Many businesses, irrespective of their size, are increasingly turning towards managed services to streamline their operations, reduce expenses, and elevate their overall customer value proposition. The utilization of managed services has revolutionized the landscape, not just in terms of cost-saving, but also in facilitating businesses to grow and extract greater value from their IT infrastructure. Let's take a look into how managed services achieve this dual objective.
Today’s businesses are heavily reliant on technology to streamline operations and do more to enhance workforce productivity. With the multitude of technology options available, however, finding the right solutions for your business can be more difficult than it seems at first glimpse. Let’s take a look at how technology professionals can help you navigate the technology landscape and find solutions that align with your business needs.
With organizations running on technology, it is important that it is reliably managed. It’s also important that your organization has the technology in place that will help your team be the most productive and that will keep your data secure. The best way to accomplish this is with help from certified and knowledgeable IT technicians.
Technology is important for many reasons, chief among them your business’ continued efficiency and productivity. The problem with technology, though, is that it will never last forever, and you’ll have to replace it sooner or later. Thankfully, you can delay those costs considerably by implementing a proactive technology management plan, effectively keeping the same technology running longer.
Businesses use all types of sayings to try to draw in customers. One of the core selling points of managed IT services is that “it pays for itself”. This is more than just marketing. The multiple services that make up managed IT services all help a business save time and money, but when added together, it can really help the bottom line of a business more than most services they can use. In this week’s blog we thought we would go through the core elements of a managed IT services agreement to show how it really does pay for itself.
If your business is fortunate enough to make it through the first stage and is looking to open a brand new facility or add onto its current setup, you will need to figure out how you are going to use your technology. This can be a challenge.
IT support is a must for the modern business. Whether you have an internal IT administrator, a team of technicians on staff, or you outsource your management, you need to ensure that your business has the support and service needed to keep your business’ technology running efficiently.
How does your business manage its IT? Do you have an in-house team, and how busy are they with all of the hustle and bustle of their everyday duties? Do they have time to address the many challenges and requests made of them? If not, then perhaps you should consider a different model for your IT management. Luckily, we have just the opportunity for you, and you won’t want to miss out on it.
Technology is complex, and it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. This is more the case for business technology than consumer technology. Even those who consider themselves tech-savvy might be lost when it comes to managing business-grade technology solutions. How can you make sure that your business technology is receiving the service it needs to stay operational long-term?
Organizations come in all sizes and with it, there are all different ways of conducting business. Some companies choose to spend more time and money on their organization’s IT than others do. This month, we thought we would briefly go through four different tiers of technology investment and what they mean for your business.
There are countless moving parts to any successful business, and smaller companies often have the issue of their employees juggling multiple different tasks and wearing all kinds of different hats in addition to their outlined job duties and responsibilities. You might encounter situations where you don’t know what to do, and it can be overwhelming when so much needs to get done in so little time.
For modern organizations that depend highly on their technology, nothing is quite so scary as an event that can completely marginalize its ability to operate. This doesn’t need to be a fire, flood, or some other major cataclysm; it could be something as simple as some of your old IT fails and you’re not ready for it. This week, we thought we’d briefly go through what a catastrophic failure looks like and some steps you can take to keep your business from experiencing one.
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?
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.
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.
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.
If you want to minimize costs, being proactive can go a long way toward this goal. Your business’ technology is one such area where proactive maintenance can allow your company to save countless dollars and hours of downtime. If you haven’t implemented a proactive maintenance platform yet, then you might be putting your company at risk.
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.
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.
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.
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?
When it comes to your business’ IT resources, who’s in charge? Do you have a CIO, or chief information officer, managing your IT decision-making, and do you have someone responsible for managing and maintaining your systems? If you don’t know the answer to either of these questions, then we need to have a conversation about your relationship with technology management.
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.
When you browse the articles available on our blog, you might see the words “managed services” a lot. That’s because we firmly believe that managed services are the solution to a lot of problems that small and medium-sized businesses have with technology management, maintenance, and acquisition. How can managed services help your business push past its limits and establish itself as a powerhouse in the local market? Let’s take a look.
