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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Where Is Your Business Going Next?

Many business owners understand the benefits that technology can have for a business, but just can’t bring themselves to commit to implementing that technology due to the cost, either in capital expenditures or in the shift in operations. The fear of not being able to successfully integrate certain technology will, over time, hold your business back. Today, we’ll describe why it’s essential to have a technology strategy, and how to stick to it. 

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How Remote Workers and Students Can Work Smarter

Now that the school year has begun many young children are juggling between altered classroom setups and continued remote education. Naturally, this has caused a lot of people no small amount of stress. To try and relieve this stress and make the process of working or learning from home as effective as possible, we wanted to share a few tips with you.

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Business Continuity Planning a Must

When considering a continuity plan for your business, you need to consider some scenarios that may not ever happen. This is called risk management and it is the basis of keeping your business up and running regardless of the situations that it encounters. This month, we thought we would outline some of the variables that need to be addressed when creating a comprehensive business continuity plan. 

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Cloud Costs Could Undermine Your Efforts

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues around us, many businesses have found themselves seriously reconsidering their business’ infrastructure, pondering the switch from onsite hardware to cloud-based options. While these hosted options can offer businesses relief from a costly hardware refresh, it is important to acknowledge that cloud computing may not be a one-size-fits-all panacea. Let’s take a closer look.

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Professional Services are Getting a Technology Makeover

Professional services include some of the oldest professions in the world, and some of the newest. Regardless of what kind of professional services business you run, it is hard to continue to meet your customer’s needs without incorporating some technological changes. Furthermore, there are new innovations that can help your business thrive. Let’s examine some of this technology to see if it could benefit your business.

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Business Analytics 101

Business analytics are a growing field, as all businesses can see benefits to their operations through the optimized performance and decision making that these kinds of analytics enable. Let’s go over business analytics, and how they can be used to your advantage when applied to your technology.

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Data Services Your Business Should Be Using

Your business’ data is one of its most important assets. Today, there are ways to utilize data to help build a better business. Let’s take a look at the data services that are designed to help the modern business get the most out of this resource. 

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Businesses Need to Use Automation to Adapt

Let’s be real. For most small businesses during this period, it’s been extremely difficult.  If you were somehow able to sustain operations during this time, you most likely had to make some serious alterations to the way that you normally do things. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the technologies that you probably already have, and how you can change the way you use them to benefit your business as concerns spike over COVID-19. 

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These Types of Applications Can Improve Workplace Productivity

Productivity is—generally speaking—the core goal of any modern software solution. Today, we wanted to go over a few tools that can boost your productivity and efficiency right now.

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Business Growth Demands Shifts in Strategy

As an owner of a small business, there are a whole lot of issues that you have to confront every day. Besides the normal issues, there are always situations that pop up without warning. When your business is small and more easily manageable, they are easier to steer one way or another When your business starts growing rapidly, however, turning things around can get more difficult. This can turn into roadblocks to progress. Today, we will look at some of the issues that a small business owner will encounter when their business grows fast.

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IT Can Fill In a Lot of Gaps

When the stay-at-home orders were reigning down early in March, people weren’t sure just how long precautionary measures would last. Now that a large percentage of the workforce is either out of work, just returning to work, or working from home after nearly 100 days, it has proven to be one of the most challenging periods for businesses in contemporary business history. Today, we’d like to flip the narrative a bit and talk about three technology solutions that can fix some of your business’ problems in a time when there are plenty to fix.

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Train Your Staff to Protect Your Business

In the course of doing business, sometimes the mundane and repetitive tasks, or the responsibilities that employees don’t necessarily always consider to be part of their jobs, can be overlooked. Like any other business, yours needs people to be vigilant to ensure that it isn’t the victim of a phishing attack. If your team isn’t well-trained, or if it isn’t engaged in the fight against cybercrime, you may find that your business is a sitting duck.

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Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

It’s incredible how working from home has become the new normal. Just a short time ago most business owners wouldn’t have batted an eye at shutting down the dreams of remote work, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were forced to adjust the way they looked at the situation. Employees in several industries have been working from home ever since. Now that most places have begun to re-open, we thought we would remind you that there are actually some benefits to coming to the office. 

