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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.

Remember That Time Apple Officially Told People to Drop Their Computer?

Even though the modern workplace tends to be PC-centric, Apple has had a major impact on technology and computing. It’s undeniable that Apple is pretty consistent with producing sleek, high-end hardware and efficient operating systems. Apple’s former CEO, Steve Jobs, was known to be a visionary and a perfectionist. That’s what makes this story even weirder.

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What You Need to Know to Properly Set IT Goals for Your Business

Businesses often need to add and remove technology to fit their needs, and most of the time these actions make a marked difference in the way that their organizations are able to do things. One problem you may have is with the identification of the business processes that would be aided by technology investment. Today, we’ll briefly discuss how to best identify your business’ IT goals.

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3 Questions You Need to Ask Your IT Service Provider

More businesses than ever before are seeing the value of outsourcing their technology management to a managed service provider (MSP) and it’s easy to see why. With a more hands-off approach to technology management, businesses can focus on delivering quality goods and services instead of worrying about their technology. If you are considering jumping on the MSP wagon, consider asking the following questions to make sure you understand what you are getting from your provider.

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You Gain Major Benefits from Our Extensive Experience

In business, experience is always useful. Nowhere is that more apparent than when managing your organization’s IT infrastructure. The problem is that acquiring the expertise to do just that can be quite confusing for most business owners. Today, we’ll talk about how technology management experience can produce better business from one end to the other. 

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Move the Needle with Dynamic IT Support

Business technology is a useful tool, there’s no way around it. Unfortunately for businesses, technology has to be replaced every so often. Even if the technology doesn’t break, there are innovations made that can help your organization do what you do better. The thing is: Technology does break, so you need to understand how to get the most value out of it when it is working. 

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Organizations Shouldn’t Go Without Help Desk Support

Downtime is a killer for any business. When a business is forced into confronting its technology support deficits, it usually means that they’ve been dealing with too much broken technology and downtime, and the costs associated with it. One way your business can avoid losing huge chunks of time to broken technology is to add a professional help desk to support your IT administrator. 

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Staying On Top of Your Technology Can Make Your Organization Much More Productive

Every business depends on productivity, but there are many different forms that productivity can take. The types that every business prefers are the actions that result in improved revenue generation. That’s not to say that all work that is done for your business isn’t important, but the more that can be done to make money, the better off your business will be. Let’s take a look at three ways your business can shift the way they do things with the use of technology. 

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What Today’s Business Leaders Need to Know About IT

Look, I’m not going to pretend that the executive level of any size of business doesn’t already have plenty on its plate. Having said that, it is important that a business’ top dogs are on the same page as its IT team members. Let’s run through the different points that this relationship should focus on for your operational benefit.

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You Need Cost-Effective and Reliable Ways to Manage Your Technology

It’s safe to say that businesses have had a difficult time lately. In addition to the issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have also had to deal with supply chain issues and other challenges related to their data. How does your company manage its mission-critical technology solutions?

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Managed IT Offers More than Just Working Technology

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?

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Creativity is Critically Important for a Successful IT Team

Innovation is something that you want the people working with your technology to have a highly-developed sense of. Creativity isn’t often associated with business IT, but it is something that should be considered a true benefit if it can be brought into your operations.

Let’s explore exactly why creativity is an asset (even with your in-house IT team) and how you can nurture it in your employees.

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The Managed Service Model Brings Some Great Benefits

How has your business managed its technology in recent years? Depending on the way you have done so, you could be unnecessarily throwing money down the drain when you could instead be reinvesting it into your organization. If you are ready to take your operations to the next level, consider changing your approach to your office’s technology management with managed services.

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Outlining the Immense Value of Managed IT Services

Every expense that your business takes on needs consideration. When you are looking to keep your business productive, you need to focus on keeping downtime to a minimum. In order to do that you need to have tools that don’t take a lot of work-time maintenance and have professional perspectives available that can help keep operations running when issues with your business’ technology do happen.

