3 Tips to Be Proactive with Your Organization’s Technology

For decades, you were probably like just about every other business on the planet in terms of IT and your organization’s technology: reactive. You would invest heavily in a particular set of hardware or software, use it until it wasn’t quite getting you the results you needed and then repeat the process all over again. Times have changed and technology advances far too quickly to stay stuck in this old school mentality any longer.

Being reactive in terms of technology doesn’t just put you at a competitive disadvantage – it could also be making your entire organization vulnerable in more ways than one. If you really want to be proactive with your organization’s technology, you’ll want to keep a few key things in mind.

Proactive Means Protection of Your Organization’s Technology

By far, the number one way to remain proactive about your organization’s technology involves doing what you can to protect it from digital threats. Conduct regular scans of your network and infrastructure, not only looking for opportunities for improvement, but also in terms of identifying small problems before they have a chance to become much larger (and more expensive) ones down the road.

Implement two factor authentication (2FA) as a way to ward off the latest digital threats like phishing attempts. Remember that hackers and other people who want to do you harm think fast – so you need to think faster.

Plan for the Future

If being proactive in general means always keeping one eye fixed towards the future, it stands to reason that another great way to be proactive about your organization’s technology involves planning for what tomorrow is going to look like. Use workspaces to unlock productivity and collaborative benefits that have only recently become available. Plan your budget accordingly, taking great care to make sure that your IT is always aligned with your long-term business objectives.

If you find this too hard to do on your own, don’t be afraid to find a partner like a managed services provider who will take over much of the burden on your behalf.

Move to the Cloud

Finally, one of the best ways to become more proactive about your organization’s technology involves moving anything and everything that you can over to the cloud. Not only will it make protection and planning for the future easier, but it’ll also make your life better. Your employees will become more efficient and have a uniform experience, wherever they are. The quality of the work that they’re able to do will increase as well.

You’ll get benefits that extend far, far deeper than the ones listed here – but none of it will be possible if you get stuck in the same reactionary approach that has been true to IT investments for years.

Key Takeaways:

  • Being proactive about your organization’s technology puts you in a better position to protect it. This can include doing regular scans, implementing two factor authentication and more.
  • Being proactive puts you in a better position to plan for the future through the use of workspaces, budgeting and more.
  • Moving everything into the cloud is a big first step towards becoming and staying proactive moving forward.

Cloud Backup

The Most Important IT Budgeting Tip for 2017 and Beyond

As we enter into a new year, many organizations are trying to spend their IT budgets for 2017 in the smartest way possible. While doing your research and taking a proactive approach to the proceedings is always important, the fact of the matter is that the single most important IT budgeting tip for 2017 is also an incredibly simple one.

Making the shift to workspaces within your organization brings with it a host of unique advantages that will serve you well not only in 2017, but in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

IT Budgeting: Breaking Free From the Traditional Model

Think about it this way: desktop computers typically cost a fixed amount of money in the traditional pricing model, but what you don’t realize is that this cost is constantly going up. Desktops naturally lose their ability to function well over time, often because they need to be updated so frequently. As operating system updates are released, your older hardware is taxed harder and harder.

It creates something of a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances: you need the latest software to thrive, but that software itself cannot excel on the older hardware you’re working with. With a workspace, you don’t have to fix this problem by getting new computers or any new hardware at all – you just have one monthly fee and nothing to worry about.

The OEM License Benefit

Under the traditional OEM model of licensing, you need to buy licenses for each computer you plan on using. Those licenses can’t be used anywhere else and also die on the computer they’re being used on. Did you just upgrade your desktop in your office? Congratulations – you now have to buy a slew of new licenses to go with it.

With a workspace, everything you need is included and is priced based on the numbers that use it. The cost is an all-in-one situation, as opposed to being spread out in an escalating manner over time.

The Joy of Consumption

Finally, perhaps the most important reason why workspaces are your most important IT budgeting tip for 2017 is because everything is consumption-based. You no longer have to worry about making decisions today that may prove to be inadequate tomorrow – also forcing you to spend more tomorrow as a result. You don’t have to worry about having too much or too little – you’re only paying for what you use and not a penny more. As those needs change, your pricing plan can change, too. It really is that simple.

