The OpenSure Free Press 16th May 2011

Welcome to the OpenSure Free Press – not hacked, not smeared and not the subject of a super-injunction. Oh well, gives us something to aspire to.

Are you making the most of the internet?
This article states:

British small businesses are now generating online revenues in excess of £36bn a year

which sounds fantastic but in fact makes up less than 3% of SME revenue, in part because

a significant percentage of 46% don’t make any revenue online and over a third don’t invest in any Internet tools to help them do so

With broadband reach and speeds increasing all the time, there’s no good reason for SMEs not to increase the share of business they find online to the nearer 20% achieved by larger enterprises. There are several elements to reaching this level of success, two main ones being to ensure there are sound online services at your company’s disposal, and to draw up a digital marketing plan. We can help you with the first by providing and looking after the services your company needs to reach a wide audience online and interact them as you need to, and communications agency Ethical SEO can help you with the second. Ethical SEO comes highly recommended by us for their willingness to help and share their considerable expertise.

Are you wasting money on software?
Have you paid for software you’re not using? If so you’re in excellent company. This article in TechEye states:

almost three quarters of organisations – 68 percent in the UK and 71 percent in the US – admit to software waste.

We’re talking about a vast amount of money here, some of which could be reclaimed to be reinvested and reduce the strain on IT budgets. It seems a major reason why this isn’t happening is that many organisations simply don’t record – or at least adequately – the software they purchase, install and run, which makes auditing a nightmarishly daunting prospect.

There’s not much help for companies that don’t keep good records, but apart from the many ethical and operational benefits to be had from using open source software, you can’t waste money on it as it’s free to acquire. To focus on this aspect is to miss the beauty of open source, but it has undeniable appeal and completely does away with the issue of software wastage. Next!

Making heavy weather of the cloud
The cloud isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s as well to have a rudimentary understanding of what it’s all about. We recently ran a cloud mini-series/crash course on this blog – did you see it? If you have any questions or comments please get in touch or leave a comment below. The cloud is nothing to be scared of and isn’t, as you might feel, the intimidating business tool other people use – it’s something we all interact with every day, whether we’re aware of it or not, and now’s the time to put it at your disposal. Please ask us about how to exploit it for the benefit of your business.

Other bits and pieces that have caught our eye recently include:

* Face-mounted stylus, anyone? Apparently very good for using in the bath.
* Are you going to the Hereford Tweet-Up? We’ll be there on Thursday at The Courtyard
* Have your say on Alphagov, the prototype new single website for UK government. It’s taking feedback for the next two months, so help to shape it.
* Please support Rayeesa Asghar’s Barclays One Small Step campaign – Rayeesa is a Herefordshire Indian cookery tutor and contestant in last year’s Lion’s Lair.
* A phone made from paper? Well sort of.

Not long til the next bank holiday, which means of course that the next edition of the OpenSure Free Press will be out on Tuesday 31st May.

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