How to Free Up IT Resources

Business success comes from capitalizing on opportunities, except it is harder to do so if you are resource-constrained. This article explores ways to free up IT resources to drive productivity and evolution. Your business depends on information technology resources. The right software can help manage expanding workloads and improve collaboration. ...
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Signs You Aren’t Budgeting Enough for IT

Generally, we like to make the argument that nothing about your small business is too small. We do say it a lot in relation to cybersecurity — no size of business is immune. Yet, there is the chance your IT budget is too small. Consider these indicators that you might need to invest more in your IT. Every business wants to be cost-conscious. Saving...
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Do You Need Document Management?

The employee surrounded by teetering stacks of paper is less common today. What with the move to digital technology, we're all doing more online. Yet some businesses remain true to traditional processes, passing documents around the office. You could be paying for this in lost productivity or worse. You may need document management. Check out the c...
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Prevent Data Silos for Business Success


The volume of data in the world was predicted by International Data Group to reach 59 zettabytes this year, and one big problem with the explosion of data created, captured, copied, and consumed in the world is data silos. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent data silos from slowing your business success.







Need a better idea of IDG’s predicted 59 zettabytes? That's equivalent to filling a one-terabyte hard drive, every day, for about 161 million years. The rapid growth of data is not slowing either. Next year, the amount of data is expected to reach 74 zettabytes, and by 2023, this year’s number will have doubled to 118 zettabytes.




Data is a business driver today. Different departments are making decisions based on the data they collect. But that’s the very problem: “different departments.” When the team, business unit, or department keeps its data internally it creates silos.




There are many problems with data silos. These include:




  • Overlapping but inconsistent data is collected separately.
  • Gleaning actionable insights is challenging.
  • Barriers to a holistic view of opportunities or threats are created.
  • Resources are wasted learning from data analyzed through a narrow lens.



Think about it from the perspective of higher education. One campus has admissions, retention, health and wellness, student life, academics, and more; and students interact with any number of those. But if these groups don’t share information, an at-risk student could slip through the cracks. In business, data silos put innovation and growth opportunities at risk.

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Healthcare Providers Must Prepare for IT Disasters


Healthcare professionals regularly handle the worst. Whether its broken bones, horrible abscesses, disease, or death, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready for all that can cripple their technology.







In 2011, one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history destroyed a large medical center in southwest Missouri. Fortunately, the regional hospital had, only a few weeks earlier, transitioned to Electronic Health Records (EHR). The hospital credits that as a lifeline that helped it have a mobile hospital up and running within a week.




When rebuilding, the hospital invested $60 million in a high-tech datacenter. The datacenter was built to withstand natural disasters and other security threats, and can access alternate power sources.




Although a tornado wreaking havoc may not be a risk for you, it doesn’t take that level of severe winds to knock out your practice. A large storm could leave your office in a foot of water or without access to power. With global warming, severe weather events are growing more common and threatening, and healthcare providers need business continuity plans.




Healthcare Business Continuity Planning




Most medical compliance standards call for disaster preparedness planning. Procedures need to be in place to avoid losing access to data. Record loss from a fire, flood, storm, or ransomware attack can lead to complications or even death.

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Is Misconfiguration Making Your SMB Vulnerable?


Cybersecurity attacks on big-name brands or governments are familiar headlines these days. Millions of access credentials are breached, and millions of dollars are lost to ransomware attack. You may think you’re protected, but a single undetected misconfiguration could mean trouble.







If you’ve been paying attention, you know no one is immune from cyberattack. Your business has been proactive by:




  • putting firewalls and antivirus protection in place;
  • establishing a bring-your-own-device policy;
  • educating employees about password strength, social engineering, and cyber hygiene;
  • updating software promptly;
  • upgrading end-of-life hardware and software.



The threat landscape is evolving rapidly, the number of devices connected to a business network is exploding, more employees work on their own devices, and a greater number of people are working remotely. Plus, connected devices are all different types. If your wireless is unsecured, you could end up with devices you don’t know at all connected to your network. Yet it’s difficult to manually monitor every single configuration for security.




