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Are You Having A Technology Emergency?

Pileus Technologies Blog

Pileus Technologies has been serving the Kansas area since 2018, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Pileus Technologies has been serving the Kansas area since 2018, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Importance of Communication Security for Your Business

The Importance of Communication Security for Your Business

Ransomware attacks happen every 11 seconds, according to cybersecurity experts. This statistic is very alarming and continues to worsen. Users of all types are being targeted, from individuals to multinational corporations. The severity of the attacks and the ransom vary considerably, but there is one common factor. Practically all cyberattacks begin with a breach in communication security. Despite the disturbing trends, many businesses are still not fully realizing the importance of security in business communication. Less than half of small companies have protective measures against ransomware attacks, and more than a quarter of employees lack proper training in online security. These are urgent issues that need to be investigated if you want to have a chance of surviving a severe cyberattack.

Why Communication Security is Important in the Workplace

Once a company's communication system gets breached, the hacker will already have broken through the perimeter defense of the company, and it won't be long before they get their hands on all kinds of sensitive and confidential information. This fear brings us to the three reasons a business should maintain security in all communications.

Customer Data Protection

In industries like healthcare, banking, and many more, companies collect customer data that must remain confidential. When this information gets out, it can cause problems for both the client and the company.

Intellectual Property Protection

Industrial espionage is a real thing. Many big corporations would pay to see information from their rivals to find out what new products or trends the competition is working on. This practice is quite common in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

Internal Communication Protection

Internal communication involves massive amounts of information meant only for those in your office. This confidential information is what a ransomware attacker would love to control because they can get large sums of money by holding the data hostage.

Vital Elements of Secure Business Communication

Establishing secure communication systems is crucial for all businesses, regardless of the size of their enterprise. The best way is to partner with a cybersecurity expert with the knowledge and technology to protect your communication channels. Keep in mind that not all providers are equal. There have been cases where a supposed provider of a secure communications platform has been infected with malware. While the clients thought they were safe against online threats, they may have inadvertently placed themselves at an even greater risk. When selecting a managed service provider to manage your cybersecurity requirements, you need to verify that they can provide the basic protective measures, at the very least.

Clear and Comprehensive Policies

A provider should be able to tell you what communication security procedures they can implement for your business. Will they manage your system and network, digital assets, physical security, and the vulnerability of your business? They should also address human fallibility, which is to blame for some business communication breaches.

Methods for Reliable Encryption

Hackers can now easily break through basic encryption methods, so you should only work with a provider that offers high-level and dependable encryption. This protection is key if your business involves a lot of remote work, and your employees frequently use their laptops and mobile devices for work.

Final Thoughts

These are just the fundamentals of why communication security is vital in running a business. You can learn more about the benefits of using a managed service provider by reading our eBook, where we discuss how an MSP can help you overcome the challenge of business communication. Call us when you are ready to increase the security of your business communications. We can help you keep your business, your data, and your employees protected.

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Should You Boost Your Communication Security?

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Cyberattacks on businesses can happen, but most hackers choose to target various online communication systems. The primary reason is that it's easy to breach. Anyone can send a fraudulent link via text message, email, messaging apps, or even social media. If a single employee makes the mistake of clicking bogus links, it will be a big payday for the hackers. This is why you should consider bolstering your communication security.

What You Can Do to Stay Protected

Running a dependable antivirus program and a firewall will help keep online threats at bay. But if your employees are the ones who allow threats in, then all your precautionary software and systems become useless. Everyone in the organization should learn to practice caution and prudence, especially when using the company’s communication system. Here are a couple of tips that could help.

Check Links Before Clicking

First, look at the hyperlink in the anchor text and verify its legitimacy by checking for signs of bogus links. Before clicking on the hyperlink, you should also see where it points by right-clicking it before opening it. Real websites will usually end with “.com,” but a fraudulent link will change this to a different ending like “.co,” “.uk,” “.xyz,”.

Check Email Addresses before Opening Messages

It’s easy to search for email addresses or phone numbers online. If no results show up, you can contact the company directly. Ask whether the contact number you have is accurate. Most companies are glad to lend a hand!

Invest in Online Security Training for Employees

No matter how safe and advanced your cybersecurity strategies are, they can’t protect you completely if your employees don’t know how to stay safe online. A lot of cyberattacks on businesses today can be traced back to one employee who accidentally clicked on a malicious link or let malware into the system.

Lack of Awareness

It’s easy to blame employees, but what can you do if they can’t tell between fake and valid links? You’d be surprised at the lack of awareness concerning online threats. Try it for yourself by taking our Employee Readiness Check. Have your employees take the test and see how much they know about online and communication security.

A Comprehensive Training Program

As a business owner, you must invest in online security and training for your staff. We offer a comprehensive training program that will equip your employees with all the knowledge and skills needed to improve your online security. We will train them on how to check URLs before clicking, how to verify the validity of an email address before opening it, and much more. By the time the training is over, we will have turned your staff into a robust first line of defense for your company.

In addition, we can run a phishing test in your office to identify the weak security areas that need to be corrected. We can then make changes and boost your communication security so that you won't have to worry about threats making their way into your system.

For more tips on how a managed service provider can help you, download our free eBook on The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Superstar IT Provider today!

Your security is important to us. Call us so we can talk about a customized solution that meets your specific needs!

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Uncovering the Dangers behind Free VPNs

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A Virtual Private Network, commonly known as a VPN, is a tool that protects your online identity by masking your IP address. It encrypts your data and keeps it safe from hackers. It sends your connection to an encrypted server in a location that you select, thus allowing you to bypass locational restrictions. VPNs are helpful for businesses and individuals that rely heavily on remote access. Many people also use VPNs for gaming, streaming, and when traveling. There is no question about the usefulness of VPNs currently. The problem is that many people do not want to pay for this service, especially now that tons of free VPN services are available. If you are thinking of downloading a free VPN, let us stop you right now! Using a free VPN might save you a few dollars a month, but the payoff will be much more in the long run. Today, we talk about the real dangers that you are getting yourself into with the use of free VPNs.

