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Exam Code: AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies study help January 2024 by team

AZ-303 Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies


EXAM NAME : Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies

Candidates for this test should have subject matter expertise in designing and implementing solutions that run on Microsoft Azure, including aspects like compute, network, storage, and security. Candidates should have intermediate-level skills for administering Azure. Candidates should understand Azure development and DevOps processes.

Responsibilities for an Azure Solution Architect include advising stakeholders and translating business requirements into secure, scalable, and reliable cloud solutions.

An Azure Solution Architect partners with cloud administrators, cloud DBAs, and clients to implement solutions.

A candidate for this test should have advanced experience and knowledge of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platform, budgeting, and governance–this role should manage how decisions in each area affect an overall solution. In addition, this role should have expert-level skills in Azure administration and have experience with Azure development and DevOps processes.

- Implement and monitor an Azure infrastructure (50-55%)

- Implement management and security solutions (25-30%)

- Implement solutions for apps (10-15%)

- Implement and manage data platforms (10-15%)

Implement and Monitor an Azure Infrastructure (50-55%)

Implement cloud infrastructure monitoring

 monitor security

 monitor performance

 monitor health and availability

 monitor cost

 configure advanced logging

 configure logging for workloads initiate automated responses by using Action Groups

 configure and manage advanced alerts Implement storage accounts

 select storage account options based on a use case

 configure Azure Files and blob storage

 configure network access to the storage account

 implement Shared Access Signatures and access policies

 implement Azure AD authentication for storage

 manage access keys

 implement Azure storage replication

 implement Azure storage account failover

Implement VMs for Windows and Linux

 configure High Availability

 configure storage for VMs

 select virtual machine size

 implement Azure Dedicated Hosts

 deploy and configure scale sets

 configure Azure Disk Encryption

Automate deployment and configuration of resources

 save a deployment as an Azure Resource Manager template

 modify Azure Resource Manager template

 evaluate location of new resources

 configure a virtual disk template

 deploy from a template

 manage a template library

 create and execute an automation runbook

Implement virtual networking

 implement VNet to VNet connections

 implement VNet peering

Implement Azure Active Directory

 add custom domains

 configure Azure AD Identity Protection

 implement self-service password reset

 implement Conditional Access including MFA

 configure user accounts for MFA

 configure fraud alerts

 configure bypass options

 configure Trusted IPs

 configure verification methods

 implement and manage guest accounts

 manage multiple directories

Implement and manage hybrid identities

 install and configure Azure AD Connect

 identity synchronization options

 configure and manage password sync and password writeback

 configure single sign-on

 use Azure AD Connect Health

Implement Management and Security Solutions (25-30%)

Manage workloads in Azure

 migrate workloads using Azure Migrate

 implement Azure Backup for VMs

 implement disaster recovery

 implement Azure Update Management

Implement load balancing and network security

 implement Azure Load Balancer

 implement an application gateway

 implement a Web Application Firewall

 implement Azure Firewall

 implement Azure Firewall Manager

 implement the Azure Front Door Service

 implement Azure Traffic Manager

 implement Network Security Groups and Application Security Groups

 implement Bastion

Implement and manage Azure governance solutions

 create and manage hierarchical structure that contains management groups,subscriptions and resource groups

 assign RBAC roles

 create a custom RBAC role

 configure access to Azure resources by assigning roles

 configure management access to Azure

 interpret effective permissions

 set up and perform an access review

 implement and configure an Azure Policy

 implement and configure an Azure Blueprint

Manage security for applications

 implement and configure KeyVault

 implement and configure Managed Identities

 register and manage applications in Azure AD

Implement Solutions for Apps (10-15%)

Implement an application infrastructure

 create and configure Azure App Service

 create an App Service Web App for Containers

 create and configure an App Service plan

 configure an App Service

 configure networking for an App Service

 create and manage deployment slots

 implement Logic Apps

 implement Azure Functions

Implement container-based applications

 create a container image

 configure Azure Kubernetes Service

 publish and automate image deployment to the Azure Container Registry

 publish a solution on an Azure Container Instance

Implement and Manage Data Platforms (10-15%)