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Burnout is a Bad Thing, Just Ask Your In-House IT Team

Burnout—a psychological process that can impact an employee and lead to stress, exhaustion, depression, and frustration—is a serious threat to any workplace. However, have you ever considered the potential harm that could be done if your IT-focused staff members succumbed to these feelings? Let’s examine the phenomenon of IT burnout, and how we can help fix it.

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5 Reasons Why You Need Managed IT

When it comes to your technology, you can never be too careful. It’s critical that you look at your IT infrastructure as an investment, and one that will save you countless hours and considerable sums of money if you take proper care of it. Here are five reasons your business should prioritize proactive IT maintenance over reactive, or break-fix, IT maintenance.

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Why Percussive Maintenance is a BAD Idea

We’re all familiar with the old, cliched joke where someone needs to give their technology a good smack in order for it to work right—and by some miracle, it works. The thing is, it isn’t a miracle, and can sometimes be effective. Having said that, this is not a strategy that we would recommend.

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Co-Management Can Take the Pressure Off

Most businesses set out to do an IT project when their technology needs an upgrade. Whether your business is looking to add new hardware, refresh the systems you already have, migrate to the cloud, or add new applications to your playbook, it can get pretty intimidating as cost and time overruns threaten your profitability. This week, we thought we would discuss an approach that can help any business—large or small— get their IT projects completed and integrated effectively: co-managed IT. 

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Who’s Behind the Wheel of Your Business’ Technology?

There are countless issues that could arise when it comes to managing and maintaining your technology, but the people who are in charge of the process should not be one of them. If you don’t have a dedicated IT team to take care of your business technology, you might not be properly maintaining your technology. Thankfully, there are ways to get around limited resources, and it might not be what you think.

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Managed Services – The Ultimate SMB Budget Hack

It’s not often that something profoundly changes the landscape of business technology management as much as managed services has. When implemented correctly, managed IT services can completely replace the traditional methods of technology management within a company, and it all starts with changing not just your budgeting practices but also your maintenance practices.

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Who Do You Call When Your Tech is On the Fritz?

In the world of business, few issues can be as profoundly disruptive as a desktop workstation refusing to work properly. When your computer stops functioning or impacts your productivity, who do you call? Do you have someone on speed dial who is trained on how to take care of computer problems?

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Technology Is the Gift that Keeps on Giving

Each year we try to come up with a creative Christmas article that ties IT into one of the many holiday fables, but this year we thought we would just forgo the pageantry and talk a little bit about how important our clients are and what we do that can help take them where they want to go.

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ALERT: Your Business Needs to Take the Log4j Extremely Seriously

You’ve probably already heard about Log4j this week. Maybe you don’t recognize the name, but it’s likely that you have run across emails or news articles talking about this widespread vulnerability. You need to take it very seriously.

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Failing Technology Can Negatively Affect Your Business

When a computer is on the fritz it can really destabilize a person’s ability to produce consistent work. Most users today will try basic troubleshooting techniques, for better or for worse, to get the machine to run properly. Let’s look at the results of failing technology and how it can cost businesses in different ways. 

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Life Lessons that Can Also Apply to your Business IT

Technology is one element that many small businesses struggle with, but it turns out that a lot of the same advice that you might get for regular life lessons can also apply to IT! Let’s take a closer look at how we might apply some of these lessons and why it just makes good sense to keep these tips close at hand.

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Why Managed IT Services Just Makes Sense

Technology is what keeps the modern business running, be it something as simple as a word processor or as complex as a server unit. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle with technology procurement, management, and maintenance. Let’s take a look at why this is the case and what you can do to help this process along, chiefly by implementing managed services.

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3 Steps You Need to Take to Keep Your IT Running Effectively

Your IT may not be the simplest part of your business but it doesn’t have to be a major problem. If you can get just a couple things right, the rest of the work can be made much easier. At the end of the day, three of the most important components of your internal IT infrastructure will be how you maintain it, how you secure it, and how you back it up.