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Business Improvements to Consider as You Resume Operations

Businesses are now in the process of reopening. While there are sure to be growing pains and setbacks, this also provides an opportunity for these businesses to make many adjustments and improvements to how they operate. As you reignite your operations (or make the preparations to), it will help to do so with the support of modern technology and the processes it enables.

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Tip of the Week: Opening Your Needed Programs on Startup

If you were to look at any company’s list of priorities, chances are that “productivity” could be found somewhere at the top of the list. Current circumstances being what they are and many processes shifting as a result, this productivity is likely more of a challenge than normal. As any bit of saved time can increase productivity, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to a minor change you can make to accomplish this goal.

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Protecting Your Data Privacy Is Harder than Ever

If you consider it, it’s amazing how much trust people have in Internet-based companies. They not only believe that these companies will fulfill their expectations, but that they will work to provide protection for some of their most valuable and sensitive information. Let’s take a look at some of the data collection practices that companies use and what they do with that data. 

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Businesses are Dashing to the Cloud. Is Yours?

This is a strange time for everyone. For business owners, it’s filled with uncertainty as many of their businesses have had to shut down in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Others were forced into embracing remote operations. For these companies, their cloud platforms are turning out to be major benefits. Today, we’ll explain why.

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Three Ways the Cloud is a Cost-Effective Option for Businesses

As technology has developed, the tools available for businesses to use have gained considerable benefits. One particularly paradigm-shifting advancement, the cloud, has allowed businesses access to better solutions than ever before, and with the bonus of making them easier to manage. Let’s go over a few such solutions that many businesses are now embracing.

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The Cloud Is Coming of Age

For the past decade, cloud computing has grown fairly rapidly, but as a new decade, and a pesky virus has people (and businesses) leaning on hosted computing solutions more now than ever, it seems like a good time to review the types of cloud options that are available, and how they provide value to businesses just like yours.

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How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

The cloud cast by COVID-19 wouldn’t seem to have very much of a silver lining at all, but if one looks very closely, there is the faintest one there. As more and more people are subscribing to self isolation and similar practices, remote work has become a more pressing need. In response, many Internet service providers and mobile data carriers are taking action and putting changes in place that actually resemble net neutrality.

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Is a NAS Right for Your Office?

Today’s business generates a lot more data than in the past. For a small or medium-sized business storing this data, it can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. One way to store and manage all this data is by using Network attached storage (NAS). Today, we will define NAS and explain when it might be a good fit for your business.

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Understanding IT Acronyms You Hear in the Office

Technology can be complicated, and it doesn’t help when all you hear is an alphabet soup of acronyms used to describe it. As professionals, this kind of jargon has become a second language to us and it is easy to forget that not everyone will recognize these acronyms. For your reference, we’ve assembled some common ones you’ll probably hear us use.

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Is Your Workforce Engaged?

Today, there is a lot to consider about how businesses handle mobility. Think about it, today it isn’t surprising when someone pulls up work-related content on their phone outside of work hours. It’s just part of their job. This shift is relatively new, and needs to be examined to see if the pros outweigh the cons for the employee, but also for the business.

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How to Create Cybersecurity Policies for Your Company

If you’re in business today, there are three words that are critical for you keep in mind: Cybersecurity. Is. Important. As such, every business needs to have taken the time to put together a cybersecurity policy--a set of guidelines that instruct the business how to proceed with the highest level of security possible. We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a few guidelines for your business to follow as you do so.

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Why Should You Outsource Business Processes?

There quite a few reasons that it makes sense for a small-to-medium-sized business to lean on outsourced assets. Let’s go over a few of the biggest benefits that you could see from bringing on these kinds of services, from both a financial and operational stance.

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How to Use a CRM Effectively

There are a lot of businesses that depend on their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. It’s not just used to manage their customer relationship, it also helps with production, invoicing, operations, human resources, and more. Today, we’ll take a look at the CRM and see how strategic use of this platform can help build your business. 

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Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Unless You Consider This

We hear a lot about the benefits of moving your business to the cloud. It can reduce that big expense on new infrastructure and the ongoing management costs. The cloud can increase the effectiveness of your IT budget. It can add functionality and increase user satisfaction. 

