You don’t need to be repeatedly told just how important risk management is. If you did, you probably wouldn’t have made it this far. One problem you see from business owners today is that while they understand just how many problems there are--and which ones they need to find solutions for first--they want to grow their company so fast that they overlook potential problems and end up hurting their business as a result. This month, we thought we would talk a little bit about contingency planning and how, if it is done right, it can have a marked effect on your business’ ability to carry-on after a problematic event.
Integrated Business Technologies Blog
It’s fair to say that most business owners aren’t cybersecurity experts. That’s why there is such a large investment in cybersecurity solutions. That outlay is justified, sure, but is it effective? Today, we’ll talk a little bit about network and cybersecurity, and how all the capital investment in the world may not actually keep your network secure.
Few things are more frustrating and annoying than a slow computer. There are a lot of things that can slow a computer down, too: viruses and malware, excess applications running in the background, even time can seem to turn a relatively fast computer into a slow-as-molasses impediment to productivity.
If your computer is overall healthy but starting to slow down, there is one simple upgrade that can make a whole world of difference.
Chances are if you are still using Windows 7, you’ve begun to see warning messages about its imminent end-of-support date. Microsoft is retiring support for one of its best tools on January 14, 2020 and if you are still running Windows 7 after that date, it could put your whole IT infrastructure at risk. Let’s take a look at the particulars of Windows 7’s retirement and what your options are.
Do you run into a scenario like this in your work? You are out of the office and you are made aware of a situation that has resulted in an irritated client. You call the client to make things right, and you successfully smooth the situation over. A while later the client wants to discuss something with you and he calls your personal phone directly. You try to politely direct him to use your business line, but over time, he makes your personal line his business’ support number.
For the modern business, ensuring that you have contingencies in place will go a long way toward keeping you in business if disaster strikes. One of the contingencies many businesses choose to make as part of a business continuity strategy is a disaster recovery plan. Disaster recovery is more than restoring data, it can mean mobilizing people and capital against time. Let’s take a look at two of the core components of a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy, Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective.
You’ve heard it over and over for the past several years: data loss is a disaster. A data breach can ruin your business. Ransomware is a business’ biggest enemy. Your reputation can never recover after a data breach. These statements may be redundant, but if you don’t heed the message behind them, you will likely regret it.
You know the phrase, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?”
The idiom comes from the novel Don Quixote, and is used as a lesson to not put all of your efforts and success on a single thing. For computing, we say it like this:
“Don’t put all of your data in only one place… or else.”
The professional services space is filled with important information. Lawyers, accountants, doctors, and many more professionals have access to some of the very most personal information available. For this reason, they are continuously targeted by hackers. Since October is cybersecurity awareness month, we thought we would take a look at modern cybersecurity practices to see which ones were working best for professional services firms.
For a growing business, mobility has a distinct place. It isn’t all about using a phone for productivity, or having access to tools when you are out of the office, it is a philosophical decision to get the most out of your company’s data. Let’s look at the ways that enhanced mobility can benefit your professional services firm.
For decades, companies have been looking for an efficient way to manage their documents. For the longest time, the best way was to fill one side of an office with filing cabinets and file the documents away. With most of the workplace now being run by computers, and with hard costs at an all-time low, companies have begun to file all their new files on computer network.
The role of professional services companies in our society dictates that they need access to information as efficiently as possible. Some of the most crucial jobs in our society would be labeled professional services. Today, we are going to go through three of those careers--lawyers, accountants, doctors--and we will go on to describe just how each of their industries benefit from the presence of managed IT services.
If we asked you to imagine a world where your IT never suffered from technical issues related to your business’ technology, would it feel too good to be true? Unfortunately, it’s impossible for your organization to prevent every problem related to your IT. What is possible is for your business to encounter higher productivity and less downtime with the help of a dedicated help desk solution.
Some businesses struggle with finding the right technology management support. There are several factors that come into play, including physical location of the service provider, distance to and from the worksite, and ease of support. In fact, managed IT services are one way you can sidestep the difficulty of finding access to affordable technology support entirely through the use of remote monitoring, maintenance, and management.
The protection of your business’ computing assets is a bigger deal today than ever before. This is because there are dozens of ways that things could go wrong. One tool that many IT administrators like to use is called Active Directory, a feature found on most Microsoft Server operating systems that allow administrators to control users. This month, we take a look at Active Directory.
