Tech Fluency

Contributed article by Yvonne Burton of Burton Consulting International and Silicon Valley Alliance Associate.

Technological fluency is a major part of global business skills and in the age of remote work, the need for companies to have Tech Fluency has become more and more apparent. I work mainly with Japanese companies and although many major corporations are proactive in utilizing technology to the fullest, I find that an equal number are not. Whether, small, medium, or large, many Japanese companies are behind in using technology tools for maximum benefit and suffering for it.

This first article provides a general introduction to the theme,  a look at what is missing and the state that a lot of companies found themselves in when the pandemic propelled all of the world into remote work. Some companies seamlessly adapted, but for many others, it was and continues to be more of a challenge. Going forward, I will be writing more on this theme and what companies can and should be doing to increase fluency.

‘Tech Fluency’ was first published on JapanCulture-NYC where, as Business Editor, I write a bi-monthly column. I am re-posting the complete article here.

Technological Fluency

That is a mouthful. I call it Tech Fluency.

What is Tech Fluency?

Let me define it by looking at its components.

Technology: Techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives.

Fluency: The quality or condition of being fluent. In addition, it is also defined as the ability to express oneself easily and articulately. It is usually applied to languages.

In this article, I am taking creative license and applying fluency to the language of technology to describe the level of proficiency and/or comfort in using the technological tools and applications that are needed to perform work responsibilities.Continue reading

Why You Should Use Secure Email Services Instead of Popular Ones

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Email – you can’t really live without it anymore since that’s how you keep in touch with people, network, and apply to jobs nowadays.

And while it is appealing to just use the most popular email service (Gmail, Yahoo!, or AOL), it’s better to switch to a safer option.

Why?

Because the popular services simply aren’t secure enough.


What Risks Do Unsecured Email Services Expose You to?

You’d think popular email services have got your back, but the reality is completely different.

Here are the kinds of privacy threats you have to deal with if you use them:

1. Advertisers Breaching Your Privacy

Here’s the harsh truth – if you use a service like AOL, Yahoo!, or Gmail, you’re pretty much giving advertisers and third party apps access to your email contents.Continue reading

The Importance of IT Security for Every Business

Contributed article in our leadership series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Not only is it reckless to build a business without security precautions, but it can also be illegal. For instance, users in the EU must now agree to the cookies and data you take from them for whatever purpose (usually to offer a seamless and customized experience). As for your company, not investing in your IT security will put you in danger of having your entire company held hostage with what is known as ransomware. There are so many reasons why IT security is important for small, medium, and large businesses alike:

1.    Your Customers Expect Secure Transactions

Mobile purchases and online shopping is more popular than ever, but that doesn’t mean that every online store gets a piece of the proverbial pie. You need to have a great looking site that functions well and looks great. You also need to offer the right levels of security and encryptions in order to protect said transactions for both party’s sakes.

2.    Malware Can Ruin Your Company

Continue reading

How to Keep Safe & Well at Work

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Health and safety should be at the forefront of every business’ priorities. Not only are they legally obligated to offer their employees a safe working environment; improving the company culture can boost their workforce and help increase employee retention for years to come. You need to take advantage of all the benefits that are offered to you because it is only when both you and your employer prioritize your safety and wellness can you truly thrive in the working environment. To help you love your job, start by following these steps.

Listen and Follow to All Safety Guidelines

If there are safety rules and guidelines at your workplace, it is important that you follow them and that you do your part to maintaining the overall safety at your workplace. If it your job to check the state of the machinery on a certain day, and you don’t do so for whatever reason, you could be liable if any injuries occurred on that day. Do your part to keep your workspace an enjoyable and safe environment for everyone.Continue reading

Wellbeing Doesn’t Always FEEL . . . well . . . WELL!

Here’s how I’m facing this year’s daunting challenges. Who’s in? – Kimberly

With all of the hatred unleashed in the 2016 US elections, I’ve been struggling to regain my send of wellbeing. Then I remembered . . .

WELLBEING ISN’T NECESSARILY EASY. Sometimes I fret that “wellbeing” will be misinterpreted as “Life should always be easy.” How dull would that be?!! My work mostly involves tackling challenges that most people claim are very difficult, highly unlikely, or darned near impossible, and I find the work absolutely exhilarating! Yes, I feel quite “well” when I’m in the midst of such circumstances, meeting tough challenges while shaking in my boots, staying committed to results that seem unattainable. Wahoo! For me, wellbeing isn’t endless days of paddling a lazy canoe toward my ultimate resting place (RIP). While I sometimes enjoy the tranquility of a quiet stream, I’m sure I’d go completely bonkers if I had to experience peace, calm and tranquility every moment of my life. Truly.Continue reading