Businesses are rapidly moving all or portions of their IT to the cloud, and for a lot of good reasons, but before you do, it is important to remember the following:

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Voice over Internet Protocol is a Valuable Tool

With the cost of doing business rising, it is no surprise that the decision makers at many organizations are looking to save a bit of money where they can. The cloud has proven to be a particularly popular way of doing so - especially through its replacement of traditional telephony with advanced communication methods, like hosted VoIP

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You Don’t Need to Search for the Benefits of Backup

Let me ask you this: does your business have a dedicated data backup and disaster recovery system? If not, we need to talk. A comprehensive backup and disaster recovery platform (BDR) can turn out to be one of the most critical parts of managing a business’ IT infrastructure. By having a plan to turn to in the event a serious problem such as ransomware or a natural disaster descends upon your business, you can be better prepared. 

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Windows 7 EOL is Not the End of the World

Windows 7 is only days away from being officially retired by Microsoft. The software company has done all it can to try to educate users about the end of the OS, which has its last support update on January 14, 2020, but won’t be getting any more. As of this writing there are still nearly 25 percent of computers running Windows 7. Let’s take a look at why it is imperative that you upgrade or find a solution to get out from under the Windows 7 OS. 

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Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Today is the first day of the third decade of the 21st century. For some, it’s just another year, but for others it seems almost impossible that we’ve reached this point without floating cars and manned missions to Jupiter. Fifty years ago, some of the technology that is used in the course of doing business was simply fiction or conjecture. We thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the technological changes made since 1970.

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Taking a Short Look at Emerging Technology

New technology can be extremely exciting, but for any business, it can be kind of scary. Implementing technology that isn’t completely established is a major gamble that could have multiple negative impacts. On the other hand, sometimes early adoption of emerging technology will give a business just the boost it needs to blow past projections. Today, we will look at three emerging technologies that the small to medium-sized business will have to consider in the near future.

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Your Business Will Benefit from Proper Data Management

As digital systems have been adopted by more businesses, data has become a bigger tool. This is due to businesses having the initiative to direct this data into creating strategy. Today, data services are a desirable component for a business to embrace. Let’s take a closer look at how businesses are expanding their use of their data.

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Technology Concerns Heading Into 2020

For most businesses, technology has a major role in what they do. They use it in all manners of ways, but there is no question that it has become a driving force for business. As the calendar flips to a new decade, we thought that it would be good to take a look at what the 2010s brought us, and what to expect in the 2020s. 

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It is a Wonderful Life - IT Edition

Parker sat at his desk looking at a business card. He watched the snow fall lightly outside his window. He was the last person left in the office, as he typically was this time of year. He put down the business card and got up and walked over to the large pane of glass that was the only insulation from the harsh, cold wintery night. He placed his hand on the window and felt the bitter cold meet the palm of his hand. He stood there for a minute; maybe more than a minute. He began to cry. He was so angry at how things were going.

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Co-Managed IT Can Help Fast-Track Tech Integration

Typically, when a business decides to upgrade their technology it is out of necessity. Either the business grows fast and starts to outpace the existing tech or it is burning through capital and has to find a solution to help optimize its operational efficiency. Of course, a business could very well think that some new technology will improve their profitability, or it could be mandated to change by regulation. 

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Big Data Is Revolutionizing Business

Traditionally, small businesses don’t use their data in the same way as larger companies. This is largely because they may not think they have a lot of data. Well, I’m here to tell you that even small businesses can have big data. Let’s go over three ways small business can use their data to their benefit.

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part III

As we continue our computer buying guide with part three, we’re diving into the topic of storage space. As a general rule, modern gadgets have a few available options in terms of storage - not to mention external storage options - but the brand and version of the device can have an impact on the amount of space available. As you select your desktop or laptop, its storage capacity is crucial to consider.

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By Controlling Active Directory, You Can Control Your Whole Network

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. 

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A Computer Procurement Guide, Part I

When you are in the market for some new computers for your business, ensuring that you are targeting the right hardware is important. To educate people on what they should be looking for in a new computer, we have decided to put together a multi-part series detailing the different parts of a computer. In part one, we will take a look at the CPU.

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Automation Growth and Your Business

Automation has been a hot button term for some time. Whether it is in reference to robots that manufacturers use to make their assembly lines more effective, the integrated workflows that today’s customer relationship management software presents, or A.I. crawling through mounds of data to help an entrepreneur better understand his/her business, automation is helping businesses move faster and be more agile. Today, we will look at how organizations are using automation, and how, even if it isn’t a big part of your business strategy today, it will need to be in the future.

