A business’ budget is the biggest authority over it. As a result, each business needs to spend some time adjusting their operational investments to put itself in the best position to reach its goals… a process that a managed service provider’s help can make much simpler. Let’s review some ways that an MSP can help a business get that much more out of its investment into its IT.
While all a business’ technology solutions are important, some are bound to take priority over the others, especially when certain ones become an industry-wide focus. A recent survey evaluated the top concerns of small-to-medium-sized businesses for the coming year. The results of the survey identified a few telling trends regarding the priorities that SMBs hold now, and for good reason.
Managed services have quickly become the most reasonable option for businesses of any size to use, and based on what we’ve seen recently, will soon be the only real option for most operations. However, when considering the managed service option, you need to make sure you find a provider with the following capabilities and service offerings:
While COVID-19 has largely dominated the public awareness and created huge shifts and interruptions to businesses of all sizes, small businesses have clearly been impacted the most--essential and non-essential businesses alike. Of course, this doesn’t mean that large enterprises and corporations aren’t also affected. The difference is, these enterprises and corporations are sometimes better equipped to do something about it… which many have.
Are your security safeguards up to snuff? If a disaster were to happen, would you be able to recover your data and bounce back? Does your team understand and implement best practices when it comes to protecting your customer data? Do you know if any software you are running is about to reach end-of-life? If you’re not sure, then it’s time for an IT Assessment. Don’t think your organization needs it? Here are three benefits an IT Assessment can provide your business.
That’s an interesting question, as there are many things that can create some form of lag in a business’ network. Let’s go into some common causes of this slowness, starting with one clear indication that something is up.
Quick - when was the last time your routers were updated? Not sure? How about your servers, or every other piece of technology in your office?
The truth is, maintaining a business’ IT requires more than just running a virus scan every once and a while, or updating a mission-critical program on each workstation. It requires an in-depth understanding of each component and its history, assisted by the use of specialized tools and extensive record-keeping.
We’re always trying to get our message out, sharing how our services can bring value to just about any kind of business - including nonprofits and municipalities - seeing as just about every business today relies on technology to some degree. Here, we wanted to demonstrate how that value can present itself through managed services.
We always try to communicate the numerous benefits of managed IT services, but when your business is happy to have their own internal IT department, those benefits tend to look less appealing. For organizations that rely on the expertise of their internal IT staff, they may not think they have a need for--or simply can’t afford--an outside IT presence. This misconception may actually be harming their businesses. Today, we will introduce co-managed IT services, and how they can be leveraged to maximum benefit.
Technology is outrageously helpful in many aspects of life, especially modern business practices. Of course, this is assuming that this technology is in proper working order for most of the time. In order for enough productive work to take place within an organization, the team must be sure the tools they need for this work are ready for them to do so.
However, this is often easier said than done.
As businesses have adopted more and more technology, their work-essential tools have grown more complicated while they have grown more sufficient, which means that properly maintaining them is now a specialized skill. Many businesses frequently find themselves calling upon these skills, frequently enough that their internal resources (assuming the business has employees with the requisite skills) aren’t able to keep up to demand.
If you find that your business is experiencing more IT issues than it can handle, you would likely make a good candidate for the managed IT services that Directive can provide. Our professionals can keep an eye on your technology infrastructure, resolving issues and optimizing solutions for your business’ benefit.
If you’re in need of our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 607.433.2200.
It wasn't too long ago that we had to lug a computer into the shop to get it fixed if something were to go wrong with it. Frankly, with the pace that business is conducted at today, this approach simply isn’t effective for businesses any longer. Now, with the support of a managed service provider, support is available much more efficiently and affordably than ever. Check out our series for more information into other subject.
Technology is a requirement in today’s businesses - but just having technology isn’t nearly enough. You need to make sure that you are performing the proper maintenance activities as well, to prolong the useful life of your solutions. Here, we’ll review a few basics to keeping your technology solutions ready for your use… and how we can help with that.
We spend a lot of time talking about managed IT services. That’s where you pay a monthly contract to have your technology taken care of for you. There are a lot of pros to this, especially for a business that values uptime and efficiency... but sometimes, you just need that certain computer working, and signing another contract isn’t in the cards. We get it. Here’s how we can still help.