Network security is remarkably important for businesses, whether they are small organizations or large enterprises, regardless of industry or number of clients served. Your company needs to take it seriously, which means that you need to actively monitor your network for signs of intrusion. Let’s take a look at what goes into network monitoring.
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.
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.
When was the last time you actually had a decent experience working with a vendor? Depending on who you are trying to contact and work with, it can either be an extraordinarily pleasant or an extraordinarily painful experience. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to work with vendors at all? What if you could just contact a trusted resource who could handle everything for you? Well, you’re in luck; that just so happens to be what vendor management is all about!
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.
We believe that at the end of the day, employees want to do the right thing and accomplish their daily tasks without incident. However, technology can often break these plans with unexpected issues that prevent them from doing so. If you don’t take the time to provide the proper IT support when it is needed, you force your employees to either be unproductive or find unconventional (and often unsecure) solutions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let me ask you a quick question: when was your critical business technology last updated? When do your software licenses expire? When did your printer last have any maintenance performed on it?
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.
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.
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.
For most businesses, inventory is a big deal. That’s why it is so surprising that many of the same businesses that depend on their inventory and supply chain fail to properly inventory their technology. This month, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping a technology inventory.
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:
The COVID-19 outbreak has put a lot of pressure on small businesses. In fact, many have been forced to close down operations until the situation ends. For those that are able to keep operations up and running there are likely to be some difficult decisions that will have to be made. We’re here to help by offering comprehensive IT support and services that will help keep your business up and running efficiently and securely at a time when many of your competitors might be closing their doors.
For the small business, times are increasingly tough. Many businesses have been forced to close down until after the coronavirus outbreak has been mitigated, but for those businesses who are still at it, you must be looking to save some money. Outsourcing your IT to a managed service provider may be just the thing you are looking for in order to get the comprehensive IT support your business needs, while also strategically cutting organizational outlay for IT support and services.
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.
While it is true that many small and medium-sized businesses don’t have access to the resources enterprise-level businesses do, they don’t have to find themselves on the outside looking in. By partnering with an MSP, SMBs can have access to the same IT resources as larger organizations at a price that is within their reach.
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.
The information technology solutions that are out there for businesses to utilize are constantly improving. While these improvements are beneficial to your operational abilities, you do need to make sure you are staying up to date. This is where a managed service provider can help. Here, in the final part of our series exploring the value of managed services, we’re considering procurement assistance.
Data is of key importance to many modern businesses, and with the help of a managed service provider, it can become even more useful. Here, as we continue our series on the value that a managed service provider can offer you, we’ll focus on the ways that data can be harnessed to your business’ advantage.
Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need. The last part of our series will take a look at hardware procurement and the value it brings.
Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.
The role of professional services companies in our society dictates that they need access to information as efficiently as possible. Some of the most crucial jobs in our society would be labeled professional services. Today, we are going to go through three of those careers--lawyers, accountants, doctors--and we will go on to describe just how each of their industries benefit from the presence of managed IT services.
It’s difficult to put a value on your organization’s technology solutions. While you might be tempted to assign a monetary value based on how much it all saves you, you also need to examine how much it costs you in the long term. Can you optimize your network even more than it currently is? Can you even keep track of the countless moving parts of your IT infrastructure? Managed IT might be able to help.
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.
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.
The late American author Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.” Written in the 20th century, it has been put in practice by 21st century businesses. As the Internet has grown, the amount of companies expanded, and the amount of data that those companies collect has grown exponentially, especially now that there is a market for such data.
Today, many of the largest and most lucrative companies in the world, Google, Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Verizon, Facebook and Microsoft are all, more than manufacturers of computer-based goods and services, data brokers. These data brokers create services that they then sell to advertisers that allow them to target you based on the information these companies have of you, which can accurately tell how and what to sell you.
Since nearly everyone has a near-ubiquitously-connected experience there is a lot of data collected, bought, and sold every year and it’s big business. Facebook, a company whose main revenue stream is from selling advertising, made a net profit of nearly $16 billion in 2017. This tells us that if you have people’s data, you have people’s hopes, fears, and dreams, which means you can pretty easily get someone to pay you for access to that information.