Your business’ data is precious, and it goes without saying that there are plenty of entities out there that want to get their grubby little fingers all over it. This is especially the case these days, when credentials and remote access tools can be purchased on the black market and leveraged against organizations of all sizes. If you don’t take action to keep your data secure from unauthorized access, you could face steep fines from compliance issues, not to mention the embarrassment of not being able to protect your organization’s data.
Traditional telephone systems used to be necessary to getting work done in the office and communicating with clients, but in today’s business world, with access to plentiful cloud-based options and the world’s resources at your fingertips, you have other potential assets to pull from. By utilizing a Voice over IP phone system, you too can free yourself from the clutches of telephone companies and move your organization in the right direction.
Businesses need to be extremely careful about how they protect their interests, but just in case something unfortunate happens, you want to have measures in place to guarantee that your future is secure. To this end, data backup and disaster recovery is critical. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about implementing data backup and disaster recovery, including the best way to make it happen.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bell telephone companies were making a mint off of offering the ability to call your friends and family that lived outside your predefined region, charging up to $2 per minute (during peak hours) for long distance calls. The problem for many people was that these regions kept shrinking. Some people decided to combat this costly system by reverse engineering the system of tones used to route long-distance calls, thus routing their own calls without the massive per-minute charges demanded by long-distance providers. These people were called Phreakers, and they were, in effect, the first hackers.
All good things must eventually come to an end, and that includes your business’ technology solutions. The end of a Windows operating system’s reign on the market is always an eventful time, as you have businesses that take proactive measures to ensure they don’t fall behind the times before the end of support date, and you have those who wait until the last minute and put their organizations at risk because of it.
Cloud-based databases are valuable for businesses on plenty of levels, but when you consider how much risk you expose your organization to by using a public cloud over a private solution, you suddenly start to realize that the ramifications could be far beyond repair. Compared to the public cloud, a private solution presents a greater opportunity for security, flexibility, and customization.
If you were to poll all the business owners in your general area, one point of contention they would all have is that their workforce investments stay static, while their returns are seemingly variable. A lot of the variance is tied to the fluctuations of staff productivity. Anyone who has paid someone else to do work understands that even if the jobs are all the same, people bring a fairly wide range of issues to work with them, and they can have troubling effects on the ability of a business to move forward. Today, we will take a look at the modern worker, their motivations, and how the right IT can work to leverage more consistency for your business.
The modern perspective of productivity would not be possible without the use of collaboration tools. Some of them are so game changing that they can completely revolutionize the way you hold meetings, deal with clients, and manage in-house processes. We’ll discuss how you can implement collaboration tools that work for your business, as well as use them to overcome the many challenges you might face in a business environment.
Downtime is the enemy of the modern business, and it’s easy to see why. However, not all organizations have the foresight to imagine a scenario when their operations are impacted so badly that they simply cannot function. We’re here to share our knowledge of downtime, its effects, and what you can do to keep it from affecting your organization.
Email is one of modern society’s best ways of staying in contact on both a business and personal level, but only if you’re effectively utilizing it. We’ll help you implement best practices and other methods to get the maximum benefit of your chosen email solution.
All that stands between hackers and your accounts’ data, be it personal information or sensitive business info, is a measly string of characters that may (or may not) be complex enough to thwart their attacks. We’re talking about your passwords, and for many businesses, they are the only thing protecting important data. We’ll walk you through how to make sure your passwords are as complex as possible, as well as instruct you on how to implement additional security features to keep your data locked down.
All businesses need help with their technology, whether they realize it or not. The question is how they receive that support. Some organizations have access to an in-house IT department that can act as an IT resource to on-premise employees, but others might not have employees dedicated to this role.
Inefficiency is not something that you plan for. It just happens. It happens when processes get too big, have too many moving parts, or are bogged down by excessive oversight. It happens when purposes for certain tasks change or are abandoned altogether. Other times efficiency has a different look to it and makes your optimistic projections look foolish. Whatever the reason, inefficiency is more the rule than the exception, and it’s costing your business plenty. This month, we take a look at what efficiency actually looks like and how to do your best to achieve it.
Technology management has always been a problem for small businesses. Whether it’s a matter of affording proper technology maintenance or not having enough time in the workday to get around to maintenance, it’s likely that your small business has to manage limited resources that make it difficult at best to make preventative maintenance occur. We’re here to tell you that there’s a better way to get the IT help you need.