Inadequate Data Protection

A good VPN uses a reliable method of encrypting your data to protect you from the prying eyes of hackers. Many free VPNs encrypt your data, but most still use the old PPTP method, which is not a reliable solution. But since it is the easiest to implement and does not require costly software, it is naturally the choice of free VPN operators.

The Risk of Malware Infection

Research shows that over 80% of free VPNs carry some malware. By downloading these free VPNs, you are also downloading malware that can wreak havoc on your devices. These statistics are very alarming since many sinister programs will collect sensitive data. Just imagine that even if a single employee uses a free VPN and inadvertently infects one of your computers, it can cause massive losses for your company. Therefore, employee training should be a priority in any company's cybersecurity strategies.

Injected Advertisements

Most free online services come with ads. That's how the provider makes money since the users are not paying for the service. These ads can be very annoying when they keep popping up, but that's not even the worst part. Most injected ads will automatically redirect you to malware-infected sites or display pop-ups. These can cause damage to your system and expose you to phishing attacks should you accidentally click on the links.

Slow Internet Speed

Using a VPN can reduce your connection speed because it involves the encryption and decryption of your data to ensure the privacy of your internet usage. Most high-quality VPN subscriptions use powerful servers that can handle the extra processes, minimizing the lag you will experience on your end. With free VPNs, you will feel the delay. It will waste time while you wait for websites to load.

An MSP Can Help You Find the Best VPN

If you want a free VPN, look for one that uses open-source code, provides reliable encryption, does not slow down your connection, does not pop-up ads every few minutes, and does independent audits. We're not saying these free VPNs do not exist, but they will be very hard to find. And we can help you find a VPN that fits your needs. The best thing to do is to find a reliable VPN subscription that provides high-end protection at a reasonable fee. Most VPNs come with a free trial period, so you can take advantage of this to see if it would be a perfect fit or not. If you'd like to learn more about safe VPN use and other ways to protect yourself online, check out our free downloadable eBook. We can also conduct a phishing test in your office to check if your employees are following the proper online safety practices. Call us to learn more!

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Your Cybersecurity Strategy: The Key Role of Managed Service Providers

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Self-reliance is a strength in many aspects of life, including business. We view companies that handle all the different operations involved in running their business with respect and admiration. It is impressive if a business can stand on its own two feet and flourish. But there are also areas when self-reliance is not the best option. Cybersecurity is a perfect example.

Although many do not readily admit it, most businesses today cannot deal with cybersecurity threats. Should an online attack happen, an unprotected business network will experience massive data loss and disruption to the flow of operations. The simple reason is that too many business owners still have not partnered with a managed service provider that can give them protection against cyber-attacks.

What an MSP Can Do for Your Cybersecurity Strategy

An MSP like us can do much to boost your company’s cybersecurity strategy. On your own, you might rely on an anti-malware program and a few safety measures. While these can protect against some threats, they will be useless in the face of a full-force online attack. But if you partner with us, you can enjoy maximum protection against. Even the most recent forms of malware and other cyber-attacks.

Threat Monitoring

Individual circumstances expose businesses to different levels of online threats. We will consider all the relevant factors to determine your company’s threat exposure. And monitor your online activities so that we can identify and promptly mitigate any impending attack.

Enhanced Network Security

It is part of an MSP’s job to analyze your current network system and implement changes to protect it against online threats. Depending on the findings, we might install firewalls, set up endpoint detection tools, and more to keep them from causing damage.

Data Encryption and Backup

Protecting your data is one of the top priorities in our cybersecurity strategy. Once hackers get their hands on sensitive information, there is no telling what they can do or how they will use it to wreak further havoc. A reliable encryption method can protect your data even if it falls into the wrong hands, and a reliable backup will ensure that you can recover any stolen data.

Disaster Recovery

In the unfortunate event of an attack pushing through and causing damage to your network and data, a dependable disaster recovery plan will help you get your business back up and running with minimal downtime. The faster you recover, the fewer losses you will suffer, and we can help a lot.

Security Awareness

Most of an MSP’s job involves managing your system and installing tools and software for protection. We will also train your employees on security awareness to help identify and stop easily preventable attacks. You can check your staff’s current knowledge by having them take this Employee Readiness Check. The results might be more alarming than you would expect.

These are just a few examples of how a reliable MSP can help your business. There are tons of other benefits that you can enjoy, as you can read in our free downloadable eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Hiring a Superstar IT Solutions Provider for Businesses.”

Download and read the eBook and let us know if you have questions. We’re here to help!

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Lowering Your Cybersecurity Insurance Premiums

Currently where online crime is rampant, it has become critical to have a reliable cybersecurity insurance plan. This layer of protection is especially true for small businesses that mainly operate in an online environment. Insurance will provide considerable financial protection in the event of an online attack.

While most business owners understand its importance, many still opt not to purchase cybersecurity insurance. Why? It's because the premiums can get high. Many believe the risk isn't enough to justify spending thousands of dollars on coverage. If you are lucky, then you probably won't become a victim. But it's not smart to wish for luck to keep you safe, especially when you realize how much damage a single attack can incur.

Is Cybersecurity Insurance Expensive?

The steep cost of cybersecurity insurance is understandable because of the very high perceived risk. Online crime has become not just more prevalent but also much more complex. The damage is extensive, and insurance companies have no choice but to raise their premiums to keep offering complete coverage.

Another reason for the high premiums is the massive payouts that companies pay out because of data breaches. Businesses that collect sensitive data, like healthcare and banking, have even higher premiums. These companies are prime targets for hackers and therefore have a higher risk factor.

How to Qualify for Lower Cybersecurity Insurance Premiums

Now we get to how to lower your insurance premiums. The fee reduction is much simpler than other insurance, like healthcare or vehicles. Usually, you need to tick a box on the form or sign a waiver. With cybersecurity insurance, it's not so straightforward. But not to worry. There are ways to reduce the premiums you need to pay.

Do an Annual Penetration Test

This test will check how robust your security measures are to protect your business from a cyberattack. You can do this test yourself, but we recommend you partner with a managed services provider for this task. With this test, you can identify your system's weak points to improve them. Insurance companies will see that you are not at risk and list you for a lower premium.