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How To Prepare for Literally Any Change in Your IT

Technology changes rapidly, whether we like it or not. Most of the time, that change is beneficial; you can get more done, gain more visibility, stretch your resources further, and do things you wouldn’t have thought possible (or at least affordable) a few years ago. Other times, technology changes come with the frustration of having to learn something new, develop new processes, and deal with a cavalcade of other annoyances that just make you want to go back to ‘simpler’ times. Today we’re going to talk about how to prepare you and your organization for the inevitable changes that your IT will be facing over the next few years.

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Your Business Needs to Prioritize Network Security

There is one constant in the business environment, and it’s that your organization will be placed in a constant state of being at risk the second you start to make a name for yourself. What a lot of organizations don’t understand is that it doesn’t matter how high or low-profile a business is, there will always be data on a network infrastructure that is valuable to hackers and is targeted by threats.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Let a Failing Server Take Down Your Business

If there is anything you should know about business computing it is that server maintenance is extremely important. This isn’t exactly a realization, and if it is, you need to call the number below as soon as possible. You have to know that you are not alone. You would be surprised how many business owners don’t actively have a plan for the maintenance of their business’ servers.

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Why a Hybrid Cloud is Right for Your Business

The cloud can bring numerous benefits to a business. Public cloud offerings can reduce technology costs, provide scalability and flexibility to a business’ computing infrastructure, promote collaboration, protect your business from data loss, and much, much more. What it cannot do, however, is guarantee the control some organizations wish to have over their technology infrastructure. Some businesses prioritize that control, while others are bound by industry and government-induced regulations. For those businesses, there is the hybrid cloud.

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Inefficiency is a Business Killer

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.

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4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

Business is never quite as simple as it’s made out to be, and nowhere is this more true than with your organization’s IT. Today we will be covering some of the most important parts of your IT’s decision making that will need to be addressed, questions and concerns included, especially in regard to business-critical functions.

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Taking a Look at a Manufacturer’s IT

Manufacturing products is still a major part of the western economies; and, like other businesses, manufacturers are using information technology to fuel and manage their supply chains and business processes. We’ll take a short look at what IT manufacturers use, and how it helps them forge their business ahead.

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Start with These Three Questions to See If You’re in Over Your Head

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.

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What Innovative Tools Will Businesses Use in 2019?

Technology is taking on a new role for the modern business. With more value placed on data, and new innovations presenting viable options for business use, technology is now front and center for many organizations. We’ll discuss four of the most emerging technologies and how businesses are beginning to use them.

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Ask Your Managed Service Provider These 6 Questions

Your business’ technology solutions might be a major point of contention for your bottom line, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create value with it. In fact, one of the best ways you can create value for your business’ IT is by implementing a better way of managing it. We’ll walk you through what it means to shift from break-fix IT to managed IT services, as well as what questions you should ask to expedite the process.

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Automation is Sure to Have an Effect on Workers

Automation does nothing but help businesses, but can the same be said for the people that work at these businesses? With more systems relying on some semblance of artificial intelligence, smart automation could replace up to a quarter of the current workforce over the next ten years. Today, we will take a look at the importance of profitability and how AI is likely going to usher in a whole new era of human existence.

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Analytics Can Fool You

Businesses today are doing more than ever to utilize the data they take in, and it shows. They are operating with more knowledge about their business, and thus are able to successfully create a usable knowledge base that, for some, will allow them to predict positive and negative market dynamics fairly accurately. After seeing how this platform can positively affect individual businesses, many other businesses are taking to the strategies. The problem that many businesses encounter, however, is that they are woefully unprepared to utilize analytics; or, they read too far into them. Today, we’ll take a look at data analytics and confront some of the problem's businesses are having.

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Tip of the Week: A Few Tips That Will Help You Boost Your Windows 10 Speed

Windows 10 is a great option for businesses that want to get the most out of their computers, but it can be a bit slow at times. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your Windows 10 PC and speed up certain tasks.

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When Do You Know When It’s Time For an Upgrade?

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.

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Unified Software Brings Multiple Benefits

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.

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Startups are Depending on Cloud Services

Businesses spend a lot of time thinking about new technology solutions, but new organizations in particular need all of the tools they can get to be competitive in the competitive marketplace. The cloud is one of those tools that will continue to grow alongside your business provided you take measures to keep it flexible enough to change as needed. We’ll help you understand how the cloud can be great for new businesses, as well as some of the solutions you can take advantage of through it.