Password security is a tricky part of running a business. After all, it’s not just dealing with your own password, but those of the many employees all throughout your organization. In times like this, it’s helpful to provide them with a list of how to make the best passwords possible. Here are a couple of examples for what to do, as well as what you shouldn’t do, when building a proper password.
Maintaining a proper data backup system is one of the most important parts of business continuity, even if it’s something you’d rather not think about. If you don’t take data backup seriously, your organization is at considerably greater risk compared to what it would be like if you had it. We’ll walk you through the proper steps toward making your organization’s future more secure through data backup.
Technology is a complete necessity these days. It’s been proven that, by integrating some technology strategically, businesses can solve major operational problems that many smaller businesses and start-ups can’t. Today, we will ask three questions about business tech that any technology-savvy individual should know, and explain why you should know them.
There are certain processes within an organization that take a considerable amount of time to do. These include applying patches, monitoring network traffic, and updating software as needed. While it might seem like something your business can handle on its own, some small organizations struggle to accomplish everything they set out to do--especially with a limited budget or workforce. Our staff’s powerful monitoring and management tool can aid in this initiative.
Let’s face it; nobody wants to talk about disaster recovery, as even invoking these words makes the possibility a reality. Unfortunately, this is something that has to be discussed, as your business depends on it. This might seem like hyperbole, but if you knew what is at stake, you’d likely agree with us.
Technology innovation in the workplace is something that is constantly shifting and changing, depending on what’s hot at any specific time. These days, it might seem like office technology innovation is stagnating, but we assure you that it’s still constantly improving. We’ll walk you through some of our favorites to improve data accessibility and workplace productivity as a whole.
The way that an organization handles risk is a big deal. Despite being born out of opportunity, opening a business itself can be looked on by many a major risk. As a result, every business should be looking to manage their risk. Today, we take a look at the role risk plays in business, and how IT, for all its benefits, carries with it some risk.
Businesses deal with compromises every day, whether it’s leaving late to let someone else get an early out or coming in on your day off to get a critical project finished on time. One of the compromises you absolutely don’t want to leave out is your business’ future. It’s up to you to acquire a solution that minimizes downtime without costing your organization an arm and a leg, but this is much easier said than done.
When it comes to innovation, you’d be surprised at what you might be capable of with the right solution. Collaboration in particular opens the floodgates to productivity, and with the right kind of collaborative and innovative technology, you’ll be able to unlock a whole new level of progress for your business. We’ll discuss some of the most important aspects of innovative collaboration and how your business can start taking advantage of it.
Nothing lasts forever; this phrase is true regardless of which industry you’re in or business you run. We all use technology in the office to a certain extent, and the ugly truth is that someday that technology will fail. It’s critical that you monitor technology for warning signs prior to its failure so as to avoid costly repair bills and rushed replacements. You might be surprised by how much you save as a result.
People have come a long way in a very short amount of time. The development of tools designed to make tasks easier have pushed people from hunter/gatherers across the known solar system in the matter of only a few thousand years. One way humans are able to do so much with seemingly so little is though ingenuity, but another is through consolidating management.
When looking to cut costs in the workplace, one of the best places to start looking is at your printing costs. While paper documents were once incredibly important for businesses (they still serve a function), no one can deny that they take up a considerable amount of space in the workplace, as well as take up precious assets that could be better spent elsewhere. What’s the best way to minimize the resources you spend on printing?
The cloud is the perfect outlet for businesses to improve productivity, but the degree to which this statement is true depends on the business and how much it leverages the cloud. If you’re not sure if your business can be utilizing the cloud in a more efficient way, perhaps we can help you make this determination and improve the way you take advantage of this technology.
An engaged employee will be invested in the future of your company, as well as their own future that they can see within your business. Unfortunately, research showcases that the numbers don’t look so bright for employee engagement in the workplace. According to a 2015 poll from Gallup, only about 30% of employees find themselves engaged in the workplace, while about 50% say they aren’t engaged with their work, and 20% claim to be actively disengaged by their workplace.
The funny thing about entrepreneurs is that they have to be very detail-oriented in order to find any modicum of success. This often leads them to inevitably becoming controlling people overall. For years the technology has been present to utilize remote workers, but only recently has the practice become commonplace. This is largely because businesses have begun to seriously consider reducing costs as a strategy to gain profits.
Few technological assets are as important in today’s business world as a working telephone solution of some sort. While its form has changed considerably over the years from a traditional handset terminal to a desktop application or mobile device, its functionality remains largely the same. In some ways, it’s even better and more improved, offering unprecedented opportunities for businesses to revamp their entire communications infrastructure.