Choose Secure Passwords

This task might seem basic, but insurance companies check the password control policy when assessing applicants. A more secure policy will entitle you to lower premiums, as will a two-factor authorization, or 2FA, login policy. You should also train your employees to choose their passwords wisely. An employee readiness check will reveal how much your staff knows about the importance of passwords and other security issues.

Do Data Encryption

Again, this is something that most companies already do these days. Encrypting confidential and sensitive data is vital for protection. You can improve your data encryption methods considerably with the help of a managed services provider.

Use Your Current Insurance Provider

If you already have an insurance provider for general business liability insurance or property insurance, you can purchase your cybersecurity insurance from them if they offer it. There's a good chance that you can get a discount from a bundle deal.

Get Peace of Mind with Reliable and Affordable Cybersecurity Insurance

Getting your business insured will surely give you peace of mind in a world riddled with online crime. But you don't always have to pay top dollar for the best coverage. Following the strategies above and learning the tips discussed in our eBook, you can get great insurance with affordable premiums. Our cybersecurity experts can help you with a risk assessment and finding the best insurance coverage that matches your needs.

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Small Business Cybersecurity Risks

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Digital technology continues to evolve which can result in cybersecurity risks. The good news is these changes bring a multitude of new ways that businesses can grow. But along with these developments, there are also the growing risks of online threats. No matter how you try to protect yourself, there will always be a prevailing danger every time you enter the online environment. Even large multinational
corporations sometimes become victims of cyber-attacks. So, it is no challenge to breach small businesses and cause cybersecurity risks.

Addressing Inadequate Security Measures

The good news is those small businesses are not helpless despite the alarming rise in the volume and severity of cyber-attacks in recent years. We can apply several easy but effective steps to mitigate cybersecurity risks. If you look at the most common reasons businesses fall victim to online attacks, it almost always boils down to poor security measures.

For instance, many employees still use weak passwords and have not received training on internet security measures. Many companies use old verification systems or simple authentication methods, leaving their data vulnerable to online attackers.

These are issues that even small businesses can address using an up-to-date cybersecurity strategy. If you don't have the means to implement this kind of protection, you can always enlist the services of a managed service provider specializing in cybersecurity solutions. We'll tell you more about this at the end of this blog.

How to Bolster Online Security

If your business gets infiltrated by hackers, it can cost a lot in different aspects. You can lose customers, lose revenue, and experience slow operations. It might even force you to shut down your business in case of customer or vendor data loss. To avoid this trouble, you can take some simple steps right now to bolster online security and prevent online attacks from ruining your business.

Train Your Employees

Most hackers do not directly attack a company's database or network but go through the weakest path of entry: the employees. Seemingly harmless emails and links might be traps set up by online criminals to get into your system. Every employee must be wary of these suspicious links and know-how to identify possible online threats in various forms.

Update Your System

Technology changes rapidly. The system that once gave you ironclad protection may now be a flimsy wall of defense. Once you miss an update to your system, your entire business will become vulnerable to new malware that hackers have recently developed. It is therefore critical to ensure that your security is always up to date.

Have a Reliable Backup and Recovery Plan

Despite all your protective measures to mitigate cybersecurity risks, you can't be 100% always protected. Therefore, it is vital to have a reliable backup system and quick recovery plan to bring your system back in order in case of an attack. A managed services provider can help you set up a recovery strategy to minimize your losses and get you back into regular operation as soon as possible.

Partnering with an MSP Can Significantly Reduce Your Cybersecurity Risks

Cybersecurity threats will always exist, but there are plenty of ways to defend your business against these threats, like partnering with a dependable Managed Service Provider. In our eBook, "The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Hiring a Superstar IT Solutions Provider for Businesses," we discuss how an MSP can help you get maximum protection for your business. Send us a message if you want to learn more!

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Understanding a Dependable Cybersecurity Insurance Policy

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By now, most businesses are aware of the cybersecurity dangers that lurk on the internet. But despite the awareness, many companies still fall prey to all sorts of online attacks. Some victims are even large, multinational corporations that you would think would have a bulletproof security system in place.

The thing is that hackers are continuously innovating the ways they attack us. By developing new means of breaching security, they can get their hands on our data. It is also likely that many of us are just not as prepared as we think. In any case, one action we can take to minimize damage and recover faster is to have a dependable cybersecurity insurance program.

What is Cybersecurity Insurance?

Cybersecurity insurance is a specific type of insurance to minimize financial risk due to online attacks. It won’t, unfortunately, make you immune to attacks. However, a reliable policy will absorb considerable damage, helping you recover more lost assets.

The internet has been around for some time, but cybersecurity is still a relatively new problem. Policymakers constantly analyze the changing online environment to offer the best insurance programs. Likewise, businesses need to be very discriminating in choosing a policy that gives them the quality and level of protection they need.

Is Cybersecurity Insurance Vital for Businesses?

Data loss or damage can have dire consequences for a business. It can lead to the shutdown of operations and ultimately cause massive losses in earnings. The inconvenience might cause clients to take their business elsewhere. It can even leave you with expensive legal liabilities.

Cybersecurity insurance can keep businesses protected in the event of cyber attacks. Specifically, a good insurance policy will cover a wide range of online threats, including terrorist attacks. If your business becomes the target of an attack and a data breach happens, your cybersecurity insurance can cover expenses related to remediation.

Many insurance policies also include coverage for notification expenses. If a security breach happens, businesses are required by law to notify all clients and to conform to many post-breach requirements. These procedures can be costly and add more expenses to your business, which is already suffering the effects of a cyber attack. Adding this coverage to your insurance plan gives you one less thing to worry about.

Be Better Protected Against Cyber Attacks

As you can see, one critical step is finding a reliable cybersecurity insurance company as soon as possible. You never know when a breach might occur, so it’s best to have protection now. If you want to know where and how to find a good insurance program, you will find some helpful tips in our eBookThe Ultimate Guide to Finding and Hiring a Superstar IT Solutions Provider for Businesses.