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Problems Persist in Private Cloud Implementation

Private cloud computing is on the rise, and it’s for a good reason. Data security is a major problem for countless businesses out there, and in the wake of growing concerns over privacy and security threats, it has urged organizations to take it more seriously than ever before. Putting together a comprehensive private cloud system has its fair share of challenges, but if done properly, it can solve the data security problem as well.

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A.I. Growth and Data Analysis

If machine learning is one of those technologies that you keep hearing about, but don’t quite know exactly what it is, you aren’t alone. Most people only know that it has something to do with A.I. Some of the most successful businesses in the world are using machine learning, and its artificially intelligent capabilities to improve their offering or effectiveness. Today, we will begin to explain what exactly machine learning is and how it is beginning to work for businesses just like yours.

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Obtaining the Right Tools Is Extremely Important for Businesses

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.

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What To Do When You’ve Had Enough of Your Broken Technology

Chances are that you’ve dealt with the following scenario: You are working along fine and you try to open an application only to be rebuked by an error message on the screen that tells you that there is some type of critical error. You close that out hoping that it was a one-time exception, but nope, it pops up again. You think to yourself, “Why does this always happen?”

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Strategizing Your IT Leads to Better Business

Business technology continues to grow in importance for the small and medium-sized business, especially as many prepare for 2019. Where enterprise-level companies have long been using technology to bring people together and drive overall productivity, many SMBs are new to these opportunities. The availability of cloud resources, coupled with shifts in security, mobility, and other core technologies, makes it important for every organization, no matter what size, to have a comprehensive technology strategy.

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Your Technology May Fail, but You Can Still Succeed

If you’ve been in business for a while, there are devices on your network that see little to no use. Even for the most frugal business, due to the fact that technology eventually winds up being arbitrary thanks to the continued development (and deployment) of more powerful solutions, there will always be situations where you have devices that do nothing but take up space. You can reduce the chances of this happening by finding the right IT for the job the first time, while sparingly implementing only IT solutions that will provide a return on your investment.

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Signs That Your Business Needs to Upgrade Your Crucial IT

Chances are if you are in business today, there are a lot of devices on your network that you haven’t touched in years, might not be using, or don’t even need. Unfortunately, there are times when the technology you have doesn’t really do much other than take up space. If you feel like you are spending too much on your technology, you may not be wrong. By finding the IT that helps your business do business better, and scrapping plans for implementing technology that doesn’t provide sustainable returns may be a good strategy.

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Emerging Business Technology Innovations for 2018

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.

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Which Cloud-Hosted Solutions Will Work for Your Business

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.

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Emerging Technologies to Keep an Eye On

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?

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Can You Afford Your IT Initiatives?

Your operations are, more or less, contingent on your budget. As such, your business will rely on its budget to guide it fiscally through the next year of operation. Unfortunately, IT resources care little about your budget, and you can see this in how unpredictable it can be. We’ll discuss ways that you can keep your IT budget from breaking the bank, as well as how you can improve success over time through proper management of your IT assets.

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Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t use the cloud in some way or another. Before investing in the right cloud solutions, it’s important that your organization considers several factors. Here are three of the most common ones that your business should consider before investing in and implementing a new cloud service.

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If Productivity Is a Constant Battle, Consider Using Mercenaries

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.

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Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Chromebooks might be simple, but they aren’t as limited as you might think they are. They might have once been limited, but more recent models are much more capable of accomplishing just as much, if not more, than any of their previous iterations. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about Chromebooks.

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The Benefits of Centralizing Your Data and Infrastructure

Technology helps businesses of all kinds keep their operations running soundly, but depending on the way that it’s managed, it could have detrimental effects on your company. For example, if you have all kinds of solutions hosted on specific servers or workstations, you’re keeping them from being accessed by devices that aren’t connected to that specific network. Wouldn’t it be better if everything was centralized so that all of it could be accessed at a glance?

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Hosted Utility Computing Allows Businesses to Centralize Their IT

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?

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Threats are Changing - Are You Prepared to Change with Them?

Security is a part of business that is constantly changing and evolving. What worked ten years, five years, or even two years ago may not be relevant in today’s security environment. What are some of the major changes that your company can expect to see in the coming years? We’ll walk you through some of the ways that security will be changing in the foreseeable future, and what you can do about it.