In the end, one of the keys to making sure that you’re spending your IT budget wisely is to make decisions that allow you to work smarter, not harder. With many different costs advantages and a consumption-based pricing model, it’s clear that making the jump to workspaces within your business is one of the single most efficient ways to accomplish exactly that.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make no mistake: if your organization isn’t already heavily invested in workspaces, 2017 is the perfect time to start.
  • Workspaces allow your business to break free of the financial shackles of the traditional hardware model.
  • Everything is consumption-based, meaning that you’re only paying for what you use and not one cent more.

Desktop as a Service

3 Reasons to Have a Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan is designed to do exactly that – preserve your organization’s ability to function, regardless of the challenges you may face at any particular moment. If you think that you can avoid the need for a business continuity plan by just being as “careful as possible,” you probably haven’t been running your own business for very long. In reality, it’s hugely important to have a properly designed business continuity plan for a number of important reasons.

1. A Business Continuity Plan is a Communications Tool

Perhaps the number one reason why it’s important to have a business continuity plan comes down to the simple fact that not everyone will know exactly what they should do in an emergency. When mission critical systems start to fail, time is of the essence. If your business experiences a fire, a robbery, a hack or some other type of disaster, you’ll be facing an “all hands on deck” situation. If every last person isn’t clear on the role they need to play, you don’t have a chance at actually mitigating those risks as much as possible.

Business continuity plans help keep people informed. Based on the role they play within your organization and the skills they bring to the table, they clearly and eloquently communicate exactly what a person should be doing in the event of various types of events that you may face.

2. It’s Proactive

Another one of the major reasons why it’s important to have a business continuity plan has to do with being proactive. Instead of waiting around for trouble to strike and coming up with a plan of attack only after the fact, you can brainstorm possibilities in a low-stakes situation to be as prepared as you can be for when those stakes start to rise.

Besides, there is no downside to taking a proactive approach to the security of your business. Not only does it help to guarantee 99% or higher uptime (as you’ll be ready for nearly all types of issues that might occur), but a little effort now will pay dividends by way of peace-of-mind for years to come.

3. It Can Help Bring You Back from a Disaster

Finally, it’s important to have a business continuity plan simply because when disaster rears its ugly head, your plan is all that you have to help bring things back from the brink as successfully as possible. Not only are you protecting mission-critical areas of your business, but you’re also protecting your business partners (especially in the event of something like a data breach). This in turn helps boost the morale of not only your staff, but your customers and other end users at the same time.

By far, a well-designed and properly tested business continuity plan is one of the most valuable assets that your organization has. When you run a business for any appreciable length of time, it becomes clear that running into major problems isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” If you accept that to be true, a business continuity plan is your best chance to successfully answer the question “what now?” before you pass the point of no return.

Key Takeaways:

  • Business continuity plans protect your business partners, your staff and ultimately your customers.
  • Business continuity plans allow you to take a proactive approach to getting ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

Business Continuity Plan Services

When Should I Outsource My IT Department?

Outsourcing your IT department isn’t just a passing fad – it’s something that small and medium-sized businesses in particular are experimenting with for a variety of important reasons. Not only does it allow you to put the infrastructure in place that you need to give yourself a competitive advantage today, but it’s also essentially “future-proofing” your IT department to make sure you’re ready for tomorrow, too.

If you find yourself constantly asking the question “when should I outsource my IT department?”, you’ll want to watch out for a few key signs.

When to Outsource My IT Department: The Scale Factor

One of the most important reasons why you’ll want to outsource your IT department has to do with meeting ever-changing demands as your business continues to grow. When most companies break the threshold of roughly 500 users, outsourcing part or even all of their IT needs becomes a best practice.

The reason is because user networks of this size tend to be prohibitively complex. They have more vulnerabilities and need a different kind of attention to make them work properly. Rather than bring in additional IT staff to meet those needs (which means additional salaries, benefits packages, etc.), outsourcing can be a great way to meet demand without raising costs.