It’s always better to prevent the problem and not fixing it after it has happened. The best way to do this is to ensure that your employees get trained to circumvent attacks. You might think they would know not to open certain emails or click on certain links, but you might be wrong.

You can assess your staff is when it comes to online attacks by having them take an employee readiness check. Keep in mind that awareness is your first defense against these threats. Combine that with an ironclad cybersecurity insurance plan, and your business will be ready to take on the digital world. If you have any questions, give us a call!

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Why are Cybersecurity Insurance Claims Rising?

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Cybersecurity insurance protects businesses in the event of online attacks. Insurance providers can absorb a considerable amount of the impact, allowing companies to recover faster and get back on track after experiencing a cyber breach. Recent data shows an alarming rise in the cybersecurity claims made by businesses across various industries around the world.

Let's try to figure out why this is happening.

The Upsurge of Cyber Claims for Cybersecurity Insurance

With continuous and rapid technological developments, online threats have also advanced considerably. Social engineering and ransomware attacks have risen dramatically. As a business owner, you must understand what has been happening to protect your company from impending threats.

Pandemic-Related Threats

The world might be recovering from the pandemic, but the coronavirus has put us at risks beyond physical health. Millions of people have shifted to a work-from-home arrangement, which helped stop the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. However, the remote setup made it easier for cybercriminals to do their job.

During the pandemic, most people were online most of the day, either for work, for school, or stuck at home with nothing else to do. As the remote population ballooned, so did the number of unprotected home-based employees. The companies they worked for became much more vulnerable to disastrous attacks.

A New Approach to Ransomware Involving Cybersecurity Insurance

Ransomware is a type of malware that makes a network inaccessible until the victim pays a ransom. Initially, hackers targeted individual users and small companies with this malicious software.

But recently, they have realized that they could earn more from big corporations willing and capable of paying any ransom amount. Some hackers have shifted their focus to providing ransomware as a service or RaaS to users who wish to launch an attack but do not have the know-how. With easier access, it's no surprise that more businesses and individuals are becoming victims and filing claims with their cybersecurity insurance providers.

Social Engineering Strategies

Many current cybersecurity claims stem from these new social engineering attacks. These attacks come in many forms, such as phishing, baiting, scareware, pretexting, and many more. It's interesting how social engineering tactics produce so many victims when it is one of the easiest cyberattacks to identify and avoid.

Can You Lower the Incidence of Cyber Claims?

Let us be clear that all businesses need a sound cybersecurity insurance policy. Good insurance coverage will give you the protection and assistance you need in case of a cyberattack on your business. Everyone would like not to be a victim of an online attack, but that's not today's reality.

As a business owner, you need to train everyone in your organization to identify and thwart an attack before it happens. You should regularly test your employees with an employee readiness check. You might be shocked at the results.

For more about cybersecurity insurance, online safety strategies, and employee training, check out our eBook entitled The Ultimate Guide to Find and Hiring a Superstar IT Solutions Provider for Businesses and learn tons of valuable tips on how to keep your business protected. If you have any other concerns about cybersecurity insurance, please give us a call!

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Boost Your Business Performance with MSP Services

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Every business owner wants to achieve continued success for their business. Several processes and tasks need to be taken care of in creating and maintaining a successful business. Most owners cannot handle these because there is too much to do and not enough time. For this reason, many business owners rely on the services of IT managed service providers, or MSP's. If you're a regular reader of our blogs, you'll remember that we have covered some of the most valuable services MSPs can provide for your business. Here is a quick look back at those services and how they can boost your overall business performance.

Quarterly Business Reviews

Quarterly business reviews, or QBRs, give a thorough and accurate assessment of your business performance over the last three months. While you can conduct your QBR, it is much better to relegate the job to an MSP, who will give a completely unbiased review of your business. The QBR lets you know the areas where your business needs improvement and which ones are doing well.

Technology Business Consulting

If you find it hard to understand IT processes at work or are clueless when solving IT-related problems, join the club! Most business owners are not IT experts, but the technology business consulting services offered by MSP's can be very helpful. In giving you at least a solid understanding of the basic concepts and functions needed to run your business.

Technology Hardware Programs

Like the previous service, technology hardware programs are helpful for non-techy business owners. You no longer need to confuse yourself by figuring out which hardware to use. Your MSP's will recommend and help you choose the best equipment that meets your needs.

Vendor Management

If you work with suppliers of products or services regularly, vendor management services can be very beneficial. Efficient vendor management will lead to a better professional relationship with your vendors. And reduce overall expenses by speeding up the onboarding process and guaranteeing that they complete all deliveries on time.

MSP Operating Environment

Smooth and organized operations are crucial to the success of a business, both on a day-to-day basis and in the long term. With an MSP ensuring that your operating environment is seamless, you can enjoy benefits like full coordination between multiple locations. Adequate bandwidth for all business processes, and being updated with current technology trends.

Business Phone System

When your MSP's sets up your modern business phone system, you can enjoy benefits like integrating several phone functions, cost efficiency, and scalability. The phone systems that are available today also have built-in functions to protect privacy, increase data security, and broaden access for your clients and business partners.

Cloud Computing

We have repeatedly stated how the cloud network has proven to be instrumental in the growth of many businesses, and we will repeat it here. For a very reasonable monthly fee, the cloud gives you access to advanced business tools that you would otherwise have to spend hundreds of dollars on. It also gives you unlimited storage space for all your business data and programs, which makes it easier for you to grow. Cloud computing also increases the productivity of your employees and minimizes system downtimes that disrupt business operations.

Security

Network and data security are crucial to businesses now more than ever when online threats are so rampant. One slip and you might inadvertently expose your business to serious security risks. On your own, all you can do is install an antivirus program and implement basic security precautions. But with the help of an MSP, you can safeguard your business in its entirety, and your network and data are secure.

MSP Business Budgeting and Planning

It might seem unnecessary to use IT resources for something as basic as budgeting. But these days, even this fundamental business procedure has become quite complicated. With the prevalence of hidden costs almost everywhere you look, you will need to monitor your business spending to ensure that you don't spend more than you should. Our hidden costs calculator can help reveal these unnecessary expenses so you will avoid them in the future.