Implement NoSQL databases

 configure storage account tables

 select appropriate CosmosDB APIs

 set up replicas in CosmosDB

Implement Azure SQL databases

 configure Azure SQL database settings

 implement Azure SQL Database managed instances

 configure HA for an Azure SQL database

 publish an Azure SQL database
Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
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Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies
Question: 334
Your company hosts multiple websites by using Azure virtual machine scale sets (VMSS) that run Internet Information
Server (IIS).
All network communications must be secured by using end to end Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. User
sessions must be routed to the same server by using cookie-based session affinity.
The image shown depicts the network traffic flow for the websites to the VMSS.
Use the drop-down menus to select the answer choice that answers each question. NOTE: Each correct selection is
worth one point.
Box 1: Azure Application Gateway
You can create an application gateway with URL path-based redirection using Azure PowerShell.
Box 2: Path-based redirection and Websockets
Question: 335
You have an Azure subscription that contains multiple resource groups.
You create an availability set as shown in the following exhibit.
You deploy 10 virtual machines to AS1.
Use the drop-down menus to select the answer choice that completes each statement based on the information
presented in the graphic. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Box 1: 6
Two out of three update domains would be available, each with at least 3 VMs.
An update domain is a group of VMs and underlying physical hardware that can be rebooted at the same time.
As you create VMs within an availability set, the Azure platform automatically distributes your VMs across these
update domains. This approach ensures that at least one instance of your application always remains running as the
Azure platform undergoes periodic maintenance.
Box 2: the West Europe region and the RG1 resource group
Question: 336
You have an Azure subscription that contains 100 virtual machines. You have a set of Pester tests in PowerShell that
validate the virtual machine environment. You need to run the tests whenever there is an operating system update on
the virtual machines. The solution must minimize implementation time and recurring costs.
Which three resources should you use to implement the tests? Each correct answer presents part of the solution.
NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
A . Azure Automation runbook
B . an alert rule
C . an Azure Monitor query
D . a virtual machine that has network access to the 100 virtual machines
E . an alert action group
Answer: ABE
AE: You can call Azure Automation runbooks by using action groups or by using classic alerts to automate tasks based
on alerts.
B: Alerts are one of the key features of Azure Monitor. They allow us to alert on actions within an Azure subscription
Question: 337
You have an Azure subscription that contains the resource groups shown in the following table.
You create an Azure Resource Manager template named Template1 as shown in the following exhibit.
From the Azure portal, you deploy Template1 four times by using the settings shown in the following table.
What is the result of the deployment? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each
correct selection is worth one point.
Question: 338
Question Set 1
You have an Azure subscription that contains 10 virtual machines on a virtual network. You need to create a graph
visualization to display the traffic flow between the virtual machines.
What should you do from Azure Monitor?
A . From Activity log, use quick insights.
B . From Metrics, create a chart.
C . From Logs, create a new query.
D . From Workbooks, create a workbook.
Answer: C
Navigate to Azure Monitor and select Logs to begin querying the data
Question: 339
You have an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant named
The tenant contains the users shown in the following table.
The tenant contains computers that run Windows 10.
The computers are configured as shown in the following table.
You enable Enterprise State Roaming in for Group1 and Group
A . For each of the following statements, select Yes if the statement is true. Otherwise, select No. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
Enterprise State Roaming provides users with a unified experience across their Windows devices and reduces the time
needed for configuring a new device.
Box 1: Yes
Box 2: No
Box 3: Yes
Question: 340
You plan to deploy an Azure virtual machine named VM1 by using an Azure Resource Manager template. You need
to complete the template.
What should you include in the template? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each
correct selection is worth one point.
Within your template, the dependsOn element enables you to define one resource as a dependent on one or more
resources. Its value can be a comma-separated list of resource names.
Box 1: Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces
This resource is a virtual machine. It depends on two other resources:
Box 2: Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks/
The dependsOn element enables you to define one resource as a dependent on one or more resources. The resource
depends on two other resources:
Question: 341
You have an Azure subscription.
You have 100 Azure virtual machines.
You need to quickly identify underutilized virtual machines that can have their service tier changed to a less expensive
Which blade should you use?
A . Metrics
B . Customer sights
C . Monitor
D . Advisor
Answer: D
Advisor helps you optimize and reduce your overall Azure spend by identifying idle and underutilized
resources. You can get cost recommendations from the Cost tab on the Advisor dashboard.
Question: 342
You have an Azure subscription that contains an Azure Log Analytics workspace.
You have a resource group that contains 100 virtual machines. The virtual machines run Linux.
You need to collect events from the virtual machines to the Log Analytics workspace.
Which type of data source should you configure in the workspace?
A . Syslog
B . Linux performance counters
C . custom fields
Answer: A
Syslog is an event logging protocol that is common to Linux. Applications will send messages that may be stored on
the local machine or delivered to a Syslog collector. When the Log Analytics agent for Linux is installed, it configures
the local Syslog daemon to forward messages to the agent. The agent then sends the message to Azure Monitor where
a corresponding record is created.
Question: 343
Your network contains an Active Directory domain named and an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
tenant named contains the user accounts in the following table. contains the user accounts in the following table.
You need to implement Azure AD Connect. The solution must follow the principle of least privilege.
Which user accounts should you use in and to implement Azure AD Connect?
To answer select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Box 1: User5
In Express settings, the installation wizard asks for the following:
AD DS Enterprise Administrator credentials
Azure AD Global Administrator credentials
The AD DS Enterprise Admin account is used to configure your on-premises Active Directory. These credentials are
only used during the installation and are not used after the installation has completed. The Enterprise Admin, not the
Domain Admin should make sure the permissions in Active Directory can be set in all domains.
Box 2: UserA
Azure AD Global Admin credentials are only used during the installation and are not used after the installation has
completed. It is used to create the Azure AD Connector account used for synchronizing changes to Azure AD. The
account also enables sync as a feature in Azure AD.
Question: 344
You plan to create an Azure Storage account in the Azure region of East US 2.
You need to create a storage account that meets the following requirements:
Replicates synchronously
Remains available if a single data center in the region fails
How should you configure the storage account? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE:
Each correct selection is worth one point.
Box 1: Zone-redundant storage (ZRS)
Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) replicates your data synchronously across three storage clusters in a single region.
LRS would not remain available if a data center in the region fails
GRS and RA GRS use asynchronous replication.
Box 2: StorageV2 (general purpose V2)
ZRS only support GPv2.
Question: 345
You have a virtual network named VNet1 as shown in the exhibit. (Click the Exhibit tab.)
No devices are connected to VNet1.
You plan to peer VNet1 to another virtual network named VNet2. VNet2 has an address space of
You need to create the peering.
What should you do first?
A . Configure a service endpoint on VNet2.
B . Add a gateway subnet to VNet1.
C . Create a subnet on VNEt1 and VNet2.
D . Modify the address space of VNet1.
Answer: D
The virtual networks you peer must have non-overlapping IP address spaces. The exhibit indicates that VNet1 has an
address space of, which is the same as VNet2, and thus overlaps. We need to change the address space for
Question: 346
You have an Azure Resource Manager template named Template1 in the library as shown in the following exhibit.
Use the drop-down menus to select the answer choice that completes each statement based on the information
presented in the graphic. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Question: 347
You have an Azure subscription that contains two virtual networks named VNet1 and VNet2. Virtual machines
connect to the virtual networks.
The virtual networks have the address spaces and the subnets configured as shown in the following table.
You need to add the address space of to VNet1. The solution must ensure that the hosts on VNet1 and
VNet2 can communicate.
Which three actions should you perform in sequence? To answer, move the appropriate actions from the list of actions
to the answer area and arrange them in the correct order.
Step 1: Remove peering between Vnet1 and VNet2.
You cant add address ranges to, or delete address ranges from a virtual networks address space once a virtual
network is peered with another virtual network. To add or remove address ranges, delete the peering, add or remove
the address ranges, then re-create the peering.
Step 2: Add the address space to VNet1.
Step 3: Recreate peering between VNet1 and VNet2
Question: 348
You have an Azure Resource Manager template for a virtual machine named Template1.
Template1 has the following parameters section.
For each of the following statements, select Yes if the statement is true. Otherwise, select No. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
Box 1: Yes
The Resource group is not specified.
Box 2: No
The default value for the operating system is Windows 2016 Datacenter.
Box 3: Yes
Location is no default value.
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Microsoft Could be Working on its Own Switch-Style Controllers No result found, try new keyword!Microsoft is possibly developing detachable gaming controllers similar to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, according to one newly emerged design patent. The patented controllers are described as a ... Fri, 29 Dec 2023 13:05:13 -0600 en-us text/html Everything Big Tech Killed Off in 2023