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Cybersecurity Helps Keep Your Law Firm’s Data from Being Distributed Pro Bono

It can be too easy to overlook the importance of technology and its security, particularly in industries that are deeply steeped in tradition, regardless of how crucial that security may seem when actually considered. Just consider the modern law firm, where technology, data, and the security of such is paramount.

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Yes, Your Business Can Use Outsourced IT Services!

Finding talent can be difficult for businesses, especially for those that are challenged by variables such as their geographic location (not as big of a problem thanks to remote employment), but more often than not, budget will be the key holdup for small businesses seeking top talent. Thankfully, even small businesses can hire top talent through the process known as outsourcing, which is particularly helpful for acquiring talented and qualified IT professionals.

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Looking In at the Benefits of Remotely Monitoring Your Business’ Technology

For small businesses with limited budgets and workforces, getting the type of maintenance needed to keep complicated pieces of machinery and technology in tip-top shape seems like a tall order. Sometimes it might be a budgetary issue, where it costs too much to hire in-house staff to handle this burden. Other times it might seem like you just can’t find any talent in your location. Thanks to modern technology—remote monitoring and management technology, in particular—you are no longer stuck by these limitations

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Could Your IT Repair Itself After a Cyberattack?

Cybersecurity is a massively important consideration for today’s businesses, and as a result, managing it is often given a considerable amount of time. However, recent developments suggest that this time can potentially be reduced by the use of “self-healing” security software. We know that this sounds a little out there, but stay with us! We’ll explain.

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3 Decisions You’ll Want to Avoid Concerning Your Technology

Your business’ technology is the best tool for its success… or it can be, at least. In order for you to see the kind of value from your tech that you’d expect of it, you need to approach it by making good decisions. We wanted to go over a few ways not to do so, to help you avoid undesirable situations.

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Here Are 3 Keys to Building a Thorough IT Support Strategy

IT support is a major pain point for small businesses. While they understand that technology is not something to be trifled with, they often have to pass on getting the most comprehensive service out there in favor of saving capital for other parts of business. 

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No Matter Your Needs, Managed IT Can Be Beneficial for Your Business

All businesses have different goals when it comes to developing their IT infrastructure. While some might struggle just making ends meet with important maintenance, others might decide that it’s time to branch out and try innovative new solutions to take their infrastructures to the next level. We want to make one thing clear; both situations are perfectly fine, so long as you are willing to accept that you could always be doing things better, and today is the perfect time to take the next steps.

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How Managed IT Services Can Benefit Your Business’ Bottom Line

For many businesses, despite the incredible benefits that technology can provide, it is often a source of great stress. This is especially true for the small business owner, who often has much more restrictive parameters to work with, such as a limited budget, workforce, and even the workspace or office. How can organizations like yours stay competitive against companies that have so many more resources available to them? One answer, in terms of technology management, is managed services.

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Managed Services Isn’t Just IT Support

Managed IT services are well known for being an incredibly useful service for a business as it helps offset the cost of keeping their technology up and running. What they aren’t as well known for are all the other services that they do to add value for their customers. 

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IT Service Checklist for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Most business owners that rely on their IT have heard about managed It services. Many already subscribe to some form of outsourced IT service. It is one of the best ways to cut down your business’ operational costs while gaining value through the use of services that, if they were to be purchased intermittently, would cost a lot more. Today, we thought we’d list some of the most important variables you should consider if you are looking to choose a managed IT services provider.

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Why You Need to Consider Managed IT Now More Than Ever

For most of the past years small business owners have been raked over the coals as dealing with sudden economic and political shifts isn’t often great on the budget. In fact, many businesses haven’t made it this far. If yours has, you are almost certainly looking for value in every business investment that you make. There are few investments that you can make for your business that carry more value than managed IT services. Today, we’ll tell you how.

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Stop Letting IT Problems Fester

Let me tell you a deep, dark secret about some of your employees... one that you might be a little surprised to hear: 

They aren’t reporting issues to you.

This can snowball into much larger problems. Let’s discuss.