Final Thoughts

When you look at these tasks individually, you will probably be able to accomplish them well on your own. However, you can't just pick one or two of these processes. You'll have to do every single one of them. How can you do that yet still have time to run your business? We can provide all these business services and so much more. If you want to learn more, call us to discuss in greater detail just how we can help boost the performance of your business. To make sure you are using an MSP that works best for you, we are offering you an on-demand webinar where we talk about choosing the best managed service provider. Click HERE to listen to this important information and let us know if we can assist you in any way.

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Understanding the Technology That Runs Your Business

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No matter what kind of business you run or what industry you are in, we all know that technology is crucial to our success. Using the right technology can put your business on the path toward growth and success. And a lack of proper IT tools and strategies could make you fall behind your rivals and lose considerable profits.

Practical Applications of Technology for the Modern Business

Most business owners understand that a reliable IT system is necessary for network security. Internal and external communications, database management, and other high-priority areas. But IT is also valuable in improving practically all aspects of your business. Let’s look at the following not-so-typical applications.

Onboarding

In most companies, onboarding is the transition process your new employees go through right after they come aboard. This process can take a lot of time. Through technology, you can speed up the onboarding process by using paperless forms, digital introductions, and online training, allowing your new employee to adjust quickly and work with minimal delays.

Offboarding

Similarly, when an employee leaves the company, there is an offboarding process for efficiently managing their exit to reduce business risk and workflow disruption. Manual employee offboarding is the traditional method, but we have already shown this to be risky and tedious. With the help of technology, you can increase the speed and efficiency of the entire process while also strengthening the security of your business.

Cloud Computing

The cloud platform is a very cost-effective alternative to traditional business solutions. By transferring a portion of your operations onto the cloud, you can save funds you might otherwise spend on physical hardware. In addition, you will also enjoy better resource management, increased efficiency, and portability of business operations.

Business Automation

By automating business processes like data collection, billing, and monitoring, you can relieve your staff of these tasks and let them concentrate on their duties. Using technology frees up time for your employees and reduces business costs.

Information Security

Online threats are continuously becoming more rampant in this digital age. Employing the right IT strategies for security is crucial to keeping your data and your network safe. It also protects the confidentiality of your business information and the privacy of your employees.

Remote Work

Technology allows people to work from remote locations and deliver high-quality performance without being physically present at the workplace. This benefit has been helpful in the last couple of years. Also, remote work gives businesses easy, fast and convenient access to experts from any part of the world.

Business Expansion

There are a lot of tasks to take care of during business expansion, like scouting for a new location. Canvassing for new suppliers, hiring new employees, purchasing new equipment, and so on. By using technology, these procedures can be simplified and made more organized.

Ways to Keep Your Business Updated with the Latest Technology

Having the right technology for efficiently running your business is essential, but not enough. Keep your business updated with the latest IT solutions as time passes. Technology changes rapidly, so you need to keep up with it to stay ahead of the competition. Here are some of the best ways you can keep your business updated.

Being Proactive

As opposed to being reactive, being proactive means being able to expect new IT developments and plan for these changes accordingly. Instead of solving a technical problem when it happens, you should be able to predict it and already have the necessary IT solutions in place before it even arrives.

Partner with an MSP

Since most small businesses can’t stay on top of technology on their own, the practical solution is to work with an MSP, or managed service provider. A good MSP will keep your technology updated for you. Choosing the right MSP helps your business keep up with technology and provides many other services for the growth of your business. If you need and help with new technology, or if you’re ready for upgrading your old equipment, we are here to help you. It’s our job to make sure your business operates as smoothly as possible. To make sure you are using an MSP that works best for you, we are offering you an on-demand webinar where we talk about choosing the best managed service provider. Click HERE to listen to the webinar and let us know if we can assist you in any way.

 
 
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Do You Know Your Business ROI?

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Business ROI, or return on investment, is a tool used to measure the profitability of your business based on your various costs and the profits generated by these investments. The performance of the business ROI can also have an assortment of implications on the different aspects of your business.

A positive ROI indicates that an investment has delivered welcome profits. But it's more than just a metric used to monitor the feasibility of your business investments. By maintaining a solid ROI, you are also creating positive effects on your total cost of ownership, R & D, job security, business continuity, and many more.

It Provides a Financial Metric

The primary function of a business ROI is to provide a means to measure the success of your business per investment made. It lets you gauge how well or how poorly you are doing, letting you know which to keep and which to drop. For instance, an investment with a decidedly positive business ROI is worth keeping, while you should avoid an investment that shows a negative ROI at all costs. It also lets you compare different profitable assets to find the best choices.

What is TCO?

The total cost of ownership, or TCO, is the sum of the purchase price and the operating costs of an asset over its lifetime. As your ROI grows, your total cost of ownership on your various assets also increases.

More Access to Resources for Innovation

The more your business earns, the more accessible resources become. Once you can set up your business plans and strategies to generate a good business ROI, you will have started a dependable cycle of profits that will provide you with funds for research and development.

Reduce Investment Losses

Thorough planning is crucial each time you make any kind of investment. Study the feasibility of each business investment to increase the chances of getting a good business ROI. There will always be a risk because you never really know if an investment will give you good returns or not, but with careful thought and planning, you can stick to those investments that are more likely to generate positive results.

Job Security

One of the contributing factors to excellent business returns is the performance of its workforce. If your employees are delivering results, there won't be any reason for you to downsize or shuffle your workforce. Thus, a higher business ROI increases the job security of your employees and may even give them better benefits and perks.

Competitive Advantage

In any industry, it is among the primary goals of a business to have a competitive advantage over its rivals. Maintaining a good return on investment gives you an advantage and makes you more attractive to potential clients when compared to your competitors. These days, potential clients and customers don't just look at the product or service you offer. They also examine the internal components of your business, which is why having a favorable business ROI will be an advantage.

An MSP Can Help Boost Your Returns

Exerting considerable focus and effort towards improving your business ROI is very worthwhile because, as you can see, it can affect several areas of your business. Improving your returns does not only mean getting higher revenue. It also has a lot of positive implications for your business, your employees, and your clients.