You Get Access to Dedicated Professionals

When you have your own in-house IT staff, each employee is constantly getting pulled in countless directions depending on the day. This can lead certain mission-critical yet small tasks like updates or routine maintenance to fall by the wayside. If this is happening to your organization, outsourcing is something you’ll want to at least consider.

Without a firm that is prepared to handle your IT challenges exclusively, it’s actually more expensive to manage your network, guarantee constant uptime, and enable your employees to do work uninterrupted.

You Gain Years of Experience Instantly

Keeping up with the technology curve essentially requires your own IT employees to be learning constantly. This can get prohibitively expensive, especially when you consider training and ongoing education. Outsourcing, on the other hand, provides you with a professional firm that knows everything inside and out. You have unfettered access to a breadth of skills that would otherwise be either incredibly difficult to find or impossibly expensive to hire internally. Simply put, with outsourcing, these concerns just don’t exist any longer.

While it is true that outsourcing your IT department does require you to give up a certain level of control, what you get back in return is something you just can’t put a price on. You can scale up and down easier as needed. Everything becomes less expensive to manage. More than anything, you get access to the type of professional firm that knows everything inside and out in a way that you’d never be able to manage on your own.

Key Takeaways:

  • One of the most common signs that it might be time to outsource your IT department is when you break the threshold of 500 users.
  • Another sign that it might be time to outsource your IT department is when the cost of managing everything in-house starts eating into your return on investment.

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IT Support Tips to Avoid a Tech Nightmare this Halloween

It’s Halloween. Soon, screams will pierce the air, claws will flash in the moonlight, and precious blood will be spilled. Fear controls the night, but one type of nightmare that you won’t be experiencing is a tech one. Like that dedicated trick-or-treater that spends time planning out all the details of his outfit, you are prepared when it comes to your technology. Why? Because of the following IT support tips.

Be Proactive

The best IT support will come from a managed service provider (MSP). Why is it the best? Because it’s proactive! Proactive services are the way they are because of a software that scans your system 24/7/365 and warns of any potential danger. The benefits of this are extremely valuable. Whenever any potential danger is detected, it will be dealt with and resolved remotely right then and there. This saves you any down time from damaged equipment, and it also saves you any additional costs a specialists may require to fix it. The system will also escalate the most prominent dangers so that they are dealt with first. With technology being so important to a business’s success, you need to be proactive with your IT support to stay ahead of the game.

Information Technology Group goes above and beyond when providing this. Not only do we provide reliable, efficient, and proactive services, but we also take time to become properly certified. We are committed to the certification process, and are actually Cisco certified and a VMI certified partner.

We also take our client’s needs seriously, which is something that is very important and valuable for an MSP to exhibit. We manufacture professional services for legal practicing, and we do a lot of engineering for our competition, which why we work with complex clients. We look for customers that are actively growing their business, and are proactive in their approach to IT.

Become Mobile

Another way to avoid a tech nightmare is to make sure that your IT support has the ability to be mobile. What will you do if you’re victim of a data breach, or if a natural disaster hits that destroys your facility? Will you just sit and wait to fix things, or continue business in alternate locations as best as you can until you get back onto your feet? Of course, you’re going to troop on. And how do you do that? Well, if you have your information backed up to the cloud that goes to off-site data centers, you can access your information from anytime, anywhere, as long as you have a device and an internet connection. We make sure that you are able have access to your information without needing a lot of complex infrastructure. We also require that you have a business continuity plan in place in case of a disaster so that you can stay in business.

Not only does this mobility save you in the case of disasters, but you can also expand your office to other locations, work while you travel, etc… the possibilities are endless!

Give Your Wallet a Break

And finally, best of all, these IT support tips will not break the bank. With this proactive IT support, you only pay a fixed rate once a month, and that’s it. This makes budgeting a whole lot simpler, and you never have to worry about any surprise costs. We’re a virtualization company, so we know what we’re talking about when it comes to advanced IT and we will only recommend the best solutions for YOU.

Contact Us!

In this highly digital world, companies could use all the IT support tips out there to stay ahead. At Information Technology Group, we really do care about the partnerships we form with our clients. We set high expectations for ourselves when it comes to our clients and how we treat them. You’re in good hands when you come to us. So, what’re you waiting for? Contact us today and make all those tech fears disappear.