If your business uses technology to be more productive and efficient, you know that as soon as you buy a piece of new technology, there is another one right behind it that has more power, or better features. This is true for consumers as well. This constant innovation is what has made technology a viable option for many small businesses. After all, if computers hadn’t been innovated on constantly, they’d still be the size of a room (or wouldn’t exist at all).
Now that the holidays have come and gone, you might have a couple of new gadgets in your home or office that connect to the Internet. Depending on what these gadgets are, you might have a serious security issue sitting right in front of you without realizing it. Some devices that don’t normally connect to the Internet--also known as Internet of Things devices (IoT)--aren’t as secure as you’d like them to be, particularly in a business environment.
Your business’ technology infrastructure is built from hardware, and this hardware needs to be properly managed if you want to succeed. The first step to this is to acquire the proper hardware, but for businesses that don’t have dedicated in-house IT departments, even this is challenging. Outsourced hardware procurement is a solution to this dilemma, and we’ll explain how it works.
There is a lot on the line for any business when disaster strikes. Is your business ready for a data loss incident? Every year people from all over the world make resolutions as the new year commences; and, this year will be no different. For the business owner hoping to mitigate their exposure to downtime and client backlash in the face of an event like this, having a plan in place is essential to seeing a positive resolution to a bad situation. We’ll go through what constitutes a good backup solution, and what goals you need to prioritize to get your business in a position to succeed if it is put in a tight spot.
When people find new reasons to collaborate, it typically results in something positive. There is some new software that is now making collaboration easier, while still providing people the tools they need to stay productive. These collaboration tools are changing the face of business. Today, we take a look at them and how your organization can use these new collaboration tools to move business ahead faster.
For those who don’t know, the term information technology is an encompassment of the technology used in the facilitation of rendering, sharing, and storing data. Any piece of technology that is used to process, keep, send, and secure digital information, is considered IT. Today, we will look at some of the emerging technologies presenting solutions for businesses and individuals, alike, heading into 2019.
These days, many businesses turn to hosted solutions to take advantage of services that they haven’t been able to use in the past. Whether it’s because they don’t have the staff to properly look after the services or they don’t have the in-house infrastructure for it, organizations continue to take advantage of hosted solutions to varying degrees. We’ll walk you through your options for whether you should build, rent, or buy your hosted solutions to best fit your business’ needs.
Any project manager will tell you that there are countless issues that can get in the way of a successful implementation. To nobody’s surprise, business technology can aid project management by streamlining operations and making the entire process much easier for everyone involved. We’ll dig into the details about how project management software and value-based managed IT services can help you complete projects on-time and on-budget.
The cloud helps many organizations expand their territories beyond simply the physical workplace. Employees can now access data and applications on any connected device. Your office can benefit considerably from cloud-based resources, with email in particular being a standout solution for the cloud.
Many small and midsize companies are forced into spreading their resources out in order to compete with larger organizations. For those that are searching for a way to manage all the moving parts of business, having the means to communicate has to be at the top of the list. What makes it more difficult are that many organizations have a reliance on workers that work remotely. For times like this, a comprehensive conferencing strategy is important. We’ll take a look at what makes up today’s powerful conferencing solutions, and how you can use them to find more success.
Information technology has always been a hotbed for future predictions. Whether it was Marconi’s grand plans for wireless communications or the bold prediction that every person would be carrying around a computer that fits in the palm of their hand, the future always looks bright when new technologies are considered. But, what does the immediate future of information technology hold?
Disasters are a very real possibility that businesses have to deal with, but not all disasters come in the form of a flood or fire. You can predict weather effects that can create problems for your business, like thunderstorms and ice storms that bring down power lines, but you can’t possibly predict when and how your organization will suffer from a data loss incident. We’ll discuss in-depth how your business can save itself the trouble of dealing with cyberattacks and user error--particularly in regard to data backup and disaster recovery.
Each year there are changes that need to be made in the way that organizations manage their IT security. In 2017, ransomware burst on the scene in full force, and cyber security strategies reacted, coming up with fully managed security platform that remediate issues better, and cost organizations far more than they would have spent on IT security just a short time ago. In 2018, the same problems persist, while other developing technologies threaten the natural order of things. Today, we will look at how cybersecurity is being approached in 2018.