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FREE Printout: IT Security End-User Checklist

This guide was created so that business owners, office managers, and IT departments can provide it as an educational resource to showcase some of the most basic IT security practices that can be implemented in your workplace. We recommend printing this out and handing it out to your staff for maximum results.

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FREE Printout: Dos and Don’ts of IT Security

The following guide is designed to be used by business owners and office managers as an educational resource to establish some basic IT security best practices in the workplace. Feel free to print it out and hand it out or post it in common areas.

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A “Disaster” Covers More Than You’d Think

What one organization considers a disaster might be much different than what another business might see as disastrous. Perhaps one sees the loss of a few hours and a few files as something that can be recovered, while another sees every lost moment and each iota of data as a catastrophe. Whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be able to do two things: first, gauge how serious a given data loss disaster is, and secondly, establish what must be done to get back in action following said disaster.

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Tip of the Week: Prime Your Business for a Successful 2018

As 2018 progresses, certain technologies and implementations are becoming more prominently used by businesses. These trends are anticipated to continue, so it only makes sense to embrace these technologies sooner rather than later. Today, we’ll review some of these technologies, why they are expected to grow, and how you can use them to benefit your business operations.

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Is Your Business Prepared to Do Away with Paper?

There’s no denying that digital records have quite a few advantages over paper documentation. Benefits of ‘going paperless’ include simplified search capabilities, more efficient storage, heightened security and automated backup capabilities. There are plenty of sources around the Internet that discuss making the switch to paperless documentation, but to keep your business documents safe, it is better to know what you’re getting into.

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Why Aren’t Users Buying More Tablets?

When tablets first hit the market, the general prediction was that they would eventually replace PCs as the de facto device for computing, However, based on their steadily declining sales, this prediction seems to be a little off base--but, why? A closer examination provides some insight into why tablet sales have dipped.

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Ransomware: The Smaller The Business, The Bigger The Problem

The variety of malware known as ransomware exploded in popularity in 2016, encrypting victims’ files and demanding cryptocurrency payments to restore the data to the estimated tune of $1 billion. This may seem to suggest that large corporations and companies are the primary targets of these cyber criminals--and for some, they are.

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What is the MSPs Role in Maintaining a Regulation Compliant IT Infrastructure?

As a business, your clients trust that you’re taking every measure possible to protect data, like personal information or financial records. However, with the number of businesses using electronic records continuing to climb, along with the rise of cybercrime attacks, many industries have begun to impose regulations and compliances that are designed to keep personal information secure. Health and finance are two of the most heavily regulated industries, with the government having stepped in and set a specific standard of data security regulations that these companies must comply with.

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A Good Data Backup Can Save Your Bacon

Data backup. It’s something that all businesses need, but not all businesses know how to approach the implementation of it. This is largely due to the tendency to underestimate how disastrous data loss scenarios can be for their business. You know how it goes; it’s impossible, until it happens. Thankfully, you can significantly reduce the damage done by data loss incidents with a little bit of preventative, proactive thought and a comprehensive backup system.

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Selecting the Best Software as a Service For Your Business

Small and medium-sized businesses have increasingly turned to SaaS, or Software as a Service, to access the tools and resources they need to complete their objectives. Rather than maintaining a solution in-house, SaaS is delivered as a web application or through the cloud. However, not all SaaS solutions deliver the same functionality.

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Businesses Running Outdated Software are Taking a Huge Risk, Study Finds

It goes without saying that businesses that don’t want to invest in the latest and greatest software solutions will be denying themselves the opportunity for more productivity and efficiency, but most of all, security will be put on the line. A new study has proven that there is a direct correlation between businesses that run older versions of out-of-date operating systems and web browsers, and organizations that suffer from data breaches.

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How Should Business Owners Respond Appropriately to the Mobile Revolution?

Mobile devices have a prevalent place in the modern office. In fact, a recent study by Gartner found that 80 percent of all employees bring their personal mobile device with them to work. This Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend comes with a host of benefits, like improved productivity and employee morale, but it increases the risk of a corporate data breach if not properly managed. How should a concerned business owner respond to this trend?

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Digital Transformation: What Does it Look Like for Businesses?

