Keeping business organized and focused: There's an app for that
Surely, the goal of every executive is to stay organized and focused; to be able to move projects forward efficiently and respond quickly to rapidly and constantly evolving business situations. If you’re struggling with too much information, too many to-dos, too many contacts or too many too-manys, there’s probably an app to help you gain control.
With over one million apps available in the AppStore and another million in Android’s Google Play store, the first task is to separate time-wasters from those that actually help you to improve productivity, connectivity or simply make life easier. Here are just a few new apps that seem worthy of the C-Suite.
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Businessfriend allows you to create a professional social network, the way you want it. There are several components including a social media feed which aggregates the content of your choice, a built-in instant messenger, a voice and video calling feature, a digital rolodex-type feature and a cloud-based digital workspace for storage of documents, pictures and other content. The four components are intuitive, cleanly designed, and easy to use. With businessfriend, executives can now stay organized and up-to-date with one app, on any device, whether at home or on the road.
This app has received lots of buzz since the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2015. Confide markets itself as Snapchat for business. There is a global need for ephemeral communication in many businesses. Sensitive deal making data, private issues, or confidential data can be securely exchanged with Confide. Both parties can feel more secure than ever that the information exchanged is not trackable, not viewable by anyone other than the recipient and is not retained. Messages are encrypted and are automatically deleted once they are viewed. The app even prevents recipients from taking screenshots of messages. Confide is integrated with Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive cloud storage and supports most of the top file formats.
The popular organizer, Evernote, now supports scanning of documents. Handy on business trips, Evernote Scannable will digitize receipts to easily attach to expense reports. It can scan contracts and other documents for uploading to the home office immediately or scan business cards at conferences to create rich and valuable contact lists. The app will ensure the scan is cropped and rotated correctly and the resulting images are enhanced and clear. Evernote allows for easy categorizing and search and retrieval of saved data.
Some executives avoid having chat accounts on the common services, or create pseudonyms, because of the lack of privacy. No one wants to be interrupted during their workday by former colleagues who see you are online or by personal contacts. HipChat allows companies to create a private team chat network. Whether users are virtual or in the office, everyone can keep in touch and answer questions easily and quickly. There is a also status feature to show away time and file sharing tools.
One of the most frustrating issues, especially at work, is trying to remember all the passwords for various systems and programs. The Passpack password manager lets you tag and sort all of your credentials for easy searching. Passpack is well aware of security issues and their methods and infrastructure are highly fault-tolerant and secure. Data can be accessed from anywhere, making it easy to look up a username and password no matter where you are. Passpack also provides a browser button that can be installed on your favorite browser for easy one-click login to websites of your choosing.
PocketCloud Remote Desktop Pro
PocketCloud allows you to take your desktop with you anywhere. This app connects at high resolution to your PC or Mac computer so you can access your files and run programs and videos. The app is simple to install and use and takes advantage of enterprise-level security. Lots of tech features including multitasking, keyboard auto-activation, an intuitive user interface, VNC(Virtual Network Computing), RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), VMWare View support, and Secure Tunneling for VNC Auto Discovery make this product a solid and secure option for remote access.
Amazon’s Kindle App
Travel with one less device by using the Kindle app on your phone or tablet. Catching up on reading is more convenient than ever since your phone is always with you. There are over 900,000 books available in the Kindle format and countless articles and white papers on the web that can be added to the app as well as library eBooks. The app will sync across devices so you won’t lose your place and supports bookmarks, highlighting and notes across devices as well. If you buy a book on one device, it is then available on all devices.
Documents To Go
View and create documents using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint anytime, anywhere using this powerful app. The app also supports Adobe PDF viewing and is fully integrated with Google Docs. In addition, Documents To Go can sync files to your desktop, to cloud storage accounts, and allows for viewing of password protected files. Documents To Go un-tethers busy executives from their desktops.
Apps are taking over as the heartbeat of fast-moving organizations. Corporations are using apps to find and win new business, streamline and organize communications and processes, and to keep customer satisfaction high. Whatever need you may have as an executive—be it a way to access important information quickly while on the road or a method for organizing your reading list to keep up with the latest trends—you can be sure there’s probably an app for that.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.