employees – or more – fell ill at the same time. Would you be able to continue operating?

What about after the symptoms have passed and they are capable of working, only they are instructed to stay home as is often the case with the H1N1 virus – would they then be able to be productive?

With today’s technology, the effects of a pandemic or other threat to the continuity of your business can be mitigated by putting into practice such things as alternate workplaces, work from home abilities, and notification callouts. But it all takes planning so that if a threat were to become a reality, your business is prepared.

That type of planning is what Ian McLaws does. He is the consultant who was brought in by Jazz Air LP (doing business throughout North America as Air Canada Jazz) to help implement their Business Continuity Plan. On June 16, Jazz did a thorough 24-hour test of their plan using their Alternate Systems Operations Control Centre in Burnside, and it went without a hitch.

McLaws explains that a Business Continuity Plan, or BCP, is designed to enable a business to continue operating while recovering from a disaster and to resume normal operations. It involves planning for the eventuality of a disaster event so that essential business functions such as Information Technology can continue operating.

McLaws’ main role at Jazz was to manage the disaster recovery plan part of it, or DRP, which outlines the steps necessary to restore the Information Technology environment to its normal state.

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Organizations, Certifications Keys to IT Professionalism

What makes a good Information Technology professional? Is it simply good training, gritty determination, logical thinking, and the ability to put in long hours alone at the keyboard?

That may be part of it, but a more complete answer would include communicating effectively, understanding business needs, dressing smartly, belonging to professional organizations, and acquiring certifications.

My company, Nicom IT Solutions, pays particular attention to these organizations and certifications and I will summarize the ones that exist in Nova Scotia. If you are in IT, you’ll want to check these out. If you want to find good IT organizations and individuals who can help your business, this article is a good place to start.

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Electronic Voting Project: A Lesson In Business Processes

After the recent municipal election I met with Dean Smith, President of Intelivote Systems Inc. of Dartmouth, the company behind the online voting engine.  I was looking for some good lessons that I could relate to business situations, such as insights on data security and system integrity, but I quickly came to realize this story is more about  business processes and procedures than about technology.

Smith and his team spent a year setting up the election using their configurable system, making custom changes to handle unique situations, running proofs of concepts, testing over and over again, and even suggesting legislation changes to permit online voting.

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