Google Stadia finally met its end in January this year, but it was just a drop in the bucket for the number of products and services the company killed in 2023.
Image: Colleen Michaels (Shutterstock)

Big Tech went on a murder spree in 2023. We saw the end of many once-loved products and services, all swallowed up into the great dark pit of corporate consolidation. Few companies kept their knives sheathed, and if this year taught us anything, 2024 is likely to be just as bloody.

This was a bad year to be a tech worker, and probably just as bad to be tech itself. The great tech layoff spree continued on from 2022 as Silicon Valley tried to cut costs by tossing staff to the curb and killing any products or services deemed too extraneous. As the industry’s latest fascination with artificial intelligence becomes an outright obsession, one can expect we’ll find even more shallow graves dug around the campuses of Google, Apple, TikTok, Microsoft, and Amazon.

This happens every year, but in 2023 we saw more than the usual amount of fat trimming. Big Tech didn’t just murder products people were using, it shuttered services that people depended on. As streaming has continued to refute its initial promise by forcing ads on users who can’t pay a premium, numerous services such as Apple Music and Netflix have cut off lower-cost subscription tiers.

If there were a most wanted board hanging up in the Silicon Valley sheriff’s office, then Google would have the biggest bounty on its head. The Mountain View giant has refocused its entire apparatus on pushing AI products, and that means other projects gotta go. At the top of the list is Google Stadia, the company’s cloud gaming platform that took a full six months before the coroner could file their full report. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We saw the impacts that mega-mergers like the multi-billion Warner Bros. Discovery had on user-end products and content. Not to put too fine a point on it, everything got worse. Next year, we’ll start to see the real impact of the $69 billion Microsoft merger with Activision Blizzard. Despite exec’s assurances that everything will be just fine, we have a feeling we’ll just end up with fewer apps and less competition, all while paying more for degraded experiences.

Thu, 28 Dec 2023 07:05:00 -0600 en text/html
The New York Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft over the use of its stories to train chatbots

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times has filed a federal lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft seeking to end the practice of using its stories to train chatbots, saying that copyright infringements at the paper alone could be worth billions.

