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 Ways To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is entering its 15th year as a business model. During this time we have seen many changes in the industry. One exciting thing is the many different ways that you can join affiliate marketing and make money doing it.

In this article we will talk about five different ways to make money with affiliate marketing.

1. The easiest way to make money as an affiliate is with Google AdSense. This model is known as pay per click you get paid any time someone clicks on ads that are displayed on your website.

You can join Google as an affiliate and then place script embedded with ads and your affiliate ID on your webpages. Every time someone clicks on one of these ads you earn a commission. It is that simple

2. Email marketing is another excellent way to use affiliate products to make money. You do not even have to be mailing to your own list. You can buy ads from other e-mail list owners and have them mailed out to their list or by advertising in an e-zine.

This is a great way to make money as an affiliate because you do not have to do anything other than run an ad and when someone buys a product you earn a commission. By using someone else's list, you do not even have to wait until you've developed one of your own.

3. RSS feeds and blogging are quickly becoming a favorite way to make money using affiliate marketing. You can add links to your affiliate products in your blog articles, and when someone subscribes via your RSS feed they will be able to read it.

4. You can buy advertising on other websites and blogs. A simple way to do this is to place a banner on so every time a person clicks on that banner that they taken to one of your affiliate webpages.

Again, you earn a commission if they make a purchase. Banner advertising does still work if you are able to make a buy on a high traffic web page.

5. You can purchase advertising with co-registration leads. Every time somebody subscribes to a list that they given an opportunity to subscribe to other things. You can promote your own list and include affiliate links in it where if someone subscribes they have another opportunity to buy one of your products.

This is five easy ways to make money with affiliate marketing. The key is to promote in as many ways as possible and get the numbers working in your favor.

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

A Key to Great Investing: Understanding Risk

Maybe it's the way we're wired, but most people are terrible at assessing risk. We put our money in "safe" investments and get clobbered and avoid "risky" investments that double and triple. Here are a few ways improving risk can hurt:

1) Avoiding the stock market altogether.

Conventional wisdom says the stock market is a dangerous place where you're sure to lose a fortune or a casino where you have no control over results. Conventional wisdom could not be more wrong. Look at the history of the market since its inception, and you'll see some wild rides. What you'll also see are long-term results that beat almost anything else you can find. Good luck trying to make some people believe this, though. They know what they know; do not confuse them with the facts.

While the gyrations of the stock market make its short-term risks easy to see, the risks of bank accounts and bonds are hidden. Every month, you see some interest on your bank balance-though small – and the principal is always there. What you do not see is a greedy monster called inflation, typically gobbling up the purchasing power of your funds. If you hold bonds to maturity, the same thing often happens. Get your principal and interest back, but lose to inflation. And if you do not hold to maturity, your "safe" bond investment may be anything but. Who wants to buy your bond yielding 1% if interest rates jump to 4%?

2) Investing only in large cap stocks.

Giant companies have a place in every portfolio. They throw off wonderful dividends that keep money coming in even when the market is tanking. Their strength helps you sleep at night. But buy them when they're overpriced, and you'll have to collect a lot of dividends to get your money back. Moreover, they'll fail to return as much as the average small or midcap portfolio.

Risk assessment is a tricky thing with smaller cap stocks. Look at one microcap stock, and the risk is awful. Look at a diversified bunch, and the risk shrinks dramatically. Some of your microcaps might go bankrupt (although you can minimize that risk by taking a good look at debt, cash flow, and earnings), but the ones that do well will often go through the roof and leave your overall performance looking quite impressive.

3) Thinking stocks are more dangerous when they're actually safer.

Most people assume they should stay away when the market drops 20%. After all, it might drop a lot more. By focusing on potential short-term pain, they ignore the fact that a good company's stock at 20% off is usually safer than one at full price-especially if it's the stock of an all-weather company that will sail through the next recession.

If you think you're immune from this, ask yourself how you feel about buying a house. Chances are you're a lot more nervous than you were a few years ago, even though there's only a small chance that houses will perform as terribly in the coming years as they have for the last few.

4) Thinking stocks are a great buy when they're actually a huge rip-off.

Remember those people who thought the stock market was a big casino or a sure way to lose money? Wait till the next market boom. Suddenly, they'll think the market is a great place to invest. They'll fill your ear full of stock tips-most of them bad. Avoid this by looking at numbers instead of listening to cheerleaders. As the average P / E ratio of the stock market climbs higher, stocks become more dangerous in spite of claims that it's different this time. That does not mean there are not any bargains, but you will not find them by listening to hot tips.

5) Thinking anything is a sure thing.

Every aspect of investing is fraud with risk. Hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and accounting shenanigans can torpedo a stock in spite of your best efforts. That's why every portfolio needs more than one stock, and every portfolio need to be invested in more than one sector. Be wary of throwing money at everything in equal amounts, though. This is a guarantee of mediocre results. Instead, calculate the size of each investment based on your estimate of potential returns, but with a healthy respect for the threat of the unexpected.

6) Thinking past performance is a guarantee of future results.

A stock that had an extra year is not necessarily going to have another. The same goes for fund managers.

Even the long-term inflation-beating performance of the whole market is not guaranteed, although it's a pretty good bet. That's why you always need to keep some funds in cash and alternative investments.

Conclusion:

Risk assessment is not an intuitive skill. If you rely on sloppy thinking or feelings, you'll almost certainly get it wrong. Take the time to learn how risk works and to know as much as you can about each of your companies. The rewards will be worth it.