Back To (Tech) School

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Students are not the only ones who need to get up to speed this time of year. These new books will help entrepreneurs, small business owners, and business managers stay current with important tech issues that affect their businesses’ bottom line.

Anita Rosen’s, The E-Commerce Question and Answer Book: A Survival Guide for Business Managers (Amacom, $19.95) provides hints for business managers looking to develop better customer and employee relationships. Her solutions: cut out the middleman when dealing with customers and provide e-learning, online training for employees.

Despite the slowing sales of cellular phones in 2001, the mobile device market continues to thrive, says Ron Schneiderman, author of The Mobile Technology Question and Answer Book: A Survival Guide for Business Managers (Amacom, $19.95). And Schneiderman theorizes that in 2003 or 2004, portable wireless devices will begin to replace PCs. “New applications that embody both wireless hardware and Internet connectivity are rapidly emerging to address the needs of business users,” he says. Furthermore, with these innovations, mobile workers will have easy access to clients and colleagues.

And while businesses are focusing on mobile connectivity, they should not overlook security, says Douglas Schweitzer in Internet Security Made Easy: A Plain English Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Company Online (Amacom, $24.95). His tips for safe surfing: Plan ahead and back up your data. Make sure that your password patterns are not obvious. And use cryptography, a system of coding plain text into indecipherable text and vice versa, for safe transmission.

Schweitzer’s book also includes a hacker glossary and several pages that cover topics related to Internet crime, fraud, and computer network hacking.

Another useful resource is Unforeseen Circumstance: Strategies and Technologies for Protecting Your Business and Your People In a Less Secure World by Alexis D. Gutzman (Amacom, $25). This book cites a number of strategies to improve security, including using biometric technology, having virtual meetings and training, and using collaborative project management software. Although this book is not as detailed as Schweitzer’s, it does go into specifics about preplanning and the intricacies of management-employee relations, with a focus on making employees comfortable with technologies such as email, e-commerce services, e-billing, and e-payment systems. These books will help managers get back to the tech basics of business.