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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
“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?
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.
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”?
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.
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.
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.
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.