The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Saving Time in Microsoft Office

Tip of the Week: Saving Time in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a super useful collection of software that serves the purposes of just about any business, at least to some degree. Since it is so popular—taking up almost half of the office productivity software market in February 2022—we figured it would be helpful to share a few tips to help speed up some of the things you may be spending time on now.

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How to Properly Manage Business Software

How to Properly Manage Business Software

It's always important to maintain and manage the tools you use for work. Nowadays, this includes the software your business uses each day. Let's go over some tips for doing so properly.

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Productivity Software is Smarter Than Ever

Productivity Software is Smarter Than Ever

All businesses rely on software to an extent, but there are several that transcend industry or organization size and can be implemented by most businesses to improve productivity. Let’s go over some of the common types of software you might find in a business environment and why you should consider implementing them for your own company.

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VoIP Can Make Communications Easier

VoIP Can Make Communications Easier

Nothing changes the fortunes of a business faster than having clear lines of communication, especially after operating with less-than-effective communications for a time. Today, there are options that provide businesses with enterprise-level communications without the massive price tag and commitments that they typically bring. 

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ALERT: Your Business Needs to Take the Log4j Extremely Seriously

ALERT: Your Business Needs to Take the Log4j Extremely Seriously

You’ve probably already heard about Log4j this week. Maybe you don’t recognize the name, but it’s likely that you have run across emails or news articles talking about this widespread vulnerability. You need to take it very seriously.

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Outlining the Usefulness of the Password Manager App

Outlining the Usefulness of the Password Manager App

Businesses sure use a lot of online accounts, and if they don’t keep track of the passwords associated with these accounts, things can get messy fast. To help with this effort, password managers, or applications that store passwords in an encrypted vault, have really taken off. Here are some of the reasons why businesses invest in password management solutions.

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Is Your PC Ready for Windows 11?

Is Your PC Ready for Windows 11?

Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, the latest in its line of PC operating systems, as well as detailed its system requirements. Will your business be upgrading to Windows 11 when the time comes? We think a lot of it will depend on its current IT infrastructure and whether or not you meet the minimum requirements right out the gate. Let’s dive into the details and what you need to know about Windows 11.

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Software Management Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Software Management Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

We live in a world of the “as a service” business model, where services are rendered on a per-month or per-billing cycle service model rather than the traditional “buy now, replace later” one. What they don’t tell you, however, is that when you use Software as a Service (SaaS) for multiple purposes, things can get messy pretty quickly. How do you manage all of your software solutions without breaking the bank (and your brain)?

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Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Software runs our lives. It certainly runs your business. What if I told you that this essential cog in your business’ operations can also be the thing that is most susceptible to being exposed by outside attackers? It’s true, software can be the very door that hackers and scammers need to get into your network and run amok. Let’s take a look at the unsung service that is patch management and why it is so important. 

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How to Determine Which Productivity Suite Is Right for Your Business

How to Determine Which Productivity Suite Is Right for Your Business

The productivity suite is one of the most utilized software combos going. Usually it comes with a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a note taking program, and a presentation creator. There are other pieces of software included in some of today’s most dynamic options, but for our purposes we are going to limit it to these. 

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Document Your IT Infrastructure

Document Your IT Infrastructure

Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?

That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.

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More Than 70 Percent of PCs Run Windows 10

More Than 70 Percent of PCs Run Windows 10

Ever since Windows 10 debuted in July of 2015, it has slowly risen in its market share. This has continued throughout the tumultuous times that 2020 has provided, as the OS has now reached a market share of 72.2 percent as of October. Let’s go over why this matters, and why—if you haven’t done so yet—you need to add your organization’s PCs to that number.

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Is Automation Really a Threat for Workers?

Is Automation Really a Threat for Workers?

Automation has helped many businesses improve their output and efficiency, but what is the cost to the people that work for these organizations? Many systems rely on the autonomy of artificial intelligence systems to keep certain tasks and workflows on point. Automation could replace up to a quarter of the current workforce in the next ten years, so people are naturally skeptical and worried about how safe their jobs are going to be with more and more businesses utilizing software automation. 

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Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Flash Player—the familiar Adobe web application that first premiered in 1996—is finally going into retirement at the end of the year. This is quite a big deal, as Flash Player was (at least initially) instrumental to many of the platforms that so many rely on these days. However, what will this mean for your business?

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Google Adding Features to the G Suite

Google Adding Features to the G Suite

It is apparent that Google is deeply invested in the G Suite, as they recently added an assortment of features to make basic processes much simpler and more convenient for their users. Here, we’ll go over a few of these updates, and how they can positively influence your operations.


Search Chips in Gmail

All G Suite subscribers will soon see improved search capabilities within Gmail, as Google’s developers have added an extra feature to help narrow down search results. Once a search is performed within Gmail, contextual options will appear below the search field.

For instance, let’s say you were looking for a specific email from your colleague Brian. Simply searching for “Brian” would bring up a mess of messages, chats, updates, and invites. Search Chips allows you to narrow your search by various filters without manually typing them. So, if you knew that the message from Brian you were looking for had a PDF attached, you can search for emails from Brian with PDFs attached.

Again, while this feature is currently exclusive to the G Suite, all Gmail accounts will soon have this capability built in.

Expanded Out of Office Notifications

Are you planning on being out of the office for an extended amount of time? Google is adding a feature that allows you to present this information in more context to your contacts who have access to your Google calendar. Suppose you have a vacation scheduled in your Google calendar. If Brian wanted to get in touch with you during that time, he would see that you were gone and when to expect you back.