The paper joins a growing list of individuals and publishers trying to stop OpenAI from using copyrighted material.

In the suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, the Times said OpenAI and Microsoft are advancing their technology through the “unlawful use of The Times’s work to create artificial intelligence products that compete with it” and “threatens The Times’s ability to provide that service.”

OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Media organizations have been pummeled by a migration of readers to online platforms and while many publications have carved out a digital space online as well, artificial intelligence technology has threatened to upend numerous industries, including media.

READ MORE: Study shows AI image-generators are being trained on explicit photos of children

Artificial intelligence companies scrape information available online, including articles published by news organizations, to train generative AI chatbots. The large language models are also trained on a huge trove of other human-written materials, such as instructional manuals and digital books. That helps them to build a strong command of language and grammar and to answer questions correctly. Still, they often get many things wrong. In its lawsuit, for example, the Times said OpenAI’s GPT-4 falsely attributed product recommendations to Wirecutter, the paper’s product reviews site, endangering its reputation.

OpenAI and other AI companies, including rival Anthropic, have attracted billions in investments very rapidly since public and business interest in the technology has exploded.

Microsoft has a partnership with OpenAI that allows it to capitalize on the AI technology made by the artificial intelligence company. The Redmon, Washington, tech giant is also OpenAI’s biggest backer and has invested billions of dollars into the company since the two began their partnership in 2019 with a $1 billion investment. As part of the agreement, Microsoft’s supercomputers help power OpenAI’s AI research and the tech giant integrates the startup’s technology into its products.

The paper’s complaint comes as the number of lawsuits filed against OpenAI for copyright infringement is growing. The company has been sued by a number of writers – including comedian Sarah Silverman – who say their books were ingested to train OpenAI’s AI models without their permission. In June, more than 4,000 writers signed a letter to the CEOs of OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Meta and other AI developers accusing them of exploitative practices in building chatbots that “mimic and regurgitate” their language, style and ideas.

The Times did not list specific damages that it is seeking, but said the legal action “seeks to hold them responsible for the billions of dollars in statutory and genuine damages that they owe for the unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.”

WATCH: The historic struggle between workers and the technology that could put them out of a job

The Times, however, is seeking the destruction of GPT and other large language models or training sets that incorporate its work.

In the complaint, the Times said Microsoft and OpenAI “seek to free-ride on The Times’s massive investments in its journalism” by using it to build products without payment or permission.

In July, OpenAI and The Associated Press announced a deal for the artificial intelligence company to license AP’s archive of news stories.

The New York Times said it’s never given permission to anyone to use its content for generative AI purposes.

The lawsuit also follows what appears to be breakdowns in talks between the newspaper and the two companies.

The Times said it reached out to Microsoft and OpenAI in April to raise concerns about the use of its intellectual property and reach a resolution on the issue. During the talks, the newspaper said it sought to “ensure it received fair value” for the use of its content, “facilitate the continuation of a healthy news ecosystem, and help develop GenAI technology in a responsible way that benefits society and supports a well-informed public.”

“These negotiations have not led to a resolution,” the lawsuit said.

Wed, 27 Dec 2023 03:57:00 -0600 en-us text/html
Microsoft’s first-in-three-decades ‘key’ change is a tangible symbol of CEO Satya Nadella’s AI bet No result found, try new keyword!For the first time in 30 years, Microsoft is adding a new button to the standard keyboards for Windows PCs. Meet the Copilot AI button, coming soon to your next Windows PC. Thu, 04 Jan 2024 06:38:00 -0600 en-us text/html The Impact of Technology on the Workplace: 2024 Report

The impact of technology on the workplace over the last year has been nothing if not substantial. From the integration of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT to the increase in data breaches across the industry, keeping up with shifting trends is a full-time job at this point in history.

Fortunately, you've got to help you out. In our inaugural annual report on this subject, we've embarked on an in-depth journey to quantify and explain a wide range of workplace trends, noting the influence of technology as a primary driver.

We surveyed over 1000 US business leaders to ensure an accurate depiction of the workplace heading in to 2024, and help you to strategize for the year ahead.

Below, we'll introduce our 2024 workplace report and give you a preview of its key findings. Make sure to download the full report if you want the learn more about how the workplace is changing in the face of evolving technology.

Impact of Tech on the Workplace Report 2024: Key Findings

Our Impact of Tech on the Workplace report found a wide range of statistics that point to how the world is adapting to new technology. Here are some of the key findings we identified, which are further outlined below:
  1. Using more collaboration tools and AI results in higher productivity
  2. 59% of people who use AI have greater job satisfaction
  3. ChatGPT is the most popular AI tool used amongst businesses
  4. Digital natives and businesses that use AI are more open to the idea of a 4-day working week
  5. The majority of companies found it challenging to hire new staff – but remote working organizations find it easier
  6. Remote working organizations report higher levels of productivity
  7. Phishing attacks were the most common cause of a data breach

1. Using more collaboration tools and AI results in higher productivity

The use of online tools and digital resources is certainly not new to the business world. In 2023, collaboration tools and generative AI platforms took that usage to another level, adding a robust set of functionalities to the average business' operations .