For small businesses it’s much less lucrative. In fact, all the data your organization needs to keep, is probably necessary to simply do business, not to sell to advertisers. Facebook voluntarily gets a lot of personal information from every one of their users, as where the typical small business often has to strategize to just get a name and a phone number. The information that is sensitive (mostly customer information that you collect) has a lot of value to the people looking to steal it. So while you aren’t making billions of dollars selling consumer profiles, it is still a mightily important part of doing business, and needs to be secured.
Is Data a Commodity?
Technically speaking, it isn’t. Since a commodity’s value is based namely on its scarcity and the amount of capital that needs to be put up to create it, in both resources and labor, the data that is being purchased isn’t really a commodity. In lieu of the dissolution of the U.S. Net Neutrality laws, this has created the argument in the U.S. that since now it’s up to the telecommunication companies how they want to manage (or more accurately bill) data consumption, that they would throttle and tier service, something that isn’t possible with a true commodity, where there are laws prohibiting those types of practices.
On the other hand, Internet access is something that a majority of the commerce requires, and delivering data is in itself an expensive endeavor (infrastructure spending, development, utility costs, etc.) so telecoms, who are seeing their would-be profits syphoned by over-the-top content providers, and publicly demonized as a result of a very public lobbying effort to gain control of the ability to implement some sort of prioritization strategy, have to find a strategy to sustain their ability to get a workable return on their investments.
Securing Your Organization’s Data
Regardless of what your view of data is, it’s an important resource for your organization, and as mentioned above, it needs to be secured. For one of your company’s most important resources, data can be lost relatively easily, so there needs to be a concerted effort to keep your network and infrastructure free from the threats that could put your data at risk. At Directive, that’s what we do. We ensure organizations like yours get the professional IT expertise you need to work efficiently, effectively, and securely in what is the most turbulent time in computing history. With the litany of threats your business faces everyday, you need experts that have your back. We offer:
- Backup and disaster recovery: With a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery system in place, all of your organization’s data is safe, redundant, and able to be restored on demand.
- Proactive monitoring and management: By keeping a dedicated eye on your network and infrastructure, our technicians can be proactive.
- Patch management: By keeping all of your organization’s software up to date with the latest threat definitions, you can ensure that your software isn’t going to be a problem.
- Access control and threat detection: By having full control over who can access what, and a complete view of the entire network, we can keep people who aren’t supposed to see certain information from accessing it.
- Training: Most times, your own staff is responsible for data breaches and malware. We can train you all on what to look for to ensure that you are doing your best to keep your network and infrastructure free from threats.
- Around the clock support: If three out of every four businesses deal with phishing emails, and over 95 percent of all phishing emails deliver ransomware, chances are that if a mistake were to be made, you will need immediate IT support. Our support and help desk can remediate a lot of your security issues to keep downtime to a minimum.
With data such a major part of doing business today, ensuring you have the right solutions and support in place to be confident that any situation you face will be managed before it becomes a problem is in itself a benefit. Call Directive at 607.433.2200 for more information.
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.
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.
Chances are that if you are a business owner that has been in business for a decade you’ve seen how emerging technologies have changed the face of business. Technologies like cloud computing have opened up opportunities for many businesses to get the powerful computing infrastructures they need without massive upfront costs. As this trend continues, the IT services has begun to move past core IT management and support and onto providing real solutions for the modern business. Today, we will look at how the Managed Service Provider (MSP) is at the forefront of a data revolution that has no end in sight.
Even if we’d like it to last forever, business technology can’t possibly do so for a number of reasons. Due to the fact that businesses and their technology are constantly upgrading and changing, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll have to upgrade your technology at some point, whether it reaches its end-of-life event or just simply becomes obsolete for your organization. In fact, failing to update your infrastructure from time to time can have serious negative side-effects for your business.