Spam is a major hindrance when running a business that relies on email, but it’s easy to protect your employee’s time from the average spam messages with the right technological support. Unfortunately, hackers have adapted to this change and made it more difficult to identify scam emails. More specifically, they have turned to customizing their spam messages to hit specific individuals within organizations.
The business landscape can be unforgiving. It can be filled with landmines that slow progress to a crawl and blitzes that send your head spinning. If you were to compare the business world to history's great battles, technology solutions are a business’ weapons. They are the tools used to make the everyday grind possible. The more advanced an army’s technology, the bigger the edge they have over outfits that don’t have that technology...as long as it works as intended.
Every business has some sort of management tasks that requires foresight, and staying up on them can keep headache-inducing situations from constantly causing downtime and costing you time; and, make no mistake, time is money. Being more proactive not only provides sound strategies, it can really mitigate the amount of problems you have to deal with. As we describe what it means to be proactive, and how that strategy will almost always help you save money, consider how you are implementing a proactive approach to your business.
Did you know that prior to this past January, the last big update to Wi-Fi occurred in 2004, when WPA2 was released? The Wi-Fi alliance has introduced a new type of wireless connection called WPA3--one that can dramatically improve security. In reality, it was created with the intention of shoring up weaknesses found as a result of the KRACK vulnerability, which exposed serious issues with WPA2 that needed to be addressed.
The price of fuel per gallon is one of the many ways individuals are affected by the constantly shifting industry costs, and for those who commute to the office, it can become a considerable expense. For distributors, the changes in gas prices can be the difference between sitting on a gold mine or losing valuable resources. For the small distributor, changes in gas prices can make all the difference in determining how much it costs to truck goods across the area. How can smaller businesses take advantage of IT solutions to keep costs down while gas prices increase?
Network security for small businesses is far from simple. There are countless threats out there that want to see your business fall, and it only takes one to see this come to fruition. Unless you take action now to protect your organization, you risk the future of your business. But what is it that businesses need to protect from, and what measures are out there that can accomplish this feat?
The Internet of Things means a lot more than just enhanced connectivity. In particular, you’ll have a considerable security risk associated with the Internet of Things. It’s clear that the more devices accessing a network, the more risk will be associated with that network, which is where the inherent risk of the Internet of Things comes into play. How can you control the number of devices accessing your network, and thus secure your business from the Internet of Things?
Data backup. Nobody wants to think about it until it’s too late to do anything about it. While no business ever hopes that they will be struck by a data loss incident, no business will ever regret implementing a backup on the off-chance that they ever suffer from a worst-case scenario. What are some of the most important parts of a data backup and business continuity system? We’ll start with Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective.
The traditional computing structure has been under siege by cloud computing for the past several years. More businesses than ever are seeing the value in cloud-hosted applications and infrastructure, and while that may not be a huge surprise, the perceptions that the cloud can solve any of your organizational computing problems depend largely on the needs of that endeavor. Today, we will take a look at successful small business cloud strategies and tell you why they find success.
With so many new technologies being introduced and innovation at the highest levels in human history, you’d think that ubiquitous access to bandwidth Internet would be high on the list of the priorities of ISPs and for residents of every jurisdiction. This doesn’t seem to be the case. With the disparity between urban and rural bandwidth Internet offerings growing by the day, we look at the causes of the gap and how companies plan on getting Internet access to people in areas where the population may be low.
On the surface, you might think that customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) are the same exact thing. However, they both have very specific niches for a business--particularly when it comes to managing organizational assets and interactions with consumers. Here are some of the specific situations in which you’ll find these solutions helpful.
How much money does your business waste on managing its technology solutions? You might be surprised by the answer to this question. Depending on the way that your organization takes advantage of technology, you’ll have different needs than other businesses, but no matter what kind of organization you manage, it’s critical that you try to get the best return on investment for your solutions.
One of the inevitabilities of working with the cloud is that you have to face a tough question; what kind of compliance requirements are there for cloud-based data? If you’re storing data for your business in a cloud-based environment, it becomes your responsibility to know where and how this data is stored--particularly if you’re not the one doing the actual cloud hosting. How do you maintain compliance when you seemingly have so little control over how your computing platform is managed and maintained?
Mobile technology is allowing businesses to make great strides in the way that they conduct their operations, but one of the key reasons why it has been so helpful is that it decreases their costs considerably. Thanks to developments in the way that mobile technology works, it can be fit into pretty much any business model, all the while improving your return on investment for your expensive technology solutions.