Google Docs Autocorrect and Smart Compose

Google Docs (at least, the online version) is being augmented with the ability to automatically correct a user’s errors as they type – something many users will likely find to be a welcome addition. This feature is slated to be released to select G Suite subscription types. Likewise, select G Suite subscriptions may have noticed Smart Compose predictions appearing in their Google Docs as of late.

Admin Console Improvements

Administrators should be happy to see the assorted improvements that have been made to their Admin consoles, and we’re talking about more than the aesthetic changes. The entire interface’s integration has been improved, with more context provided in the options.

Context Aware Access in G Suite

There are just some things that different levels in an organization need and don’t need, respectively, which means that certain users shouldn’t be able to access certain things.  While admins were once only able to differentiate access control through organizational units, you can now control access via a user’s identity and the context that is inferred by a request. This means more granular control over your data, and by extension, more secure data. However, to use this feature, you have to be a G Suite user of Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, Cloud Identity Premium, or Drive Enterprise.

Which of these additions do you find the most promising? Do you wish any were more widely available? Let us know in the comments!

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Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

IT administrators are pretty particular about what software is used on the networks that they manage. This is not because we have any vested interest in the software itself, it’s because of the inherent reliability of the software they manage. They’ve tested it, they manage it, they know it. When an organization starts dealing with employee-downloaded software--especially if there is no procedure in place to report additions to IT--they can quickly lose control over the network. 


The software that isn’t properly vetted (or even reported most of the time) is called shadow IT. Since it’s the IT administrator’s job to oversee the data security and overall effectiveness of your company’s technology deployments, shadow IT can present them with a bunch of risk.  IT administrators hate risk. Today, we’ll take you through the good and bad of shadow IT.

Shadow IT is Bad

Most of the people that work with a computer have been working with similar technology for a long time. While they aren’t IT experts, they know what software works best for them. That experience will often result in them downloading software that hasn’t been approved by their company’s IT department or outsourced IT service vendor. This software, while useful for the user, may be a major problem for an organization, for several reasons.

The main issue is that any software that is downloaded may come with adware, spyware, malware, vulnerabilities, and other nefarious code that can put a business at risk. Worse yet, that software isn’t known to your IT admin, keeping it from the routine maintenance it needs to keep it from being a vulnerability. If your business carries vulnerable software, it can create a breachable hole in your network. So, while you may not see continuous problems, risk is magnified. 

What are the risks? Here are a few:

  • A lack of security - Without the visibility and control over network-attached resources, IT management becomes much more difficult. If there is a potential that a piece of software can put a hole in your network, you are compromising the network’s security.
  • Problems with performance - If the tool that’s implemented doesn’t mesh with the system it’s installed on, the app’s performance--and thus the user’s--will be compromised.
  • Compliance problems - If your organization needs to meet certain compliance standards, the presence of unmanaged software makes it almost impossible to meet said standards.
  • Data loss - If IT management doesn’t know that a software is on the network, it won’t be covered by organizational backup strategies, meaning work completed using shadow IT apps won’t be backed up.

The minute you understand the risks, it becomes clear why IT admins typically don’t like shadow IT at all.

Can Shadow IT be Good?

Risky behavior can be a major problem for a business. It can also result in significant reward. According to a study conducted in 2019, there is a shift in the way that IT admins are looking at shadow IT. This is mainly the result of organizations looking to improve productivity and to use available capital more effectively. For the detrimental risk that shadow IT can bring a company, there is an opportunity to save time and cut costs.

The study, which included 1,000 IT professionals, showed that a whopping 77 percent believe that embracing shadow IT solutions can help a company innovate quicker than their direct competition. That’s not all.

  • 49 percent said that shadow IT boosts productivity.
  • 45 percent said that shadow IT helps promote employee engagement.
  • 40 percent said that shadow IT helps promote adherence to IT security requirements.
  • 40 percent said that shadow IT would help reduce employee turnover.

Effectively, two-fifths of IT admins said that shadow IT’s detriments could be ignored. That’s not to say that I know any IT administrator that would be totally okay with having unsupported applications on company-owned machines. Not one would deliberately put a gaping hole in their organization’s network to boost productivity. 

What they would promote is the use of shadow IT that is brought onto the network through employee-owned devices. This practice is being shown more leniency now more than ever. After all, IT admins can’t possibly be responsible for every piece of software brought onto the network by employees. They bring laptops, and tablets, and smartphones, and IoT devices, and with all those devices, there are bound to be programs that IT admins typically wouldn’t want on there, but would accept if it kept decision makers happy and productivity high.

If you would like to learn more about shadow IT, what constitutes shadow IT, or have any other software and maintenance questions, call our knowledgeable professionals today at (732) 291-5938.

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Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need.

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Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Microsoft 365 has been on the market for a while now, and we thought it would be a good time to go into the different tiers of the platform to give you an idea of what it is, why it is useful, and how your business fits into the latest cloud platform offered by Microsoft. Let’s start with what it is.

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Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts for Slack

Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts for Slack

Collaboration is crucial in today’s work environment, which is one reason that solutions like Slack are so popular among businesses. Another reason that Slack is a popular option is how user-friendly it is - especially with the many shortcuts that are built in. We’ll go over a few of these shortcuts.

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Fuel Productivity with Collaboration Tools

Fuel Productivity with Collaboration Tools

The modern perspective of productivity would not be possible without the use of collaboration tools. Some of them are so game changing that they can completely revolutionize the way you hold meetings, deal with clients, and manage in-house processes. We’ll discuss how you can implement collaboration tools that work for your business, as well as use them to overcome the many challenges you might face in a business environment.

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730