More small businesses today depend on their IT. If that technology isn’t working as intended, it can really stymie an organization’s ability to be effective. Our strategy of managed IT support and services can do quite a bit towards keeping a business running efficiently. Today, we’ll take a look at managed IT to see how proactive monitoring can deliver enhanced efficiency to businesses.
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.
Information technology is a necessity in today’s world. No matter the industry, IT solutions play a major part in daily operations, so businesses need their solutions to be in working order. In order to ensure that they are, many have turned to managed service providers.
As a modern business, your success depends on your technology functioning properly. As many businesses have discovered when their solutions did not function as intended, the effects can have considerable impact to their success rates. To help keep your business running, you need to be sure that your solutions are maintained.
How does your organization manage its mission-critical technology solutions? We know that most small businesses have some sort of trouble with this topic, either due to budget constraints or a lack of personnel. Either way, we know that there is a better way to manage your business’ technology, and it’s all thanks to managed IT services.
If there is one thing that you can always count on from your business’ technology, it’s that it will inevitably fail at some point in the future. Therefore, your business should have a plan to keep this from happening at all costs. It’s understandable that you would want to make sure that your needs are properly evaluated both now and in the future. To this end, a technology assessment is incredibly helpful.
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.
Consultation is one of those words that you take for granted because you see it everywhere. Think about it, most businesses that provide a professional service offers some semblance of consultation. For the small business owner, can you really afford to pay premium prices to “experts” for them to give you their so-called professional opinion? Besides, what do service providers mean when they use the term “consultation”?
Despite the industries that can be classified as “professional services” being widely varied, many of them could find substantial benefits in enlisting support from a managed service provider. Let’s examine a few of the solutions that an MSP offers, and how these solutions could help a business achieve more during the workday.
“The good old days” usually refer to times long past, where things were more simple. Businesses a few decades ago didn’t have much complex technology in their office, but nowadays organizations have multiple server units and plenty of workstations--all of which need more maintenance than ever before. What’s the best way for your organization to approach IT maintenance?
Wouldn’t it be great to have a fully-trained and certified staff of IT professionals sitting in the corner of your office, keeping your technology in line? Unfortunately, small businesses often don’t have the budget required to hire an internal IT department filled with security analysts and network technicians. Even if they do, they don’t have the workforce to handle all of the responsibilities of a full IT department. What’s the best way to handle your organization’s IT?
For the majority of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), finding the right technology solution is the key to growth. According to a recent study, businesses with 250 employees or less whose primary goal for 2018 is growth cited IT systems and technology applications as their top strategy for facilitating growth. However, in order for technology to provide the most ample amount of growth for your business, they must be the right selection for your individual needs. By working with an MSP, you’ll have a team of business technology solutions experts as your disposal, at a fraction of the cost of hiring an internal IT department to find and implement the IT required to accomplish your desired growth.
How does your organization manage its IT? For some businesses, it’s not an easy choice or even a remotely affordable one. Some companies are forced to endure subpar services from break-fix IT providers that don’t necessarily have the tools available to prevent issues from happening. Others try to prevent issues from evolving into major concerns. These others are the organizations that have the right idea behind technology maintenance.
How does your business manage its technology solutions? If you have an in-house IT department, you might think that you have a better shot at keeping your business safe from a hard drive failure, but this is only if your IT department isn’t already overwhelmed with work. You might find that implementing new solutions is tricky, which wastes time and resources on your part. What’s the small business to do?
Project implementation is a tricky subject for small businesses to approach primarily due to a lack of funding or dedicated personnel. Nowhere is this more true than for technology project implementation, be it a new email server or a revamped networking infrastructure. Depending on your business’ specific situation, it’s often more convenient to simply invest in outsourcing the project management to a third party.
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.
Whether you’re just a small business looking to get operations moving in your chosen location, or you’re an enterprise with multiple offices across the country, one thing is universally the same: you need IT support in some capacity. As more technology is added to networks of all sizes and complexities, the need to manage this technology improves. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to go at it alone--you have third-party outsourcing at your disposal, which can save you both time and money in the long run.