Did they actually have an impact? According to our research, just over half of businesses (56%) report high productivity levels, so it appears that there is a positive effect associated with this kind of technology.

More specifically, the use of AI platforms and features has seriously improved productivity for businesses of all sizes. Our research found that 72% of respondents who use AI extensively report high organizational productivity, compared to 55% of respondents who use AI to a limited extent.

2. 59% of people who use AI have greater job satisfaction

It's no secret that AI entered the workforce in a big way in 2023. As soon as the technology became advanced enough to handle certain operations, businesses started integrating it into their systems in hopes of improving productivity. It's a trend guaranteed to continue in 2024 and beyond.

How did employees who were encouraged to use the technology feel about AI's rapid rise in the workplace? While many headlines you read claim that workers dread AI and fear it's only there to steal their jobs, our research actually found that 59% of people who use AI have great job satisfaction, quelling such concerns.

Given this, businesses should feel more comfortable rolling out this technology in 2024, as many are still lagging behind on the full adoption of the technology. In fact, we found only 1 in 25 companies have fully integrated AI throughout their organization.

3. ChatGPT is the most popular AI tool used among businesses

In November 2022, ChatGPT launched. The value of this groundbreaking technology was apparent almost immediately, and businesses were scrambling for ways to use its generative functionality to Strengthen their businesses as much as possible.

Since then, a myriad of ChatGPT alternatives from big tech firms like Google and Microsoft have rolled in 2023. From Bard and Copilot to Claude and Jasper, these alternatives have their merits, but ChatGPT still reigns supreme.

In fact, our research found that 65% of businesses say they use ChatGPT, well ahead of the second place AI chatbot Google Bard, which boasts only 49% usage. Other alternatives included Bing AI Chat (20%), Claude AI (10%), and Jasper Chat (9%), with 8% of respondents using a lesser known “Other” platform.

4. The majority of companies found it challenging to hire new staff, but remote working organizations find it easier

The Great Resignation was the big story last year, with scores of employees leaving their positions after the pandemic gave them a taste of the flexibility while working from home. As a result, our research found that companies are still having a tough time when it comes to recruiting.

However, not all companies are having a hard time attracting new employees. Specifically, organizations offering remote job roles are recruiting with much greater ease compared to fully in-office and even hybrid working businesses.

All that to say, if an in-office policy is that important to you, employee retention should be an equally high priority for your team.

5. Digital natives and businesses that use AI are more open to the idea of a 4-day working week

Now that remote and hybrid work have become the new normal for many businesses, the existing employee perk to pique our interest is the 4-day workweek. Study after study has shown that the shortened week for the same pay has a notably positive impact on productivity, employee wellbeing, turnover, and absenteeism.

Many business owners and decision makers are coming around on it too, but the acceptance definitely depends on age. Our research found that 65% of senior leadership aged 35-44 (Millennials and Gen X) would consider implementing a 4-day working week or have already implemented it, while only 45% of senior leadership aged 55-64 (Baby Boomers) felt the same.

Beyond age, business owners of AI-powered companies are fully embracing the new work policy. In fact, a staggering 93% of senior leadership of organizations where AI plays a central role in operations are either considering a 4-day working week or have already implemented it.

There are many companies offering a 4-day workweek and some US states with 4-day week policies for employees, so if you're tired of working on Friday, there are some serious opportunities for you out in the world.

6. Remote working organizations report higher levels of productivity

Since the pandemic, remote work has indeed become a standard for many businesses. In fact, our research found that almost all businesses have the tools to facilitate remote working, from video conferencing software to project tracking services.

The remote work had some unintended benefits including boosts to employee mental health and productivity. Our research found that 64% of remote businesses report high productivity levels compared to 54% of in-office businesses. Suffice to say, remote work is good for your bottom line.

However, despite all the studies that show remote work to be beneficial for employers and employees alike, business owners have started demanding their employees return to the office. Our research found that, in 2023, over half of companies (52%) expect their employees in the office 5-days per week.

The difference between remote and hybrid work policies is notable here as well, with 38% of employees at hybrid working organizations going to the office more than they are required, based on company policy. This means that these strict return-to-office policies might not even be necessary in some situations, as your team will still commute if needed.

7. Phishing attacks were the most common cause of a data breach

Not all advancements in technology have been good for the workplace. As a result of evolving tech, bad actors have been able to ramp up their hacking activity, leading to an online security crisis that is costing businesses millions of dollars.

So, what kind of nefarious behavior should you be on the lookout for? Our research found that 23% of data breaches were caused by phishing attacks, according to senior leadership employees that we spoke to. Computer virus (22%) was also quite common, followed by employee error (12%), advanced persistent threats (9%), and unsecure Wi-Fi (8%).

Simply put, protecting your business online must be a top priority in the new year, particularly if your business works with any sensitive information.