Compliance laws regarding the storage and dispersion of healthcare records were implemented with the intended purpose of urging healthcare providers to better take care of their patients’ personal information, but how effective are they? Unfortunately, there are many providers that have failed to meet the standards for the HIPAA and HITECH compliance laws, and it has brought a hefty price tag along with it.
Social media has been an emerging technology in recent years, and has produced many threats. Hackers have learned that they can take advantage of these communication mediums to launch dangerous new attacks on unsuspecting users. With enough ingenuity on a hacker’s part, they can potentially steal the identity of a social media user. Here are some of the best ways that your organization can combat identity theft through social media.
Data backup is one of the most critical parts of protecting your business, but there are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered before implementing a solution. For example, did you know that data backup and disaster recovery are two different things completely? While they may both be involved in the business continuity process, the two represent equally important, yet disparate, parts.
How often do you see smart technology in headlines? The term is thrown around a lot, and it’s because there are countless products circulating in both the consumer and business environments. These connected devices range from smart forks to smart cars, so you can imagine that there are a fair number of useful (as well as useless) applications of this technology. How has it changed in recent months, and what will smart technology look like in the future?
You might see 3G and 4G on your mobile devices and wonder what it all means. If so, we have an answer for you, and just in time for a brand-new iteration: 5G. With this new technology on its way, it’s time to take a look at what exactly 5G should be capable of, and how it can differentiate itself from its predecessors.
Does your business have trouble with managing and maintaining your technology? If so, you’re not alone. Many small businesses struggle with even the most basic elements of IT maintenance. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take this responsibility and shift it off of your employees? The best way to approach technology maintenance is to implement managed IT services.
Your business relies on technology to ensure operations proceed smoothly, but the way that it’s managed can have a major impact on the way your company functions. Think about it like this: if you have software solutions hosted on different computers, but not in any centralized location, only those computers will be able to use these solutions--potentially hampering your staff’s ability to be productive. How can you make sure that this doesn’t become a major problem?
We are going to switch things up a bit and walk you through a retelling of a ransomware attack through the eyes of a business owner. Usually when we talk about these types of threats, we approach it from our perspective and talk about what you should do to prepare and what the threats are, but we wanted to try to show you what an event like this could feel like, for you, in your position, and in your own eyes. We hope that this will raise awareness of how crippling an event like this can be on your company, and we hope you let us know if this perspective helps you, your colleagues, and your staff get a more personal sense of what ransomware can do. Enjoy!
Ransomware is a growing problem for businesses, being one of the most difficult threats to remove from an infrastructure. Not only is it easy to spread, but difficult to avoid as a whole. How can your organization prepare for this threat? It starts by being mindful of how ransomware is spread and how your employees react to it, both now and in the future.
Every business needs technology support. This statement is more true today than it has ever been before. As your organization adds new technology to its infrastructure, it will naturally grow more complex and difficult to maintain. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to go about this alone. By working with an outsourced third party, your business can take advantage of all kinds of great solutions for a fraction of the cost.
Cloud computing is one of the best ways that your business can compete with larger enterprises. Today, you can adopt the cloud and take advantage of countless services, but are you doing so yet? If not, we’ll help walk you through some of the best ways that your organization can leverage the cloud.
The sad truth about computers is that when they inevitably break, you have to get them fixed; or, you have to order a new one. When PCs started to be utilized for mass productivity, however, businesses had to find a better way. It’s been years since the first managed services provider hung out their shingle, and over that relatively short time the managed services industry has grown to be a $150 billion-a-year industry. The combination of IT becoming an important part of nearly every business resulted in the obvious demand for affordable IT support. This trend has seen many businesses cutting IT staff to make way for outsourced managed services, and all it provides. A problem that both businesses, and the MSPs that they hire, face is that computers eventually break.
For the modern business owner or executive, making smart business decisions has become a necessity. Margins are small, efficiency is key, and if we were to be completely honest, business is a day-in and day-out grind. In the course of doing business much is made of cost reduction and curtailing inefficiencies that lead to wasted capital. Much is made of collaborative systems that allow for remote access. Much is made of protocol, process, and performance. With so many moving parts in every business, there has to be the “glue” that allows for cohesive actions to be taken. That “glue” is software.
