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Amazon’s Alexa Is Driving IT Managers Crazy …And Other Small Business Tech News – Forbes

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Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them? 

1 —Amazon’s Alexa is driving IT managers crazy.  

A recent study revealed that professionals in the security and IT space are struggling with the idea that they are in the dark when it comes to identifying devices that are able to connect to their company networks and coming up with ways to protect networks from them. Devices such as smart watches, Alexas, or other smart devices used for convenience are not innately secure which can create an opportunity for attackers to enter company networks and have access to things such as personal employee information and intellectual property.  “This study seems to reveal that IT people are being driven demented by the fact that they have no idea what sort of Internet of Things devices are being connected to their corporate networks,” says ZDNet’s Chris Matyszczyk.  (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Be careful if you’re employing voice-enabled devices either in your office or at remote worker’s homes that are using applications that access your corporate networks. The technology is still relatively unsecure, according to many IT managers, and could pose problems.

2 — Digital advertising keeps growing during the coronavirus pandemic.

A report released recently shared data showing that — despite the impacts the coronavirus is having on businesses — digital advertising has managed to recover from the initial hit back in March when lockdowns began. While the report did not disclose any specific prediction regarding money being spent on digital ads by businesses, the analysts conducting the report did predict that digital ad spending will continue to rise with more retailers going online for the holiday season and utilizing email, social media, content marketing, and search engine ads. (Source: Digital Commerce 360)

Why this is important for your business:

Not sure why this is so surprising. E-commerce sales are up more than 30 percent from last year and, with so many working from home, internet traffic has skyrocketed. Where there’s eyeballs there’s ads. For your business marketing in 2021, digital advertising continues to be something you should be seriously considering, even expanding.

3 —Google Duplex’s haircut-booking feature could help short-handed businesses.

Google Duplex — the tech giant’s AI chat platform — makes it possible for users to have their Google Assistant make calls to salons in order to make appointments, and focus is now turning to how this technology can pivot in order to help out other industries and businesses who may be short-staffed due to the coronavirus. Developers have shifted their focus in order to create ways that Duplex could expand to other languages and functions such as inventory check-ins and more. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

Per the report: “The new Duplex haircut appointment feature, which can be used from any device with the Google Assistant app or access to Google Search or Maps, is largely similar to the existing restaurant booking flow. After tapping on the Request an Appointment button from Search or Maps, users have the option of three treatments: a men’s haircut, a women’s haircut, or a general haircut. After selecting one and entering a preferred appointment date, time, and time range (e.g., 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.), users have to indicate whether they’ve been to the business before and optionally enter the name of a stylist, as well as provide contact information like a name, phone number, and email address.”  Think of how powerful that can be if applied to your business.

4 —A new WordPress tool automatically turns blog posts into tweetstorms.

WordPress has revealed their newest feature that will turn blog posts into tweets which will be able to include embeds, videos, images, and complete text. The new feature — according to WordPress — will provide a way for users to maximize their material through sharing blog content via Twitter, potentially reaching followers who wouldn’t have otherwise seen the blog. Anybody following a specific account will have the ability to read a blog post in its entirety without having to click on a link and be redirected. (Source; The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

What? So I can write a blog post (which I do numerous times a week for my company) and this tool will convert it into multiple tweets? I’m investigating this one for my own company as I write this.

5— PC demand during the pandemic has fueled the strongest U.S. market growth in a decade.

A new study is revealing that — during the last few months of COVID-19— PC sales have surged to the highest they’ve been in the last ten years. During the third quarter, Chromebooks proved to be popular with an approximately 90% growth during the third quarter thanks to schools moving to remote learning. In addition to Chromebooks, data also indicated that mobile workstations, notebooks, and PCs have gone up in shipments and sales while desktops saw a 26% decline from the start of the pandemic. (Source: WSJ)

Why this is important for your business:

No Virginia, the PC industry is not dead. Far from it.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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