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laptop-securityEvery time you carry a laptop out the office door you're taking sensitive business information out into the wild, so it's vital to ensure your security is tight.

Laptops are great for staying productive on the road, but you need to take precautions should they fall into the wrong hands. It's important to password protect your laptop and ensure the password is required to unlock the screen saver or wake the laptop from hibernation, not just when you reboot the computer.

While you're at it, it's worth setting up a "Standard" Windows user account rather than sticking with the default account that has "Administrator" rights. Your people shouldn't need Administrator rights to perform day-to-day tasks; they're only required when installing new software or changing important settings.

Using a Standard user account makes it much more difficult for malware to get a foothold on your laptop and quietly install itself in the background.

As an extra level of protection, you might look to software that lets you create a secure encrypted container on your computer, for storing sensitive business documents. This kind of software can also include remote lock and wipe featu...

video-walls-helpA wall of video screens is a great way to impress the crowds at a conference or trade show when you're out to make a big impression.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that's not much help if the people down the back can't see what you've got on show. Sure, monitors keep getting bigger and high-end projectors can pack a lot of punch, but when it comes to a crowded room nothing cuts through quite like a wall-sized screen that says "we mean business".

Alternatively, a video wall can make a great first impression when people are visiting your business. Video walls can handle boardroom presentations, display critical information in your operations centre or simply impress people walking into your foyer or across your retail floor.

Rather than relying on a single wall-sized monitor, video walls work by linking multiple monitors to act as one hefty screen. Each monitor features a super-thin bezel around the edge to help create the illusion that you're looking at one giant screen. Some video walls are designed to hang on a wall while others come with their own stand to give you more flexibility when planning your presentation area.

All the monit...

putting-ipads-to-workIf paperwork is slowing your business down then iPads could be the key to a productivity overhaul.

Paperwork might seem like a necessary evil when you run a business, but it can quickly get out of control. If your desk is buried under piles of documents, or the back seat of your car has become a make-shift filing cabinet, then it's time to rethink your approach to paperwork.

The dream of a truly paperless office isn't realistic in some industries, but every business can aspire to be a "less-paper" office. In the long run, it's not just about saving trees and reducing your printing costs, it's also about improving your workflows, being more productive away from the office and even opening up new business opportunities.

The key to reducing your reliance on paper is to digitise your workflows and that's where a lightweight but powerful tablet like Apple's iPad comes into play.

An iPad can put everything you need at your fingertips, far beyond simply accessing your email, calendar and contacts. A secure document management system can put an entire filing cabinet at your disposal, from installation manuals and building plans to customer contra...

choosing-the-right-laptopNot all laptops are created equal, so it's vital to do your research when choosing a tech travel companion.

There was a time when portable computing meant lugging around bulky and cumbersome devices that ran slowly but chewed through their battery all too quickly. Thankfully, those days are gone and the new generation of laptops no longer demand you make so many compromises when working away from your desk.

That said, choosing the best laptop for your travel bag is still a balancing act between size, weight, grunt and battery life. You can have it all if you're prepared to pay top dollar, otherwise you need to decide where your priorities lie.

The first step is to decide exactly why you need a laptop and what kinds of tasks you need to perform when you're on the move. Also, consider whether the laptop will spend more time at your fingertips or on your shoulder.

If you need serious processing power on the road then you might look to a "desktop replacement" or "mobile workstation" with a generous 17-inch display. They pack desktop-style processors and dedicated graphics cards – which might be useful for high-end design work ...

cloud-collaboration-can-save-youEmail is supposedly a business productivity tool, but if wading through your inbox is slowing you down then it's time to find better ways to communicate with your colleagues.

Old-fashioned email might be fine for one-to-one communications but if you're working in a team you can soon find yourself trapped in Reply All hell. Some businesses are resigned to the fact that an over-reliance on email can sometimes bog things down, but it doesn't need to be this way.

Thankfully, cloud computing has brought with it a new generation of online communication and collaboration tools that are designed to overcome the shortcomings of email. In some ways, they're similar to the consumer-grade chat apps you might already be familiar with, but business-grade services add a range of advanced features such as archiving. They also offer tight integration with other business tools such as cloud office suites and project management tools.

The idea is to help your people work productively as a team, whether they're spread across the office or around the globe. Of course, your people don't all sit at a desk all day, which is why clou...