Push notifications advising us to update software come in fast and furious, but we’re busy. We have other things on our mind, we don’t get around to it right away, or, having clicked “never show again” on that popup, we forget the notification altogether. No action is taken.





At least no action on the business side. Out in cyberspace, bad actors actively seek out unattended or unpatched vulnerabilities.

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Why MSP Support Beats a Break-Fix Approach


Computers break at challenging times. Always. And there’s no worse time than the holiday season. Your employees want to spend time with family and friends, relaxing and reminiscing. They do not want to wait around for a fix or to find a replacement. That’s one reason a managed service provider (MSP) is a good choice year-round.







Many businesses have more work at the end of the year. An employee saddled with a laptop that won’t load necessary business applications is not productive. A wider system problem is even more costly. According to Gartner, “the average cost of network downtime is around £5,600 per minute.” Do you want to lose about £300,000 an hour during your busy season?




Even businesses that close the office for the holiday season have employees trying to get work done before the vacation. A broken computer is not going to help them meet their deadlines.




Relying on the break-fix model of computer care isn’t going to serve you well during the holiday season. Even those companies with a dedicated IT person could struggle when something goes wrong if that individual is already away for the holidays.




At many times of year, you’re patient: you can wait for someone to come in and fix that desktop or deal with the printer that’s acting up. But, if you’re calling a company in sporadically, they have no obligation to be available when you need help. If they’re backed up, you’ll need to try the next option for computer repair that came up in your Google search.

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5 Benefits of Windows Virtual Desktop for Businesses


The days of doing all our work in the office are gone for most businesses. There are clients to meet, conferences to attend, and roadshows to run. Employees are often on the move, and they want to work fully, wherever they are. Windows Virtual Desktops can help.







Windows Virtual Desktop allows staffers to work off-site with continued access to office workstations. All the business data and programs are accessible through the cloud. Plus, the individual can use a laptop, tablet, or other mobile device. They'll log in to a virtual desktop that looks the same as the one at work. Let’s consider the many benefits Windows Virtual Desktops offer.




#1 Convenience




Allowing users to access desktops from wherever they are makes it easy to keep working. They can do whatever needs to be done, whenever they have the time to do so. Since virtual desktops mirror the office workstation, users are more efficient. They aren’t having to relearn a task when working remotely or off-site. That file they’re looking for is in the same place it would be if they were sitting at their office desk.




#2 Lower costs




Your business could use software that needs more power than users have on mobile devices. Virtual desktops tap into a powerful cloud-based network, which means your business doesn’t need to invest in the infrastructure to support those apps.




You don’t need to upgrade to multiple computers. The virtual desktop in the cloud will do the necessary work, and it’s easily scalable. This also saves time, as your business doesn’t have the long upgrade time of new infrastructure.

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Keep Your Business Continuity Plans Current


Is there one thing we can count on now with COVID-19? The situation can change in an instant. You may have been confident in your business continuity plans in the past, but the pandemic has shaken us all up. It's a solid reminder to review our plans to get back to business quickly and seamlessly.




Business continuity is preparing for the unexpected



A good business continuity plan ensures maintained operations before and during unexpected disruptions. Generally, decision-makers strategize in advance to ride out:




  • natural disasters
  • man-made disasters
  • national emergencies
  • utility failures
  • sabotage
  • data breaches or cybersecurity attack
  • theft



These could impact a system or network or prevent you accessing your location to get to your computers and important data.




Now, we also know that we should prepare for the effects of an international health pandemic!




Such business-centric planning considers all necessary elements of staying on track. You’ll look at physical premises and staffing, and hardware and software requirements.

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COVID the Sequel: Revisit Business Continuity Plans

 

 

There’s a sequel no one has any interest in seeing predicted to open this Autumn – COVID: The Second Wave. Despite the lack of audience interest, we could face another coronavirus pandemic. For business, this means revisiting continuity plans.


 

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