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.
Downtime is a major problem for businesses, and it’s largely a result of technology taking over the workplace. Since many jobs rely on technology to be done properly, it stands to reason that broken-down technology can pose a considerable issue for businesses--not to mention the costs that are associated with downtime and maintenance. A help desk can alleviate some of the pressure that the average employee feels as a result of relying on technology in the workplace.
Consider something for a moment: aside from their size and the resources at their disposal, what makes a small to medium-sized business so different from a large, enterprise-sized one? If you really consider it, there isn’t all that much. This is why many SMBs have turned to managed services… to receive IT support comparable to what the large businesses get.
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.
Every time something goes terribly wrong, and you are left assessing the damage of some seemingly unfortunate situation, you typically find that by taking a bit of time preparing for the worst would have kept you from the disaster you are just now dealing with. Those small acts are what we want to talk a little bit about today, because they can save your business.
Businesses have a lot of technology to manage. While some organizations have an in-house IT department to manage it, many small businesses are limited due to location factors, budget concerns, and countless other variables. In the past, organizations would turn to break-fix IT management for all of their technology issues, but trends in IT maintenance have given rise to a more popular and more sustainable way for small businesses to get the technology maintenance and management they need.
Enterprise businesses have historically had access to bigger and better technology solutions than their small to medium-sized counterparts, their sheer size allowing them to bulldoze any potential competitors who weren’t of their size or larger. However, with the changes to technology that we have seen, business opportunities for SMBs have become more accessible and affordable. This allows more businesses of all sizes, but particularly SMBs, to embrace solutions that can drive them to success.
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.
Between you and me, how is your business doing financially? If you answered with something along the lines of “not great,” you are certainly not alone. Cash flow is an issue for businesses all around the world, as a recent report from Intuit makes all too clear.
For a moment, I want you to stop and consider something: Who do you turn to when your business’ toilets suddenly stop working? Who do you call for when the lights stop working? Most likely, an expert… so if you turn to the pros for these needs, why would you do anything different for your IT?
In business today outsourcing your IT management or project management is routine. It wasn’t always so. For the first couple of decades of IT for business, that was the only way you were going to get a piece of technology up and working again without massive capital investment. Today, we will take a look at the break/fix method to IT management and how it is far more expensive than you may think.
No business can be successful if it’s constantly suffering from data breaches. Therefore, you should take measures to mitigate the issues caused by these threats before they present themselves. Here are four of the biggest issues your business could face in the field of network security.
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?”
Tech-support scammers traditionally are people who dial random numbers and try to convince the people on the other end of the phone that their computer has problems and they can fix them if the user allows them to remote into the device. They use tactics that are as generic and vague as possible, to avoid having to mention any specifics; and, since some people (especially those who have computers that are a few years old) find that their system’s performance is sluggish, they will give these people access. This typically ends in disaster.
Vendors… how many do you have to deal with? Chances are, quite a few. Now consider how much time is spent managing each of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to reduce this time to effectively nothing? Well, we have some good news for you.
Managed services - what are they? The short answer, other people managing the IT systems that you rely on every day to be productive and accomplish your tasks. In essence, they are a freedom from dealing with the troublesome and time-consuming parts of leveraging technology. You may have heard this much about managed services before, but have never been given a deeper understanding of what they entail. That is precisely what we aim to accomplish below.
Most modern businesses depend on technology in at least some capacity, whether it’s for productivity, efficiency, or even security purposes. Without access to important data and applications, your business is a shell of its former glory. This is why it’s so important for businesses like yours to implement managed IT services. It certainly beats having untrained employees maintain your crucial computing systems!
Businesses of all sizes use varying degrees of technology to improve organizational productivity, efficiency, and security. The more a business depends on its data, the more crucial it is for them to manage and maintain the systems in which this data is dependent. For organizations that have a lack of financial resources to support these systems, it is often left to unqualified employees, putting your business at risk. What do you do when you need expertise that you lack and can’t afford to hire in-house staff?
It’s a fact that most businesses today are rolling out technology as a part of their strategic plan to improve productivity and make their business more efficient. The more technology your organization relies on, the more crucial it is to get comprehensive IT support for that IT.
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.