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Accounting Firms are Finding Their IT Overtaxed

With tax season quickly reaching its crescendo, accountants and CPAs face increased threats to their data security. Your clients' financial information is too good for a cybercriminal to pass up. Now is the time to prepare yourself to fight a cyberattack. Learn how managed IT can support your business in a variety of ways.

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Significant IT Challenges for 2021

2020 was… well, 2020… so it really isn’t any surprise that those businesses that made it to 2021 aren’t quite out of the woods yet. The many difficulties and challenges that 2020 brought will carry over into this year, many of them pertaining to information technology and how businesses utilize it. Let’s take a few moments to anticipate how these IT challenges will manifest this year.

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Technical Expertise Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg for an MSP

Your organization needs its technology to fuel its day-to-day operations. That means they need to be maintained. Organizations that don’t have an IT department will often look to use different strategies to ensure their IT is up and running. Without the proper expertise, however, keeping this technology maintained can be a major problem. 

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Ease Your Mind with Managed IT Services

Your business relies on technology to keep operations moving, but your technology relies on you to stay functional. While many small businesses will choose to forsake an in-house IT department in favor of a self-service model, this is a costly maintenance practice that could put your IT in jeopardy. Instead, your organization should invest in our managed IT services, which have the possibility to show your business an entirely new way of managing technology assets.

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Managed IT Can Change the Way Your Business Functions

Technology has made its way into nearly every business, especially in 2020 with all that has been going on. There really is no choice, but with the commitment to technology there comes risk. If technology fails, your business takes a step back. Today, we will discuss how managed IT services work to manage your risk and keep your IT running effectively. 

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What the Retirement of Adobe Flash Means to Your Business

Once December 31st brings the New Year around, support for the once-popular Adobe Flash Player will officially end. Of course, it isn’t every day that a 24-year-old software is taken out of commission, so it only makes sense to wonder how much this will impact businesses.

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The Help Desk Keeps Business Running Smoothly

When there’s a computer problem, downtime ensues, and productivity suffers. It’s really that simple. Your staff isn’t running on all cylinders because they are always having to restart, the software they need isn’t working properly, or they simply forgot their password.

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Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Flash Player—the familiar Adobe web application that first premiered in 1996—is finally going into retirement at the end of the year. This is quite a big deal, as Flash Player was (at least initially) instrumental to many of the platforms that so many rely on these days. However, what will this mean for your business?

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Monitoring Your IT is a Crucial Step to Success

Your business’ technology is extremely important to your business’ success and ensuring that it is functioning as designed has to be an ongoing priority. This can be harder than you may think. Today, we’ll go over how you can actively confront this challenge and keep your IT running as it should. 

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How You Can Make IT’s Life Easier

Business relationships, especially between you and a service provider or you and a coworker, are crucial to a business’ success. However, maintaining these relationships can be challenging when there’s a good chance that your actions might create more work for another person. Let’s go over why your relationship with IT may be strained, and offer a few tips to help fix it.

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What You Need to Do to Prevent Remote Shadow IT

Shadow IT is no laughing matter, despite its overly theatrical name, as it describes the rogue technology and software being used in your business without being cleared or vetted. While it has always been a problem with in-house operations, the widespread adoption of remote work has made it even more dangerous.

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IT Help Desk Can Be Incredibly Valuable

Every business has the occasional computer problem. Like any other machine it needs constant maintenance to work as intended. When you are working in a productive environment, IT problems can really damage your business’ ability to conduct business. One solution to what seems like endless computer issues is the presence of an IT support help desk. Let’s take a look at a couple of benefits that having a help desk solution in place can have for a small business. 

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Remote Monitoring and Managed IT, and the Impact it Has on Small Business

With more people than ever working from home, their ability to receive the support they need to keep their devices in top working order is crucial. As a result, many businesses have turned to managed IT service providers to maintain their employees’ computers. MSPs like us utilize a tool called remote monitoring and management software (RMM). Let’s discuss what it is and why it is so useful for managing your company’s IT. 

