How Can Cloud Computing Improve Productivity?

Productivity in the workplace is a very delicate topic for which there are several schools of thought. Some people tend to think that only intrusive micro-management is the only way to boost productivity while others might be more inclined to take a more delicate approach by offering incentives.

Regardless of the exact approach you or your company takes to stimulate productivity, you must not forget about the role that technology can play in assisting daily operations. For instance, it could be said that an organization’s IT assets and resources play an integral role in either aiding or inhibiting productivity. This is largely because it is through IT that all inter-office communications, file sharing, information logging, data storage, and collaborative efforts are generally organized. Since cloud computing is more or less replacing / modifying traditional IT and incorporates emerging technologies, it might be a good idea to explore the ways in which it can help to boost general productivity.

There are essentially three ways that cloud computing (or any type of IT for that matter) can impact productivity.

Utilizing known and emerging technologies
Encouraging employee growth
Improving communications

What makes cloud computing a more ideal candidate (as opposed to traditional IT) for addressing these three areas of concern is actually the technology that’s driving it. For example, Cloud computing can make use of virtually any type of application or software; an app can be packaged along with other programs and processes and then easily duplicated and copied.

In a traditional IT setup, a packaged set of processes is not so easily transferred among individual users, not only does this slow down the individual(s) performing work, it creates more redundant-style labor for IT as well. In other words, through cloud computing you can more easily create your own software-based solutions and deploy them instantly to as many users as needed. Likewise, there are a dizzying number of individual cloud-based services (email, online storage, and online file transfer) which can be leveraged nearly instantly to provide employees with on-the-spot solutions, thereby eliminating searching and downtime.

Also, by granting personnel access to a library of specific software products and solutions, you are giving them a deeper sense of responsibility and creative leeway to do their work. Protocols are great and often extremely necessary to facilitate any type of organized work, but it’s often impossible or unwieldy to provide your employees with an “A to B” goal and then limit their options for completing the task.

Quite simply, through cloud computing, a number of different pathways to completion of any particular task might open up. This freedom of choice creates and fosters a greater sense of desire from employees because they are given the opportunity to creatively address whatever work they are doing. Another fringe benefit of this is that more creative (or brilliant) solutions can be devised. As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one”. If you have all of your employees actively searching for quicker, more efficient solutions to ongoing problems / work / duties (as opposed to simply following orders), you’re going to end up with increased productivity.

In terms of improving communications, cloud computing cannot be matched by traditional IT. In the same way that web tools, apps, and communication interfaces can improve connectivity, so too can cloud computing. Additionally, any type of web service, app, or software can be repacked or deployed on a cloud. This means that you can have a much cleaner interface for users with a greater number of individual points of communication. For instance, through cloud computing it would be possible for an organization to establish an in-house video messaging / conferencing service which might greatly improve inter-departmental communications and relations.

However, the use of cloud computing technologies will require the effort and understanding of your IT department personnel. If your business has yet to begin exploring this facet of IT preparedness you should know that now is a great time to do so. Currently, you can have an entire IT department certified or trained in one or multiple cloud computing disciplines at group discount rates. Moreover, since cloud computing certification can be delivered via the internet (e-learning), your IT employees will be able to engage in mobile learning.

To simply say that cloud computing can increase productivity in the workplace is a bit of an understatement. The truth is, cloud computing can effectively redesign the way your business approaches and accomplishes the work it performs on a daily basis. In this way, cloud computing is less a means to improving productivity and more of a comprehensive infrastructure which allows for the increased streamlining of inter-office activities.

Saving Your Own Skin Cosmetics With Sun Protection: The Latest Wrinkle in Beauty Products

There is a tendency in our society to disassociate beauty and brains. However, cosmetic companies are working to change that perception. Now that they are incorporating sunscreens into everything from moisturizers to lipsticks, makeup has become an intelligent choice.

With sun exposure causing 80 per cent of visible aging (as opposed to chronological aging), cosmetics with sun protection makes perfect sense. As well, skin cancer – the most common form of cancer in Canada has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and continues to rise. Add to the bad news, the depleting ozone layer, which provides less protection against the sun’s rays, and there’s all the more reason to save your own skin.

Dr. Lynn From, head of dermatology at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, believes the move to protective beauty is a good idea. “It introduces sunscreen as a part of a woman’s daily routine.”

From suggests applying a moisturizer with sunscreen to the neck and the back of hands, forgotten areas that usually receive more sun damage than the face. She also recommends choosing cosmetics incorporating a broad- spectrum sunscreen (protecting against both UVA and UVB rays), with a sun- protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

However, locating an SPF rating on a cosmetic label is not always an easy task. Beauty products, unlike drug products, are not required to list ingredients or claim a sun-protection factor.

But that’s changing. By April 2011, Health and Welfare Canada will require testing of any product claiming to offer sun protection. According to spokesperson JoAnne Ford, “any sun protection claim will be considered a drug claim. The ultimate goal (of the new policy) is to give the consumer adequate information. At the moment, labels may seem misleading or confusing.”

This is certainly true. There are labels with and without government approval, claims of sun protection without SPF ratings, and SPF ratings on imported goods which may be misleading because European and North American SPF ratings use different standards. Until next April, when the new ruling and products’ revised labeling will take effect, Ford suggests choosing products that have already been reviewed. Check labels for a DIN (drug identification number) or GP (general product) number, signifying government approval.

If your preferred beauty product has not yet been approved, or provides less protection than you require, there is the option of using it in conjunction with a regular sunscreen. Apply a regular sunscreen first, under moisturizer and makeup. Sunscreens must be absorbed directly into the skin to ensure effectiveness. For this reason, From suggests applying all sunscreen products at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. It used to be said that beauty is only skin deep. Now, not only are women and cosmetic companies believing it, they’re taking it seriously.

General Dentistry – Tips for Choosing the Best Dental Products

For a clean, bright smile that gets you noticed, it’s important to take care of your teeth with the help of a dentist as well as at-home oral hygiene. The field of general dentistry includes a variety of different procedures, but for these to work their best, you will need to brush and floss regularly. It can be confusing to choose the best dental products on the market, however, as there are so many that promise to whiten, strengthen, and brighten your teeth. To get started with this task, you will need to take a look at these different types of products and take some of the following tips into consideration.

Brushing properly begins with choosing the right toothbrush. One of the basic principles of general dentistry is choosing a toothbrush that feels comfortable in your hand, so that you will be more likely to use it. A soft-bristled brush works the best, and you can choose in between an old-fashioned manual toothbrush or an electric brush. For manual brushes, be sure that the tip of the brush is small enough to reach inside all the crevices and corners of your mouth. Electric brushes should also have a soft head and bristles. Make sure that the brush moves in the back and forth motion recommended by dentists.

Dental floss is another type of product to choose. As part of general dentistry advice, it’s recommended that you floss at least once a day. There are regular dental floss options as well as dental flossers which can help remove plaque and debris from the spaces in between your teeth. Dental flossers are popular because they make flossing easier than regular dental floss, but waxed floss is also a good option because it glides more easily in between the teeth. When you are selecting toothpaste, be sure to look for products that contain fluoride, which helps prevent cavities. Other factors to consider when comparing toothpaste options include tartar control, whitening agents, and flavor.

Although floss, a good toothbrush, and toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association are all the most important factors when it comes to general dentistry at home, there are other products that can also be beneficial. Mouthwash is one of these products, because it can go the extra mile in killing bacteria in your mouth that could lead to cavities. When you have any further questions about these products, it’s best to ask your dentist for advice.