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  • QIE Partners, an investor accounting service provider, achieves precision loan reconciliation and meets clients’ expectations with self-service data preparation.

  • Have you ever fantasized about being your own boss—cutting the chord to full-time employment to embrace the life of a contractor? If you follow through with such plans, you may find that taking the hired-gun route isn't always what it's cracked up to be, according to a recent survey from Deloitte. In fact, most of the contractors surveyed said they wouldn't choose to work independently in the future, and only a minority reported that they are very satisfied with the experience. Many of them miss the steady paycheck of a full-time job, as well as the other benefits of full-time work, such as health insurance, training and mentorship. They also find it difficult to understand and connect to a company's internal culture when working in the gig economy. The takeaway: Given that full-time employees are now enjoying more flexible arrangements at the office, there's less incentive to take the plunge as a contractor. "Today's workforce wants the ability to choose how they work—full-time or contract work," said Mike Preston, chief talent officer at Deloitte. "Regardless of what they choose, they crave a holistic experience that combines good compensation and benefits with a focus on well-being and career development." Nearly 4,000 professionals who work or have worked as independent contractors, along with those working full-time jobs, took part in the research.   

  • A shocking number of the software applications acquired by companies are considered "waste," meaning they go unused for one or more months at a time—and sometimes longer, according to recent research published by 1E. The accompanying report, "Software Usage and Waste Report 2016," defines software waste as any piece of software that has been deployed to a desktop but is not being used. Such practices cost businesses millions of dollars a year. The report states that software waste "is immensely costly. Indeed, a single enterprise of a few thousand seats will likely be wasting millions of dollars on this area of IT. … In addition, for the first time, [our research reveals] the applications that are the most widely deployed among the survey's participating businesses, the applications most likely to go unused, and [those that cost] businesses the most money because of high levels of deployment and waste." The research is based on an analysis of an estimated 4.6 million machines from nearly 150 companies in the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • IT departments aren't going away—regardless of what they are called. But they must become more strategic and savvy in the ways of all technologies and business.

  • A majority of employees surveyed are open to leaving their current company, and a significant number are already looking for new work, according to a recent survey from Aon Hewitt. The resulting "2016 Workforce Mindset Study" reports that today's professionals feel empowered and ready to take control of their career. Most think of themselves as leaders, and many are very confident that they'll receive multiple promotions during the next five years. To stay on track, they seek regular goal-setting sessions with their managers, along with performance assessments that weigh qualitative measurements over quantitative. In exchange for delivering on expectations, these professionals want compensation that matches their contributions, along with a fun and flexible working environment. "With historically low levels of unemployment and somewhat stagnant wage gains, valuable talent is demanding increasingly more from employers," according to the report. "If employers expect to attract new employees while retaining critical talent, they must provide an experience that meets or exceeds employees' expectations and desires. Perhaps more importantly, they need to distinguish their experience from that of other employers." More than 2,000 U.S. employees took part in the research.

  • The California Public Employees' Retirement System deployed a system with full visibility of physical and virtual networks, boosting performance and security.

  • Even though data residing in the cloud can be as secure as data stored in on-premise systems, IT leaders must constantly assuage security and compliance fears.

  • Work-related stress is a common ailment for most employees, according to a recent survey from Deloitte. The resulting report, "The Stress Study: Business Chemistry," reveals that a significant number of professionals said they are stressed out often or all the time. Project and task errors are the leading source of these issues, but long hours, office conflict and urgent deadlines also contribute greatly. Fortunately, the survey also includes the most popular coping mechanisms for dealing with stress on the job. Some employees like to tackle a stress-generating issue head-on, while others like to give it some thought taking any actions. Whatever works, you should come up with your own coping plan—because you may run the risk of career-threatening burnout if you don't. Stress "may be one of the most talked about workplace topics of our time," according to the report. "Enter 'workplace stress' into a search engine, and you'll find thousands and thousands of articles outlining what's stressful, why it's stressful, how to cope, and the consequences if we don't. Increasingly, stress at work is acknowledged as an engagement-sapper, a productivity-stealer and a dangerous health risk." More than 23,000 professionals took part in the research.