Selecting a managed service provider should be like selecting any employee. You need to make sure that your expectations are going to be fulfilled, and that your selection will be there when you need them to be. However, the criteria you examine your potential IT service provider by should be a little different than how you evaluate your other prospective team members.
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.
IT is meant to help your business function more smoothly, not hinder operations. This is the cornerstone of the way that most organizations need to think about technology maintenance. Unfortunately, there are some organizations that either don’t have dedicated IT support, or waste valuable time and resources working with break-fix providers who don’t have their business’s best interests in mind. To keep your organization from falling victim to these practices, you should consider managed IT for your technology maintenance.
Who would you rather hire--an employee who comes in late, after your systems have encountered an issue, and takes twice as long to fix them as he said, or an employee who was ahead of the game, and managed to avoid issues before they influenced your business? This scenario is precisely the same one that you encounter when you weigh a break/fix IT provider against a managed service provider.
Your business relies on mission-critical hardware that keeps its infrastructure running, including servers, workstations, and networking components. However, these pieces of technology require maintenance in order to function properly, and replacement every so often to keep the risk of downtime and hardware failure to a minimum. Thankfully, modern managed IT services have yielded a solution to this issue that can make managing your hardware infrastructure as easy as possible: Hardware as a Service.
It’s one of the most commonly-known computer issues: infection. There are plenty of threats out there that could potentially take hold of your PC. The question is, do you know how to proceed if one does? This blog will go into just that.
While many may consider an audit of any kind to be a pain in the neck or worse, they can actually be an effective way to ensure that businesses are following best practices and remaining compliant. After all, nobody wants to be the company that failed an audit. Despite this, many companies aren’t up to standard where their IT is concerned, and it has an impact.
How much time does your business waste on managing its own technology services? This includes maintaining your email solution, upgrading and managing your desktop infrastructure, and keeping your network secure from both internal and external threats. We would understand if you said that you don’t have time to both run your business and its technology, but we are of the firm belief that you shouldn’t have to choose one over the other.
In the natural course of doing business, an owner/operator will have to face many difficult situations, but none of these situations are as difficult as asking them to determine whether or not to close the doors of the business for good. Many problems could cause a business to fail, but it has to hurt the failing owner a little more when the solution for the problem was not only within his/her reach, it was affordable.
Two major concerns of every business owner are the protection of their company and making sure their technology does what it’s supposed to do. It can be overwhelming to manage these two aspects on your own, which makes outsourcing the security and maintenance of your IT such an attractive option.
It’s a far too common scene in businesses: an employee is working on an important project when their workstation starts acting up. Flustered, they call in the IT department, but they won’t be able to make it up to them for an hour at least. So, what’s a worker to do? Just sit there and wait? With a Help Desk solution, this wouldn't be an issue.
Let’s say you get a bill in the mail for technology support, but you don’t necessarily know why you got it. Pretty troubling, right? Clearly someone in your organization isn’t privy about the proper method of getting help for their technology, but if you regularly work with a break-fix IT provider, this kind of correspondence (and cost) is unavoidable. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.
When was the last time you had to reach out to IT support, only to have to wait for the tech to drive to your office and resolve the problem far too late? This is a common occurrence amongst business owners, and if your technology is mission-critical, you can’t afford to deal with more downtime than necessary. How can your business more effectively take advantage of technology support? A remote monitoring and maintenance solution may be just what you need.
Does your SMB have an internal IT department? Chances are that it is a major pain point for your organization, and even if you do have one, it might be bogged down with so much work that mistakes can happen and threats can slip through the cracks. Sometimes the best way to protect your network is to know where and how threats manage to get there in the first place.
Managed IT services are so popular with small businesses that they’re becoming a commodity. If you’re not taking advantage of managed IT, what’s your excuse? Here we address three common excuses put forth by companies that avoid managed IT.
Business owners expect a lot out of their IT network, and rightfully so. However, technology isn’t perfect and can sometimes get in the way of these expectations. To overcome these technology shortcomings, IT administrators and business owners can benefit by outsourcing these expectations, especially when it comes to these three crucial aspects of IT.