To inform how technology is impacting the workplace in 2024, surveyed a large sample of senior leadership professionals from businesses based in the United States. Senior leadership professionals had job titles ranging from manager to director.

We surveyed companies with 10 or more employees to ensure that our data captured the experiences and perspectives of individuals holding key leadership roles within established organizations.

To ensure an impartial and unbiased sample, we also gathered data through a survey with participants selected via a third-party panel provider. Data collection was obtained in October and finalized in November of 2023.

Finally, to certain an accurate reflection of US businesses, a total of 1047 responses were obtained at a confidence level of 99.9%.


If you've stumbled across our 2024 workplace report and are looking for answers on the brains behind the booklet, here's a little more information on who we are. was established in 2006 as a networking platform for companies working out of the Chicago area, and has transformed into a fully-fledged media company with readers around the world.

We aim to translate our passion for technology into insightful news and analysis, helpful buyers’ guides and practical resources, so SMBs across the US and beyond can grow their revenues, work smarter, and secure their success – now and in the future.

Each year, carries out thousands of hours of independent product testing and market analyses to support over 5 million professionals annually in their pursuit to learn more about technology and make the right purchasing decisions.

We also work directly with dozens of Fortune 500 clients, such as Salesforce,, HubSpot and Zoom, to help advise on their strategies and enable them to reach brand new audiences.

To stay informed on the latest developments and find the right technology for your workplace, you can sign up to our newsletter, or learn more about here.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 02:02:00 -0600 en-US text/html
The Top 10 Business Technology Stories Of 2023

If you read this column, then you’re probably aware that I publish it – without fail – every Sunday morning throughout the year. It’s designed to point out five pieces of technology news during the week that specifically impacts business owners and managers and my reasons for why they’re important Here are the 10 stories I think are the most impactful from 2023.

1 - AI was a big story, but a lawyer’s mistake was even bigger.

Every big technology company touted its AI plans and offerings in 2023 and AI was one of the most discussed syllabus on corporate earning calls in just about every quarter. It’s all very exciting. But one AI story has some sobering takeaways. The New York Times reported on attorney Steven Schwartz, whose use of ChatGPT for a lawsuit backfired. To research some legal history – for a case involving a man who sought compensation from an airline after an injury – Schwartz utilized ChatGPT to prepare a legal brief that cited previous cases – all of which were fake. Realizing his error Schwartz pleaded with the judge stating that he was unaware the AI would provide bogus information as a result of his query. It did not turn out well. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

The very important takeaway is that the hype around all these new super cool AI tools can be exciting and there’s no question that AI will be transformative. Some day. For now, as business owners and managers, we have to understand that we shouldn’t be entirely reliant on AI to replace humans. Yes, AI can be a great help. But in 2024 we must continue to proceed with caution.

2 - Big tech companies are investing heavily in AI, but true innovation will come from AI startups.

Joanna Glasner of Crunchbase reported on the significant increase in AI investments in just one year. By comparison, investments in US startups have dropped across sectors. Glasner noted that between 2018 and 2022 AI investments hovered at a certain level then suddenly spiked this year. The explanation includes the shrinking pool of investment dollars to new ventures, but it’s also because of AI spurring countless startups. (Source: Crunchbase)

Why this is important for your business:

Like all the other tech trends before it – from Web 1.0 to crypto - my bet is that billions will be wasted in bad investments or ideas that just didn’t work out. But there will be more than a few AI companies that will not only change the world but make enormous profits for their investors and create the next generation of Zuckerbergs, Musks and Andreessens. And they will likely create amazing tools that will help businesses of all sizes be more efficient and profitable.

3 - The “right to repair” movement is saving businesses big money and creating new businesses.

Apple announced in December an update to its Self Service Repair Program to “give users more transparency and autonomy to troubleshoot issues.” Tailored for those with efficient tech knowledge and troubleshooting capability, they can now access the Apple Diagnostics tool – available on Apple products in the US and Europe next year – that will give them the same level of expertise as an authorized Apple technician. The tool will also help the identify what part needs to be repaired as well as a testing function. (Source: Apple News)

Why this is important for your business:

It was only a few years ago that users were forced to send devices back to the manufacturers for repairs, which was more costly, inefficient and time-consuming. Thanks to a movement of influencers, 2023 saw more tech companies bending and allowing us the right to repair our own products which not only helps get things done faster but has opened up a cottage industry of small businesses performing this work.

4 - While big data breachers get the headlines, it’s small businesses owners who are suffering more.

In October, writer Phil Muncaster shared important data from the Identity Theft Resource Center, based on a study done of 551 business owners. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said they were hit with a cyberattack last year. Curiously – as Muncaster points out – less than 30 percent follow best practices such as MFAs (multi-factor authentication). (Source: Infosecurity Magazine)

Why this is important for your business:

As I wrote previously: the majority of these breaches involve employee or customer data – which can be catastrophic not just financially – it also impacts customer trust as the respondents also shared. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency offers guidelines for small businesses on implementing cybersecurity protocols.

5 - Both Google and Microsoft are in the process of killing passwords.