Smart organizations are always looking for ways to improve how they do business. Digital transformation is a way for businesses to get the most out of their technology by improving workflows and overall efficiency. What does digital transformation look like and how can you implement it in your business?

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Businesses that Value Mobility Will Want to Adopt 2-in-1 Devices

Businesses today rely heavily on software solutions to function, and so these solutions need to be on-hand whenever and wherever a business opportunity may arise. As a result, mobile solutions have risen in importance, despite the continued need for what a desktop has to offer. To meet both these requirements, we recommend a convertible ultrabook, also known as a 2-in-1 device.

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A Cloud Provider Hosting Your Company’s Data Should Care as Much as You Do

By now you’ve heard about the cloud and all that it can do for businesses, but not all cloud providers can claim equal levels of availability and overall quality as others. Therefore, one of the most critical considerations you have to make when rolling out a cloud service regards who will be managing your company’s cloud computing platform.

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Are You Frustrated with Business Technology? Managed IT Can Help

How does your business maintain its critical technology assets? Organizations with limited budgets and workforces often resort to forsaking technology support entirely, only getting the help they need when something goes wrong. This is called break-fix IT, and it can become a major detriment to your organization in the long run if left unchecked. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution, and it doesn’t involve hiring in-house technicians or breaking your budget.

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Signs Your PC is Done for and How to Properly Dispose of It

When it’s time to replace your technology, it might bring about a sense of panic. How can you replace your technology without breaking your budget, or worse, exposing data on your old technology to potentially threatening actors? Only one thing is for sure; you need to make sure that you have a solid strategy to adhere to when you need to replace your broken-down technology.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Ways for Your Business to Take Full Advantage of the Cloud

A connectivity to the cloud is a great opportunity that your organization can leverage to its advantage, but only if it’s done well. No two businesses will have the same exact configuration when it comes to cloud, as the needs and responsibilities that are accomplished through that cloud solution will change. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you discover which cloud solution is right for you.

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Expiration Dates are for Technology Too

Everyone knows that everything in the break room fridge needs to be replaced after a certain amount of time, but that’s not all that’s at your business that needs regular updates. The solutions you use every day will also need maintenance, for quite a few reasons.

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The 6 Most Common Technology Issues Faced By SMBs

While news sources might lead the layman to believe that most issues facing the typical SMB come from cyber criminals lurking online, the reality is far less dramatic. However, this misconception makes these issues no less serious, and still things to prepare for. Let’s review some of the most common causes of technological issues in the office environment.

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4 New Technologies that Can Revolutionize Your Business

New technology paves the way for businesses to leverage their resources in exciting ways. Of course, it’s impossible to take advantage of these benefits if you don’t even know these new technologies exist. Therefore, to help you achieve an edge over your competition, consider how these four new technologies can enhance your business model.

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The Top 4 Reasons to Adopt Cloud Computing

The cloud has seen explosive use of its services and solutions since it was first introduced, and for good reason--it offers benefits that are too useful for a business to pass up. These benefits vary, but all serve a singular purpose: to make the user’s experience easier. Here are some of the ways that the cloud can enhance the daily operations of your business.

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The Flexibility of VoIP Can Help a Small Business

Flexibility is often cited as one of the major reasons to consider a VoIP solution, but what exactly does this mean for small and medium-sized businesses? We’ll explore some of the major benefits that stem from the flexibility of VoIP, as well as how your business can better leverage it for your business’s future.

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You Can’t Afford to Overlook These 3 Benefits of Server Hosting

Every business from any industry probably has servers that hold important and sensitive data. However, not all organizations have the assets and skills necessary to manage and maintain these complex pieces of hardware. In particular, small businesses struggle with this aspect of running an in-house server, but there’s another option--an outsourced server hosting service from a third-party provider.

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3 Ways Help Desk Support is Perfectly Suited for SMBs

Let’s say that your team is deep within the throes of productivity on a major project, and even the slightest hiccup will knock off their momentum and derail all progress. What would happen if the software they need to do their job suddenly became unusable, or settings on their workstation get changed without their knowledge? Without a reliable IT department, you might be out of luck.

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The Explosion of Mobile Devices is One Trend Your Business Must Account For

You may have heard about the Internet of Things in passing, but do you truly understand the nature of these connected devices, and how they will affect your business in the coming years? The Internet of Things is a major trend that needs to be addressed if your business plans on succeeding in the near future.

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