Technology is supposed to make things easier, yet it’s a common source of frustration when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. As an IT company, we experience technology frustrations all the time, and we wish that many of these frustrations could just be eliminated altogether. In our opinion, here are four technology frustrations that need to go.
Technology’s incredible growth has brought about a need for technicians who are skilled enough to handle everyday maintenance. As time passes, technology grows more complex, and as such it requires more comprehensive maintenance. Eventually, innovators in the IT industry discovered that their services could be improved by preventing technology problems from happening in the first place. Enter: managed IT services.
Every organization has mission-critical systems that they rely on in order to function, and the IT technician is responsible for keeping them running. Modern technology and best practices have given rise to a new way of managing business technology, one that knocks the traditional break-fix IT out of the water.
The break-fix IT model can be exhausting and unpredictable. When your technology unexpectedly breaks down, you shouldn’t have to grasp at straws just to keep operations running. Thanks to the proactive approach of managed IT services, the break-fix model is on borrowed time. Will your business move on from this antiquated method of managing technology, or will it remain stuck in the past, unable to move forward?
You started your business because you have a particular skill set. This is what allows you to continue doing business as usual. However, this also means that there are some topics that you might not understand completely. This is why you hire employees from diverse backgrounds, and it’s one reason that you should consider outsourcing what you can to professionals in specific fields.
When running a business, you can’t always upgrade your technology to the latest and greatest equipment or software every time something new comes out. Yet, you also don’t want to be left behind, which would be limiting to your growth and mobility. Moving forward can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t revamped your IT strategy in some time. Paying attention to the details is an important part of avoiding potential roadblocks with your future IT strategy.
It’s already a couple of months into 2016, are you still relying on a break-fix company to fix your technology problems? Using technology comes with its own set of problems. For example, dealing with an influx of new devices in your office, determining whether or not your technology can take another year of use, and budgeting around new technology expenses, can be suffocating. If you haven’t done so yet, now is a great time to cast aside the break-fix IT policy and take your technology maintenance and management seriously.
Businesses thrive on technology, and constantly use it to push their initiatives forward. However, the latest solutions and business technology can often be complex, and it usually requires the attention of skilled professionals in order to guarantee its optimal efficiency. The only problem is that small and medium-sized businesses often don’t have funds to hire in-house IT technicians for their technology maintenance needs. Managed service providers offer a unique benefit for these budget-minded organizations.
For your business’s IT, it’s important to consider both the short-term and long-term benefits of new technology solutions. However, which of these offers the greatest return-on-investment in terms of profitability and workplace efficiency? Some might argue that short-term IT (think break-fix IT) is more in line with a business’s immediate needs, while long-term IT (i.e. managed IT) considers longevity and proactive thought.
Staying on top of your company’s budget is a key component to increasing your revenue. By failing to do so, major expenses will blindside you and cancel out any progress that might have otherwise been made from increased sales. For many companies, one of the worst budget busters comes from their IT.
By now you’ve heard of managed services: Technology-related services that allow businesses to get the IT support they need without taking on the often large and unexpected expenses that usually accompany them. This allows a business the ability to budget a flat fee for their technology support each month, and address IT support needs that include communication, application deployment, and the proactive support of the business’ IT infrastructure. The overall managed services industry has seen immense growth as businesses look to cut their support costs, while continuing to build onto their IT infrastructure.
Are you experiencing performance issues with your computer network? Does it seem like it’s not running as effectively as it used to? Given the nature of technology, eventually, you’ll have to replace all of your computer hardware. But before you do, give your network a boost by trying these four IT maintenance best practices.
As a business owner, you know that technology is a necessary, albeit unpredictable, investment. Your organization thrives off of it operating as expected, yet suffers when it doesn’t function properly. This is the primary reason why the idea of help desk support was first introduced. It’s an effective medium through which your employees can receive tech support when it’s needed most.
Sometimes you just don’t know what to do, and you don’t know where to turn for help. You don’t want to ask your competitors for anything, because they don’t need to know your weak points, and you feel crushed under the pressure of day-to-day operation. Maybe a hand once in a while isn’t such a bad thing.
As your company expands, you’re beginning to realize that one IT person isn’t enough to handle all of your technical needs. You feel like you need more hands on deck, but your budget won’t allow for it. You decide that your best option is to hire slowly and steadily, interviewing externally for the most qualified individuals. But, how can you be sure that they meet the needs of your company?