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Think Of Managed Services as Healthcare for Your IT

When you feel under the weather you visit the doctor, they examine you and prescribe a remedy. It’s a pretty simple process; and a relationship that is important to maintain your health. A managed service provider functions the same way for a business. Let’s take a look at the similarities.

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Why Managed Service Providers are Your Best IT Support Option

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:

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Tip of the Week: Monitor Your Hardware While Out of the Office

Businesses are just now starting to reopen as stay-at-home orders are lapsing or going to lapse. For many of those businesses, remote solutions have got them through this ordeal and for many others they continue to deploy a remote workforce. For companies still promoting telework, monitoring your local IT environment is something that you need a solution for. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss some of the best practices you can use to monitor your IT while out of the office.

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Cutting Costs Doesn’t Mean Sacrificing Support

If you’re trying to minimize your operating costs to improve your budget, it is important to keep in mind that sacrifice isn’t your only option. Instead, you also have the option of streamlining and minimizing some of your larger expenses by enlisting a managed services provider and the more sustainable business model we adhere to.

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Why is My Network Slow?

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.

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How to Judge the Quality of an IT Provider’s Services

It’s a safe assumption that your business relies on some technology in order to operate (after all, you are reading a blog on the Internet). As a result, it is likely that you will require some level of IT support at some point. While this may sound like something simple enough to find, you need to keep in mind that not all IT service providers will necessarily provide the same quality of service.

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Tip of the Week: Turn It Off and Turn It On, Again

The people that support a business’ information systems are widely renowned as a bunch of nerds sitting in a basement office waiting for someone that matters calls them upstairs. Now, we think this characterization is unfair (of course), but since our jobs are so technical, it can be hard to relate with clients all the time. Fortunately for us, the most useful tool we have in our repertoire is excruciatingly simple. To fix your computer problem, have you tried turning it off, and turning it back on? 

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The Value That Managed IT Services Bring to the Table

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.

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Potential Issues Your Server Could Experience

Most businesses nowadays require a server in order to operate properly, but these critical pieces of infrastructure aren’t immune to issues. Here, we’ll go over a few common reasons that you may experience a server crash.

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How Our Help Desk Benefits You

You’re likely aware that we have a Help Desk for our clients to leverage, but not all companies handle their support the same way. Here, we wanted to share a few reasons that we are confident that our approach to support is better for our clients.

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How a Co-Managed Strategy Can Be a Game Changer

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.

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Diving Into the Differences Between Proactive and Reactive

When it boils down to it, there are really only two ways to operate a business: proactively, or reactively. While many businesses still rely on their reactivity to deal with their technology issues, the opposite approach is demonstrably more effective for the modern business. Let’s explore some of the effects that a proactive and reactive strategy can each have on your operations.

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Your Business Could Use a Help Desk

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. 

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Protect Your Computing Infrastructure with Remote Monitoring and Management

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.

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What is Managed by a Managed Service Provider

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.

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Fix Any Bit of Data Leakage

How valuable is the data that you’ve collected during your time in business? What would it mean if it were to leak somewhere beyond your control? Today we’ll discuss ways to control your data leakage.

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Around the Clock Support Keeps You In the Game

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.

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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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Proactive Maintenance Can Save Time and Money

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.

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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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Don’t Make the Solutions More Complicated Than the Problem

The act of “yak shaving,” also known as “bikeshedding,” is a specific kind of procrastination that can hold you back from getting the most out of your workday. This week’s tip is dedicated to explaining what this nonsensical phrase means and why it’s beneficial to keep your employees on track.

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Tip of the Week: Here Are a Few of Our Favorite Security Practices

There will never be a time that we are not committed to improving the security of businesses. To continue striving for this goal, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to describing some solutions that can assist in locking a business and its data down.

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Three Gifts for Your IT Resource

The holiday season is here, and the spirit of giving is in the air. Why not give the IT professional in your life a few things that they’ve been wishing for all year? Here, we’ve compiled a list of things you can give them, some of which will cost you (and your business) nothing.

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