It was reported throughout 2023 that logging in with a password is coming to an end on the Google network. The company is switching over to passkeys – a technology that utilizes biometrics (facial/print recognition) and PIN numbers – to simplify and speed up the sign-in process. (Source: TechRadar)

Why this is important for your business:

As I wrote in October, passkeys are phishing-proof and more secure in that they use cryptographics (coded information) that makes the hacker’s job much more difficult. Google has started the process with the ultimate goal of replacing password sign-ins with passkeys. They also noted passkeys are a welcome alternative and “spare people the headache of remembering all those numbers and special characters in passwords.” Microsoft and other tech companies are doing the same. Which means the end of the traditional password in the not-so-distant future.

6 - Finally! Apple will be supporting USB-C charger in iPhones.

Apple (finally) switched up the charging method for the new iPhone 15. Dating back to 2012, iPhones were charged with lightning ports. Now – as a result of a mandate approved by the EU – electronic devices will be powered with USB-C chargers to “reduce electronic waste” as stated in a 2022 press release. For longtime customers of the iPhone, it will be both an adjustment and a benefit as the USB-C can be used for other Apple devices. (Source: Fox Business)

Why this is important for your business:

Do I even need to say? For employees and business travelers forced to carry a bag full of charging paraphernalia, this change is finally a move to normalcy.

7 - Threads debuts and creates another channel for business engagement.

Back in July, the popular photo/video sharing platform Instagram released an app called Threads. Instagram’s iteration of X/Twitter, Threads has been assessed as a strong competitor prior to its launch because one if its leading advantages was that it could migrate users and their Instagram followers to seamlessly to the new platform. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Will Zuckerberg defeat Musk? Since its launch, interest and engagement on Threads has cooled. But if Meta sticks with it, who knows? LinkedIn remains the place to be for those in the professional world, but I believe that every business owner – including me – should be keeping a close eye on the new Threads social platform. That’s because if Threads gains a solid, regular attraction and if our customers and community are embracing it, then it may become a target for our time.

8 - Microsoft is making migration to Windows 11 easier.

In May, Mark Hachman of PCWorld wrote a feature on Microsoft’s existing product – Restore Apps for Windows 11. Designed to simplify the process of transferring data from an old PC to a new one – Microsoft is removing the headache of finding a way to migrate your documents, applications and pictures – right down the arrangement of your icons on the desktop. Users will need to register with a Microsoft account to get full access Restore Apps features – and users have the option to deactivate on brand new PCs. (Source: PCWorld)

Why this is important for your business:

Many businesses will be migrating up from earlier versions of Microsoft Windows in 2024 and we all know what a potential headache it can be. My clients and others I know in the IT world have told me that this is a great tool to make this migration easier, which means saving money.

9 - IKEA is using a hundred drones in its warehouses.

The company confirmed that 100 drones are currently in operation to streamline inventory control and assist workers with certain tasks. The first drone was employed two years ago with 100 now operating in IKEA locations across Europe. “Introducing drones and other advanced tools – such as, for example, robots for picking up goods – is a genuine win-win for everybody,” Tolga Öncu - Head of Retail at Ingka Group (IKEA)- said about the technology that was developed in partnership with Verity–a company that specializes in warehouse drone systems. (Source: INGKA)

Why this is important for your business:

Drone technology isn’t just for the military or for game enthusiasts. It’s a growing tool for many businesses, particularly in construction, real estate and now…warehousing. Drones can count inventory, check for safety issues, monitor employee movements and – soon enough – use AI to gather information via video to help create a better flow of materials. The cost of drones are rapidly decreasing too, which means more small and mid sized businesses will be buying them.

10 - Boston Dynamics and others are introducing new robotic capabilities.

In January it was reported that Atlas - the most advanced humanoid robot in the world from Boston Dynamics – has new capabilities. Boston Dynamics recently designed a set of hands and - in a exact YouTube video - showed off Atlas doing physical work. Up to this point, the robot’s primary abilities included locomotive tasks such as walking. The exact version of Atlas has hands with grips to allow it to pick things up and perform tasks. (Source: ARS Technica).

Why this is important for your business:

Robotics are steaming ahead and their costs continue to decline. Boston Dynamics is one of the leaders but they’re not the only game in town. The construction industry, for example, is taking progressive steps with the help of AI to Strengthen safety and cut back on manual labor. Thomas Insights reported on five key areas where artificial intelligence is in operation. Hadrian X - developed by the Australian technology firm FBR - is a bricklaying robot that has been documented to lay bricks every 45 seconds. Mechanical suits - called “exoskeletons” - are being developed for construction workers to increase their endurance and mobility. As AI matures so will robotics and that’s already having an impact on businesses, both big and small, who are struggling to find workers.

Sat, 30 Dec 2023 21:00:00 -0600 Gene Marks en text/html
Microsoft unveils ‘Copilot’ key, its biggest update to Windows keyboard in 30 years

NEW YORK  Microsoft is adding a “Copilot” key that summons an AI-powered assistant with the click of a button in its biggest update to the Windows keyboard in three decades.