A reliable and skilled IT department is integral for the success of your business. If your IT team is burnt out, overworked, or dissatisfied, operations will suffer and your network will experience one IT emergency after another. Just as you expect your IT staff to use best practices, as a business owner, you need to manage your IT staff as best as you can in order to ensure that your network will operate at maximum efficiency.
One of the most important factors that you should consider when looking for IT staff is how much you can trust them. After all, they’re dealing with your technology. You’re trusting them with incredible responsibility. Therefore, you need to be sure they are honest, hard-working individuals. How can you ensure that you aren’t getting blindsided by your IT staff?
One common characteristic about small-to-medium sized businesses is that they're often stretched thin. When your company is pulled every which way, certain aspects of it begin to suffer. One area that should never suffer is customer service. Managed IT service can make things easier on your staff so they can focus on what’s important, like better serving your clients.
If you’re looking to save some money on IT, outsourcing your company’s IT services is a simple and effective method. This concept has grown tremendously over the past several years, and the saved expenses are one of its biggest attractions. However, businesses sometimes decide that it might be time to backsource their IT.
IT support is heavily reliant upon communication between both parties involved. Without both sides being on the same page, IT support miscommunications are far more likely to happen. Sometimes you just can’t help but laugh at poor communication skills, as seen in the 2001 movie Zoolander. But thankfully, these situations don’t arise too often in the non-fictional universe… right?
It's been said that a company's data is its most important resource. If this is true, then is it possible to assign a monetary value to your files? If you attempted to do so, you may come to the conclusion that your company's data is more valuable than anything else in your business, maybe even your own job!
On May 4th you may see more Star Wars T-shirts than normal. This is because May 4th is recognized around the galaxy as Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you). Thanks to the abundant use of technology throughout this science fiction franchise, you can bet your podracer that we can find an IT lesson from Star Wars that can help your business!
Across the galaxy, Star Wars fans will be celebrating their beloved science fiction franchise on May 4th (May the fourth be with you). One of the most fascinating aspects about Star Wars is its space technology. As cool as lightsabers and blasters are, Star Wars tech can break down just like our modern space technology. Concerning technology repair, we think troubleshooting space tech in our day can be just as exciting as repairing space technology "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."
When we think of technology in terms of age, we often look at how long the machine has lasted for. Some machines from the mid-90's are still running, which makes them almost twenty years old. In terms of human life, that's not a very long time, but if you look at it in terms of quality working conditions, you'll find that these computers are kind of like dogs and cats. They may only be several years old, but in terms of actual age, their lifespan makes them much older than you realize.
The first pitch of another Major League Baseball season is being thrown this afternoon and with 2,427 more games on the docket in the regular season, it won't be the last. One of the greatest feats a player (or a team) can accomplish in baseball is by throwing a perfect game. To do so, a team's pitcher (or pitchers) must complete nine innings without allowing a baserunner.
When your business runs efficiently, you will see the positive side effects start relatively quickly. While this seems pretty reasonable to most everyone, there are many business owners that don't know how to best produce the kind of efficiency that will take their business to the next level.
If you are a business that doesn't have an IT support plan, then you're running on borrowed time. It's the nature of technology to eventually break, and when it does, it can disrupt the entire flow of your business. A reliable IT support plan is crucial to your business continuity plan. Without a plan, you will have a big mess on your hands.
You decide to take your workstation to a local computer repair shop because its running slower than a turtle at a dead run. Then after you've waited for the Computer Technician to fix your computer you find out it wasn't broken, it just needed a defragmentation and a little bit of malware removal. This is caused from carelessness that tends to happen because of the busy work day.
Isn't it nice to have everything prepared for you? Of course it is. Whether it's having your dinner made for you when you get home, or having your car turned over to you fueled up and cleaned out, everybody appreciates having everything taken care of. In the world of technology, we take care of everything with our turnkey business management solutions.
As every good Stars Wars fan is well aware, May 4th is Star Wars Day (May the fourth be with you). As an IT company, we love all technology, especially tech from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Therefore, let us take a moment and look at the most famous technology from Star Wars, Darth Vader.