One way of ensuring that you get a good business ROI from your investments is by working with a trusted managed service provider. Your MSP can provide multiple tools and strategies to keep you on track to achieving your goals and generating profits.

For some extra help, we have prepared a comprehensive on-demand webinar that clearly illustrates what could happen to your business if you do not have a managed service provider by your side, as well as the multiple negative impacts this can have on your employees and your clients.

Conclusion

If you want to learn more about how an MSP can help improve your business ROI, contact us and we will be happy to discuss how our services can help boost your returns and your overall business performance.

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5 Reasons Why Planning Business Growth Matters

Planning Business Growth

When starting a business, it is only natural for the business owner to dream of success and growth for their new venture. But having a dream is not enough. There also needs to be a strategic business plan to ensure that the business will thrive. Unfortunately, many small business owners have the mindset that planning is only for large companies. Some of them don't think that learning business planning skills is necessary. They don't realize that planning for growth is one of the most important things you should do for your business. Here are five tips to help you build your business plan.

Good Plans Lead to Good Business Decisions

From the moment you start your business, and every day after, there will be decisions to make, both big and small. Often, you will make these decisions on the spur of the moment, without the opportunity to sit down and carefully examine the pros and cons of each one. If you do not plan for this, it's easy to make the wrong choices. This mistake is especially true if your business is expanding by adding new locations or hiring more employees. But if you have a solid business plan geared towards growth, it will guide you in making wise decisions every time.

Planning Helps in Setting up the Budget

Having a budget plan is essential to keep your business expenses under control. Along with business growth, there will also be a lot of unexpected costs. An efficient budget helps ensure you have sufficient cash flow to keep the business going with the right balance between income and expenses, despite the adjustments you must make. You can’t just go into a business without a clear idea of where your funds are going. Therefore, business planning for cost and budget should consider your present situation and several possible future scenarios.

Avoid Software Licensing Liabilities

Running a business involves the use of different software that requires licenses. Failure to comply with the terms and restrictions of the license can have dire consequences. Therefore, it is crucial to have a plan for software licensing before you purchase any. Most software that businesses use these days is expensive, and that is why you need to budget for it from the beginning and decide which ones you need for your business. This way, you won't have to purchase unnecessary platforms that you won't end up using.

Planning Helps with Change Management

Change is not only inevitable in business but is a sign of growth. When you take on new personnel and expand locations, this will lead to significant changes in your business structure. Without a well-laid-out plan, you can easily get lost amidst all these changes. But if you can implement effective business planning strategies for managing whatever changes might come your way, unexpected events will not catch you off guard. Instead, you will make a seamless transition into the new phase of your business.

Infrastructure Planning Keeps Your Business Updated with Changes

Technology changes quickly. When running a business, you need to be prepared to implement frequent upgrades and updates to your IT infrastructure. Getting left behind by your rivals in the industry will have a negative effect on your business, so you must focus a considerable amount of your business planning on infrastructure changes.

The Role of an MSP in Business Planning for Growth

Nobody knows your business and its objectives better than you do. However, there will be times when you will need expert advice, particularly in areas that are not part of your core competencies. IT, for instance, or financial and legal matters. When you partner with a dependable managed service provider, you will gain an advantage, especially if you have ambitious plans for growing your business. As a managed service provider, we have all the tools and the knowledge for business planning to facilitate a continuous and organized shift toward whatever new direction you are planning for your business. If you want to learn more, please contact us so we can discuss with you the many ways that we can be of service to your business. To find out more about why planning business growth matters, watch this on-demand webinar where Crystal demonstrates the various ways of how a professional MSP take your business to a whole new level of success. 

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The Fastest Way to Lose Track of Your Business Budget

Business Budget

Business budgeting is a very important part of running a business, regardless of whether you are a startup or an established company operating for years. Creating a budget is not a problem for most business owners. The challenge is sticking to the budget as the business grows and the spending expands.

The Problem of Hidden Costs

If you are like many owners of small and medium-sized businesses, you probably focus on the services and products you need when making a projection of your business expenses, which is what you should do. However, do you also consider the hidden costs of all these services and products? Are you even aware that many vendors today charge these hidden costs to unsuspecting business owners?

If you don't regularly assess your purchases for these hidden costs, there's a good chance that you are spending far more than you should be. You might go over your allotted budget. This mistake can have implications for your business.

Laying Employees Off

To bring down spending, many companies resort to the solution of laying employees off, believing that a smaller payroll can help the business get back on track financially. Unfortunately, cutting down on your workforce will increase the load of your remaining staff, which can then lead to stress, job dissatisfaction, and reduced performance.

Taking out Loans

Loans are a quick fix for any financial problem, but they can have heavy long-term consequences. If you get a loan with high repayment terms, it might eventually lead to even greater financial problems for your business.

Reduced Productivity

As hidden costs eat away at your business funds, you and your employees will naturally try to curb the spending. In doing so, you will inadvertently take people away from the jobs that you hired them to do. Your employees' focus will need to be split between their actual duties and trying to solve the problems with business budgeting. The result of this would be much lower productivity.

Where Do Hidden Costs Come From?

Besides the blatant overcharging of some vendors, there are a few other sources of hidden costs that all business owners should know.

Loan Interests

Most business startups run on borrowed funds. If you have taken out a loan to help you establish your business, you need to include the interest on this loan in your business budget. You will also need to be very responsible for repaying such loans on time. Otherwise, the interest cost will increase and might take a heavy toll on your business funds.

Employee Benefits

In business budgeting, many new business owners make the mistake of accounting only for their employees’ salaries. They do not consider the employees’ benefits, which they will also need to grant.

Legal Expenses

No business owner expects to pay legal fees because no one wants to be involved in a lawsuit. But if these problems happen, you need to allocate funds for this in your budget.

Taxes

If you were an employee in the past, your company automatically deducted taxes from your salary. Now that you are a business owner, you will still need to pay taxes, and you will have to compute these on your own. If you forget to consider this in your business budgeting, you might be short on funds, and could even have problems with the IRS.