  • Whether a business is large or small, the likelihood is that it lacks the in-house IT security expertise needed to contend with cyber-threats on its own. A recent survey from security software-maker Kaspersky Lab indicates that a lack of security talent is not only handicapping companies in their efforts to contend with threats, it's also costing them a lot more money to discover and mitigate those threats. For its "IT Security Risks Special Report Series 2016" survey, Kaspersky polled almost 5,000 managers across a variety of industries and company sizes. It found that companies that feel comfortable with their IT security talent enjoy a huge advantage over those that are struggling on the staffing front. Veniamin Levtsov, vice president of enterprise business for Kaspersky, said security technology providers are affected by this because they are branching into helping clients develop and train in-house security talent, but that talent has to be part of a multipronged security strategy. "Sharing detailed research about attacks on other businesses, in the form of intelligence reports, is also necessary, along with actionable, machine-readable data about on-going threats," he added. "Solving the different challenges of threat prevention, detection, incident response and prediction requires a lot of flexibility and experience."

  • An online market research firm adopts a bot detection and mitigation solution to build a more secure business framework and protect customer information.

  • As the threat landscape grows, there's a need to take a proactive approach that incorporates multilayered security, advanced analytics and user education.

  • Not long ago, we presented some oddball antics on the part of job seekers. Possibly even stranger are the behaviors of some parents of Generation Z job seekers, according to a recent survey from OfficeTeam. A significant number of hiring managers said they find it annoying when "helicopter" parents get too involved in their kids' search for employment. And some parents take it way too far, judging from the following bizarre real-life examples of parental intervention. They include moms and dads who try to sit in during interviews, negotiate salaries and even provide recommendations! No matter how good their parents' intentions are, candidates should discourage this activity. Self-dependence and personal initiative are qualities that companies seek. "Parents want the best for their kids, but being overly involved in their child's job search can cause more harm than good," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "It's a positive for mom and dad to help behind the scenes by reviewing résumés, conducting mock interviews and offering networking contacts. However, ultimately, companies seek employees who display self-sufficiency and maturity." More than 600 senior managers in the U.S. and Canada took part in the research.

  • Information workers are expressing frustration with what they view as a lack of tech tools and space to pursue collaboration, according to a June 2016 survey commissioned by Prysm and conducted by Forrester Consulting. The resulting report, "Digital, Disparate, and Disengaged: Bridging the Technology Gap Between In-Office and Remote Workers," reveals that IT and facilities professionals feel that the situation is much better than information workers describe, leading to a glaring perception gap on the issue. Similarly, when it comes to having access to the "latest and greatest" technology, only a minority of information workers said they have what they need. Conferencing solutions, for example, are a frequent source of difficulties due to technology glitches and/or limitations. With better tools, the majority of information workers said they'd be more productive—and more likely to remain with their company. They'd also help their organization improve its efforts related to product development, revenue growth and faster time to market. A total of 200 IT and facilities professionals and 800 information workers in the United States and the United Kingdom took part in the research.

  • Music's healing sounds are what Musicians On Call volunteers bring to health care facilities—and software helps them reach more locations and more patients.

  • There is no shortage of unified communications options for today's work environment. However, despite the widespread availability and technological maturity of audio and web conferencing systems and social collaboration tools, most companies have deployed only a smattering of the technologies available to them, with voice applications dominating. What's more, most organizations have failed to effectively integrate the tools they do have, thus limiting their functionality and value. That said, West Unified Communications Services' survey of 250 IT managers reports that investment in UC tools is about to pick up, along with the sophistication of how they're used, as companies look at ways to make collaboration a more seamless part of the work experience. "Few businesses are in the position (nor would it be wise) to roll out a suite of cutting-edge UC tools at once," said Rob Bellmar, West's executive vice president of business operations. "But by staying attuned to employees' communications challenges and the organization's needs over time, IT leaders can develop UC environments that deliver returns and results."