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3 Undeniable Business Trends You Need to Embrace

Adaptability is the key ingredient of success for those looking to accomplish great things in today's business climate.   This is one of the key business trends highlighted by Huffington Post's blogger, Doug G. Sandler in his ARTICLE : 3 Undeniable Business Trends You Need To Embrace. We live in a business world that is moving faster than it ever has and adaptability seems to be the only acceptable policy for an entrepreneur, even though for many it will mean changing the status quo of how you operate, and for others - the newbie business owners - time and resources will need to be spent creating and improving their networks and key resources. Either case, you should embrace these three trends to make your own way towards success.


  1. The Internet is here to stay! The most successful businesses of tomorrow will be able to master technology but still provide a human touch as well. 

  2. Content is king.  Blogging, writing and sharing content with existing customers and potential customers is vital. Be an expert in your industry, stay connected to your market and provide content that is relevant, interesting and easy to read.

  3. Adapt or perish. You cannot ignore business trends or your business will be left behind.


Read more here.






Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month! It may not sound as sexy or cool as National Ice Cream Month (July), or National Jazz Appreciation Month (April), but cyber security is just as, if not more, important. In fact, Cyber Security Awareness Month is the only national awareness month out of the aforementioned that is administered and promoted by the Department of Homeland Security. Sound important yet? It should. Although we all use the internet, few of us take the time to make sure our connections are secure, our information is safe and our assets are protected. Well, this month is the time to do it. 

The Department of Homeland Security, along with the National Cyber Security Alliance, has outlined a number of topics to consider this month. Among them is the secure development of IT products, critical infrastructure and the internet of things, cyber crime and law enforcement, and cyber security for small and medium sized business and entrepreneurs. For your convenience, the DHS has even outlined tips for insuring cyber security for small and medium sized businesses, as follows:
  • Use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers; automate patch deployments across your organization to protect against vulnerabilities. 
  • Secure your internet connection by using a firewall, encrypting information, and hiding your Wi-Fi network. 
  • Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information; educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organizations data and hold them accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
  • Require that employees use strong passwords and regularly change them.
  • Invest in data loss protection software for your network and use encryption technologies to protect data in transit.
  • Protect all pages on your public facing websites, not just the checkout and sign up pages. 
Although these tips are crucial, they are just the beginning. Small and medium sized businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber security threats, as they often lack the resources to build a comprehensive cyber security system, yet they store significant amounts of sensitive data. To learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your organization, access the Stop.Think.Connect.Toolkit created especially for small businesses. 
Safely surf on! 


Thank you POLITICO,The Tory Burch Foundation and Google for hosting a two part "Women Rule: Cracking the Code" event in the San Francisco Bay Area. A panel which included Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan, Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California system and former U.S Secretary for Homeland Security, and Vivek Wadhwa, Stanford Law School professor, created an electrifying conversation with several hundred women, and a few men, about Changing the Course: Fostering a New Culture for Women in Tech. The full event may be viewed here

The audience learned from Professor Wadhwa that in order to make change, the tech industry needs to stop blaming the pipeline. There is no pipeline problem in an industry that is hiring male dropouts and even placing them on their board of directors. An overhaul needs to occur with the interviewing process at most tech companies. Today, both the interviewing environment and the questions posed during the interview favor males who spend hours using technology as a toy rather than a tool. And most obvious according to Wadhwa is that women have workplace needs that differ substantially than men, especially women who are seeking work-family balance. Obtaining women friendly policies will be integral to fostering a new culture for women in tech. 

When asked what can the federal government do to make changes for women, Janet Napolitano referenced the government's ability to contract with women owned small businesses (WOSB). Her advice was for women to get into the procurement fight and seek federal contracts. She added, if and when contracts are written not for an entire airplane carrier but for parts of it, then more women and minorities will become winners in the Request for Proposal arena. Breaking an RFP into pieces is key to the dollars being spread across a wider field, one that includes women and men. WIPP attendees were delighted by this message, since it works hard to have WOSBs at the ready to get into the procurement "fight". 

Former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm has a new role at the University of California's School of Engineering. She raised concerns about the number of women who drop out of tech along the way to a fulfilled career. She sees culture in the tech workplace as a key factor. In her closing remarks her call to action encouraged audience members to vote for people who will change the world the "right way". Put people in office whom you trust. 