An Easy Solution

Staying within your budget can be a tough challenge with all the hidden expenses some vendors charge. To ensure that you do not spend more than you need to, you can use this business hidden expense calculator. This tool will reveal which services or products come with extra charges that you don't need to pay. Once you are aware of these costs, you can plan your spending more efficiently and start saving valuable funds for your business. If you have any other questions, please contact us any time.

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Why is Your Phone System Important for Business?

Why is Your Phone System Important for Business?

Mobile phones have evolved tremendously in recent years and now have many powerful features never seen in previous phone systems. Many businesses rely on mobile phones as vital tools in business operations, and some have ditched their phone lines completely in favor of mobile devices. But is this the best decision? Have business phone systems become irrelevant or even obsolete?

The Importance of Business Phone Systems

The value of modern communication systems is incontestable. But this doesn't mean that traditional business phone systems are no longer needed. Let's look at some of their main uses for modern businesses.

Integration of Several Phone Functions

Business phone systems remain in place because they allow multiple phone functions to integrate into one efficient hub, making them easy to manage.

Conventional features like call forwarding, call screening, and call logs are staples of all business phone systems. In addition, we can seamlessly integrate them with some of the most popular online tools, like Google Apps, Microsoft Outlook, or your helpdesk application.

Cost Efficiency

Compared with conventional phone systems and their high maintenance costs, modern business phone systems are very cost-effective. From installation to operation, maintenance to updates, modern phone systems are incredibly affordable.

Scalability

Another plus for modern phone systems is that they are completely scalable. You don't have to worry much about how many phones you need or which features to install. Modern business phone systems expand as your business grows. If you need to cut back, it is easy to eliminate the units and features that are no longer useful for your business. This way, you don't get stuck paying for services you don't need.

Potential Problems with Having No Proper Phone System

Despite the many advantages that modern business phone systems offer, some traditionalists still think they are an extravagance. They stuck with their old phone systems, believing that they were still serving them well in the modern business age. Unfortunately, this loyalty might lead to several problems for your business and your employees.

Lack of Privacy for Employees

Without a proper business phone system, it's hard to keep business and personal communications separate. Using your mobile phone number for business calls might sound practical, but it won't be long before this practice takes a toll on your private life. Business associates will reach you even while you're away from the office or vacationing with your family.

Lack of Security for Business Data

On the flip side, losing or misusing mobile phones is bad for business. If you lose your mobile phone used for business calls, critical business data might be at risk. With a proper business phone system installed, we can easily separate business and personal calls with simple automation and forwarding settings. And it can store business data as needed.

Limited Access for Clients and Business Partners

If you do not have a modern business phone system in place, your clients will only be able to call you during your business hours. If your business closes at 5 pm, your customers will have to wait until the morning to call you back.

While some clients might wait for someone to answer, others will move on to the next open shop and do their business there. The lack of a business phone system can cost you many potential customers.

The Solution

These are a few ways it will limit your business if you do not have a proper business phone system installed. Fortunately, the solution is simple. All you need to do is get in touch with us and ask about a custom phone solution that fits the specific needs of your business.

Each business is unique, so there are no one-size-fits-all business phone systems. As your IT provider, we will assess your needs and provide you with the exact phone system that you need.

To learn more about the benefits of a proper business phone system, you can check out our on-demand webinar where we talk about how managed services providers can help you with your business communication system requirements. And, as always, please let us know if you have any questions.

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Why Is the Operating Environment So Important?

Problems--Implications-1

People today are well-versed with technology compared to a decade or so ago. But are you sure that the technical skills of your employees are enough to maintain an efficient and productive business structure for your company? Do you think you can stay ahead of your competitors in the industry using only amateur IT abilities? Many of us consider hiring an IT provider more of a luxury than a necessity. We believe the technical know-how of our in-house staff is more than sufficient to ensure the smooth operations of our business. Unfortunately, the arguments against hiring MSPs might create an assortment of negative implications for your business and employees. How long can your employees manage your technology before something goes wrong?

Potential Problems of Not Having a Proper IT Provider

In the absence of a proper operating environment managed by a professional IT provider. The performance, and ultimately the revenue, of your business will be severely limited. You will miss out on several advantages that can otherwise put you in a very competitive sport in your industry. To find out more, read the following scenarios and see if any of them seem familiar to you.

Lack of Coordination between Multiple Locations

Fast and secure communication guarantees a smooth flow of your business operations, especially if you are running from multiple locations. There has to be an automated system that provides quick and easy access to information in real-time to ensure accuracy in transactions. Even the slightest delay in data transmission or the lapse in coordination can lead to costly damages for your business.

Insufficient Bandwidth to Efficiently Handle All Business Operations

Have your staff may become impatient if the Internet connection is too slow? In some unfortunate situations, the system can crash during busy periods because your bandwidth can't handle the heavy traffic. When that happens, your employees will be unproductive. And it could cause a decline in your productivity as time goes on.

Falling behind Current Technology Trends

IT is a rapidly changing industry. New tools and products designed to streamline business operations and improve overall performance pop up every day. When you're deep in the daily grind, you might not be aware of these developments. You might be stuck using the old methods while your industry rivals are enjoying the perks of modern systems. On the other hand, your IT provider is always up to date on all the most recent developments. They are aware of and have access to all the newest methods and techniques, and they can bring your operating environment updated with these tools.

The Solution

The scenarios we've covered are some implications of not having a proper IT provider to handle your business operations. With a team of IT professionals or a Managed Services Provider handling your needs, you won't need to worry about these issues. As your MSP, one of the most important things we can do for you is to assess your current operating environment. After checking the state of your network, we can make recommendations and implement the necessary adjustments to improve your day-to-day operations. For more on how your operations environment affects your business performance, watch our on-demand webinar that demonstrates the various ways a professional MSP can boost your operations and take your business to a whole new level of success.