How much does your business rely on technology to keep your organization running forward? As business technology becomes more complex, it’s becoming increasingly popular for organizations to have their own internal IT departments to manage and maintain it. Yet, small businesses don’t often have the necessary funds for such a feat. How can your company afford quality IT service? You can start by pursuing managed IT solutions from a managed service provider.
How many documents does your organization accumulate just by simply staying in business? There’s no doubt that you’re sick of the traditional filing cabinet, which is both hard to move around and a pain to organize. Thankfully, modern technology solutions have afforded businesses just like yours with the ability to host and manage documents in a digital, cloud-based environment.
Small businesses often have to rely on different means to achieve the same level of project management as enterprises. This is due to the demands of project management being significantly different in scope, but also the way that your company implements new technology solutions. Instead of worrying about the specifics of project management, you can outsource these responsibilities to a managed service provider.
Your business relies on its technology being maintained properly, but it’s not always as simple as updating a software application or replacing a hard drive following a catastrophic failure. You have to think about who you’re paying to maintain your technology solutions, if there’s anyone doing it at all. You need to consider what happens when you lose data or when your organization experiences downtime. How do you keep technology from becoming a hindrance for your business?
Communication is one of the cornerstones on which your business functions, and without it, you will find that going about your daily duties is considerably more difficult. Communication is one of the many ways your organization accomplishes both major and minor tasks, so you want to pay especially close attention to how your business handles phone calls, email, and even mobile devices--both in and out of the office.
Security is an aspect of running a business that absolutely cannot be ignored, regardless of whether or not you see it as a considerable issue in the near future. The fact remains that your organization will always be at risk unless you take actions to keep it safe today. By taking advantage of some of the latest and greatest security tools on the market, you’ll be able to protect not only from the basic threats, but more advanced ones as well.
People spend a lot of money on the Internet. From an individual standpoint, the amount the average person spends on Internet-based services is their largest expense outside of the money they spend on their residence, and perhaps their transportation costs. In order to understand the landscape of what is effectively a battle for Internet supremacy, you first have to take a look at the battlefield itself.
Your data is one of the most important assets at your business’ disposal. It’s really indispensable. Not only are large amounts of it the result of successful operations, it also can help your organization better understand the intricacies of its own operations, and where you want it to go in the future. Does your business have a process for collecting, storing, and sorting vital data so that your organization can figure out where to go next?
If we asked you how your organization backs up its data, would you be able to smile and tell us all about it in detail? While it’s important to be optimistic about the future of your organization, you should never believe that you are impervious to data loss. We’ll discuss some of the most important terminology behind data backup and recovery, as well as the best way to protect your organization from the crippling situations presented by data loss.
How does your organization manage its IT? For some businesses, it’s not an easy choice or even a remotely affordable one. Some companies are forced to endure subpar services from break-fix IT providers that don’t necessarily have the tools available to prevent issues from happening. Others try to prevent issues from evolving into major concerns. These others are the organizations that have the right idea behind technology maintenance.
The modern small business will face several challenges in 2018. The world is changing, and with it, so is business. For many small businesses, this can either be looked on as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for, or, it can be viewed as the beginning of the end. No matter what situations you are faced with this year, understanding what problems your business faces, and how to solve them is imperative to your small business’ success.
All businesses require at least some type of software in order to perform as expected. It’s how organizations acquire this software that has a considerable impact on cost. For some, software can be a budget-breaking nightmare, but others have found a much more convenient way of acquiring this software: as a service.
IT maintenance is something of a sensitive topic for some organizations. While most understand that it needs to be done, they often don’t have the resources to make it happen, either due to a limited budget or timeframe. How does your business handle IT maintenance? If your organization is having troubles managing its annual technology budget, or if you are consistently experiencing profit-sapping downtime, consider managed IT services the answer to your problems.
In terms of identity theft, data loss and good ol’ fashioned pickpocketing, the holiday season is one of the riskiest times to travel. When it comes to protecting your personal information, thieves and cybercriminals are counting on you to be distracted and make careless mistakes. In 2016, the number of fraud attempts went up by 31% during the holiday season. In addition, credit cards, mobile devices, and open Wi-Fi are common targets throughout the holidays.
Digital payment options have become commonplace in today’s society. In fact, ever since people could purchase goods and services off of the Internet, some of the world’s most successful companies are a result of digital payment. It was a natural progression then, as the mobile device boom came, that mobile payment would take the place of cash and/or cards and bring these digital payment options beyond the Internet, and into our retail stores. This simply hasn’t happened and here are four reasons why.