The software giant said Thursday that the Copilot key will be coming soon to some new PCs made and sold by a variety of manufacturers that run on the Windows operating system, as it heralded “the year of the AI PC.”

This means that with the click of a single button, PC users will soon be able to engage with Copilot, the software giant’s AI-powered chatbot, to ask questions or help draft emails.

Windows logo is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on November 30, 2020.

“This will not only simplify people’s computing experience but also amplify it, making 2024 the year of the AI PC,” Yusuf Mehdi, the executive vice president and consumer chief marketing officer at Microsoft, said in a company blog post announcing the Copilot key.

People are also reading…

The new key will ultimately “make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day,” Mehdi added. Copilot, notably, is propelled by OpenAI’s underlying technology after Microsoft’s $13 billion investment into the AI startup.

If Copilot is not yet available in your country or not enabled on your device, pressing the Copilot key will launch Windows Search.

The new key features a Copilot ribbon logo and sits on the lower right side of the keyboard, near the Space bar and Alt button.

The addition marks the first major change to the Windows PC keyboard since Microsoft added the Windows key back in 1994. That button appeared on laptop and desktop keyboards sold by companies such as Dell, Lenovo and HP.

The move by Microsoft was announced just ahead of next week’s CES tech convention, where more AI product updates are expected to be unveiled from a slew of companies. Over the past year, Big Tech companies have raced to develop and integrate AI tools across their range of products.

In the company blogpost announcing the Copilot key, Mehdi also teased a “significant shift” coming in 2024 for Microsoft, “where AI will be seamlessly woven into Windows from the system, to the silicon, to the hardware.”

Fri, 05 Jan 2024 00:29:00 -0600 en text/html
The biggest winners in tech in 2023 No result found, try new keyword!Threads has, of course, benefitted from Meta’s vast engineering resources, as well as the company’s willingness to engage in good old-fashioned growth-hacking. And there are still valid concerns about ... Fri, 29 Dec 2023 00:30:12 -0600 en-us text/html NYT sues OpenAI and Microsoft

FILE PHOTO: The NYT has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft to prevent them from using their stories to train chatbots any further. | Photo Credit: Reuters

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

NYT sues OpenAI and Microsoft

The New York Times has filed a federal lawsuit on December 27 against OpenAI and Microsoft to prevent them from using their stories to train chatbots any further. The Times said that the chatbots churning out answers verbatim from the Times was a threat to livelihood as it amounted to theft of billions of dollars of work. The newspaper began discussing the implications of AI models using its content with OpenAI and Microsoft starting April. The media company’s case was filed in federal court in Manhattan. 

While NYT is one of the media organisations to have shifted to the online medium successfully, most media companies are struggling with the movement of readers to online. Popular chatbots like ChatGPT make it even harder for media organisations to drive traffic as now users are less likely to visit the original source of information. Times hasn’t listed the specific value of damages it is seeking but wants to “hold them responsible for the billions of dollars in statutory and genuine damages that they owe” for copying its work. OpenAI has said that the company respects the rights of content creators and is “committed” to cooperating with them to help them benefit from the technology with new revenue models. Microsoft hasn’t commented on the matter yet. 

Two models of Apple Watch go on sale again

A federal court has temporarily lifted a sales ban ordered by the International Trade Commission due to a patent dispute on two higher-end models of the Apple Watch. The ITC ordered the halt in October to block Apple from using specific technologies that are underlying a blood-oxygen measurement system in its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches. 

Apple has been involved in an intellectual property dispute with medical technology company Masimo over these technologies. To comply with the ITC ruling, Apple cut off online sales of its watches in the U.S. days ahead of the Christmas holiday. While the court’s decision on Apple’s appeal is still pending, it will allow sales of the two Apple Watch models now. The two models will be available in Apple’s online store by noon Pacific Time starting today according to the ruling. They have also returned to some Apple stores and will be widely available from Saturday. Analysts have said that the lawsuit is an obstacle for Apple as it has been integrating more medical tech into its watches. 

Social media cos. made billions in U.S. ad revenue from minors

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published yesterday showed that social media platforms had collectively generated over $11 billion in U.S. advertising revenue from minors last year. Researchers took into account the number of users under 18 on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, X and YouTube in 2022 based on population data from the U.S. Census and survey data from Common Sense Media and Pew Research. Then the study used data from firm Insider Intelligence, formerly called eMarketer, and Qustodio, a parental control app to estimate every platform’s ad revenue from 2022 and the time spent by each child on each platform. The researchers then built a simulation model using this data to estimate the ad revenue the platforms made from minors in the U.S. 

The study has brought to light the need for regulation in social media over the unfair advertising targeting towards children and impact on their mental health due to exposure of unregulated content. Social media platforms have clearly failed to self-regulate themselves. They have been getting negative attention over hyper-personalised algorithms that drive online addiction among children. 

Wed, 27 Dec 2023 20:47:00 -0600 en text/html

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