Preceding the "Change the Course" panel was an equally stimulating one on "Rules of the Road: How can women enhance their changes of being heard in tech?". Among the three participants, there was consensus about the need for women to be relentless, authentic, and curious. Advocacy in the Capitol was viewed as being key to having women's voices heard. Done correctly, Congress can be a partner, a leverage point for solutions brought to them by constituencies like WOSBs. The WOSB legislation that WIPP obtained is an excellent example of just that, as is the July 2014 Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing on women owned business issues for which WIPP and other groups created a standing room only audience. Panelists included: Dr.Genevieve Bell, Intel Corporation- Vice President and Intel Fellow, Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo- Founder and Chief Development Officer, Tina Sharkey, iVillage- CEO, Foundry, Co-Founder. 

Key people: Janet Napolitano, UC California- President,Janet Granholm- Former Governor of Michigan, Viviek Wadhwa, Stanford University Law School Fellow, Dr. Genevieve Bell, Intel Corporation- Vice President and Intel Fellow, Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo- Founder and Chief Development Officer, Tina Sharkey, iVillage- CEO, Foundry, Co-Founder. 

Join the conversation on Twitter: #WomenRule

Join the Women Rule Google+ Community 





Last week, Apple announced the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which feature a larger and thinner screen like many devices currently on the market offered by Apple's competitors for some time. To date, the new devices have doubled the number of orders placed the first day the iPhone 5 was released. In the wake of Apple's big announcement, it is important to see how far technology has come in the smartphone space. Since the first smartphone in 1994, IBM's Simon, to the introduction of the scrolling wheel by BlackBerry in 2003 and Samsung's launch of the first phablet in 2012, technology continues to make significant strides. Smartphone manufacturers are fiercely competing with one another to bring new features, innovations, and applications to their devices.  Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) has created an infographic that illustrates the evolution of this dynamic market and shows just how far technology has come in a relatively short time - benefiting consumers and business owners alike.  Technological advances in this space directly impact women and minority owned businesses that need fully equipped yet affordable devices to conduct efficient, and successful, business operations. Advancements in smartphone technology have lowered startup costs and improved access to information technology for businesses and help them compete in today's digital economy.


History of the Smart Phone.jpg
Click here to view and download the infographic.

Broadband Plan Anniversary: Some Goals Met but More Work Needed

 

Yesterday, March 16, marked the fourth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan.  When it was released four years ago, this plan was lauded as the FCC's roadmap to universal broadband access, intended to expand access and bring affordable, high-speed broadband connectivity to Americans in every corner of the country.  This connectivity is essential for us all, and in particular for women and women-owned businesses - without it, full participation in our global economy and modern life is virtually impossible. 

 

Here at WIPP, we've long advocated for increased access to affordable broadband service because of the critical role Internet-based networks fulfills for women, as well as for our businesses and loved ones.  Access to fast, modern high-speed broadband connectivity means access to professional opportunities, distance learning classes, telework jobs, civic engagement, and even health care.  It delivers growth opportunities to businesses, helping those businesses run more efficiently and competitively in the global marketplace.  Broadband connectivity also delivers much greater possibilities for higher education, job training, and professional networking. 

 

In the plan, the FCC identified broadband as "the great infrastructure challenge of the 21st century," and set important goals designed to meet that challenge, many of which line up with our own tech principles.  In only four years, the private sector and the FCC have already made incredible progress toward meeting those goals, and we applaud those efforts.  Additionally, the upcoming spectrum incentive auction is a chance to make underused spectrum available to wireless carriers, thereby easing the strain on mobile networks while also funding FirstNet (a nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders) with auction proceeds. 

 

The National Broadband Plan also recognized the vital role that private investment plays in the work to expand access and enhance broadband service.  The plan explained that the old-fashioned "Plain Old Telephone System" network infrastructure was incapable of meeting future needs, and that maintaining that obsolete network required carriers to spend money on lines that hardly anyone relied on anymore.  Meanwhile, consumer demand and continued tech innovation have driven private investment into modern, lightning-fast broadband network infrastructure.  Investment in our country's broadband infrastructure has been substantial: Estimates report that this investment totaled $1.2 trillion between 1996 and 2011. And last year, a White House report said since 2009, private sector investment into these networks came in at over $250 billion. In fact, the top two wireless carriers last year led all companies in all sectors in investing in our nation's future.  

 

Four years ago, the FCC presented a path that leads to expanded access, and those efforts are starting to pay off.  But achieving truly universal access to broadband will not be possible without significant additional private investment.  In order to achieve that goal, smart telecom regulations must be put in place; companies must have regulatory certainty.  Rules that both encourage investment into next-generation networks and that accelerate the movement forward to an all-broadband future will enable continued innovation, economic growth, and universal access for all Americans.  We encourage the FCC to study and learn the realities of today's marketplace, and ensure that any policies and regulations in the future accurately reflect today's dynamic and competitive ecosystem.

 

 

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