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Save Time by Outsourcing Vendor Management

Vendor Management Vendor Management

Vendor management involves many activities related to the suppliers you use to run your business. Everything from selecting vendors to negotiating contracts, to reducing risk and delivering services will impact your business. Any business that works with suppliers of products or services needs to have good vendor management practices. This job is essential to ensure seamless business operations and to maintain an amicable partnership with the suppliers. Depending on the type of business you’re in, you might work with vendors from diverse industries and of different sizes. These include IT consultants, security personnel, financial advisers, cleaners, and a lot more. If you self-manage your vendors, you know how much time is involved.

How Vendor Management Helps Your Business

Proper vendor management is not an option, but a necessity for practically all businesses, including small and medium-sized operations. We should give vendor management the priority to fulfill your business objectives. Procedures like reducing expenses, expediting your onboarding process, and ensuring timely delivery of services and goods are just a few examples. The following are some of the specific business benefits you can enjoy if you have an efficient vendor management system in place.

Selecting the Best Vendors

Each product or service you use will have hundreds of potential providers. Good vendor management practices can make the process easier and faster. It will give you more choices and a better comparison of quality and prices.

Keeping Track of Supplier Performance

As your business grows and you work with more vendors, it will get harder to keep track of the value of each one. An efficient VMS will give you a better view of all the information about your vendors, from the initial contracts to pending deliveries of purchased goods. With this kind of integration, you can monitor your vendors better and judge how much they contribute to your business.

Improve Relations with Suppliers

Proper vendor management takes into consideration what is best for everyone involved. It's not just about getting the best services at the lowest possible prices. It also provides security to the vendor, which protects both their business and yours. With both of you benefiting, you will enjoy a lasting business partnership.

Get Better Rates

It's hard to find the best deals if you randomly look for suppliers. But with a vendor management system in place, you can easily compare rates and quality, enabling you to get the best value for money.

Minimize Supply Chain Disruption

The moment any part of your supply chain comes to a halt, everything else is affected, all the way to the customers. There are many reasons why this could happen, and some are unavoidable, but with the help of a reliable VMS, the risks will be minimal to nonexistent.

In-House Vendor Management vs. Hiring a VMS Provider

Now that the importance of vendor management is clear, the only question that remains is how to implement it for your business. One option is to create your own vendor management process, and the other is to hire a VMS provider.

Pros and Cons

Creating and running your own VMS is possible, and there are a few companies that will help you do this. You would have to create specific strategies that would include identifying business goals, monitoring KPIs, choosing the right vendors, and consistently monitoring their performance, among others. As you can see, it can be a tedious and skill-dependent endeavor. There are some VMS programs that you can download for free that can help. You also don't need to spend much if your in-house staff handles the process. However, unless you only work with a couple of vendors, doing your own VMS might prove too taxing in the long run. Especially if you are not up to speed in this area of business.

Looking into Hiring a Professional VMS Provider

By hiring a VMS provider, you will gain access to the most advanced vendor management tools and experience the most efficient processes. Think of the time you’ll save! You can cut business expenses by a considerable amount, enhance communication with your suppliers, boost profits, and increase customer satisfaction, among many other benefits. Best of all, your VMS provider will take care of all this for you. Most importantly, so you don’t need to take your staff away from their primary responsibilities. The one drawback of hiring a VMS provider is that you will have to pay a monthly fee for the services. However, it won't take long to figure out that the returns will be greater, and the expense is worthwhile.

We can help!

Our upcoming webinar is perfect if you want to learn more about vendor management. Or more importantly if you want to upgrade your current VMS. Just click here to sign up. Listen to business experts share their knowledge on the subject and get the chance to ask questions afterward. We’ll see you there and if you would like to speak to us directly, give us a call!

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Is Your Business Lacking the Latest Technology?

Tech-Blog-3

Do you have time to keep up with the latest technology? Your business potential is limited by the kind of IT infrastructure you use, and the technology hardware programs that you have installed. No matter how big your company is, it will be hard to grow if you are still using the same tools that you used a decade ago.

Businesses Can Gain by Staying on Top of Technology

It’s a given that multinational corporations need sophisticated technology hardware and programs to maintain their massive global operations. For small and medium business enterprises today, it’s not much different. Even if you are just starting out or operating a relatively small local operation, there is a lot you can gain by using technologically advanced tools and equipment run your business.

Better Performance

When new hardware comes out, you can be sure that it will be faster, more powerful, and ultimately more efficient than its predecessor. By keeping up with the updates, your business will maintain a superior level of performance.

Less Downtime

While the installation of new hardware will cause some delay, once it is complete, everything will run well. Computer equipment will crash more frequently as they get older, but this will not be a problem if your hardware is always up to date.

Improved Security

The risk of cyber-attacks is becoming more pronounced as technology advances. Leaving hardware manufacturers do their best to keep up by providing much needed protection. With added features and advanced security systems, new equipment will keep you safer. Especially if you haven’t been running updates or installing patches. Let’s take a look at some Technology Challenges faced by small businesses.

Lack of Expertise

One of the most prevalent issues that business owners must deal with in terms of technology is their lack of expertise. Not everyone is a techie at heart. Even if they want to learn, most CEOs do not have the time to do so as they are fully engrossed in running their business.

Pesky Constant Upgrades

Another challenge is the constant need to upgrade whenever a new version or an updated model comes out. Even if the machines they are currently using are still serving their purposes, many businesses feel pressured to purchase new equipment in order to keep up with the competition and keep their share of the market.

The High Cost of Equipment

Alongside of frequent updates comes the problem of excessive expenses. Since constant spending is not practical for many small businesses, compromises must be made. Usually, this involves sacrificing new technology and staying with the machines that have been with them for years. You can see why these businesses fall behind their updated competitors.

An MSP Can Solve Your Technology Hardware Roadblocks

A reliable MSP will set you up with the latest hardware you need for your business. From smartphones to POS machines to your own dedicated cloud server – whatever you need, your provider will be able to install for you. Not only that, but their service agreement might also contain brand-new gear and software. They will automatically update your equipment to new versions when they come aboard. One good thing about this is that you do not have to shell out thousands of dollars to acquire the newest hardware. Depending on your contract, your use of the provided hardware will already be included. With the fixed monthly dues that you pay your provider will save you a considerable sum in the long run.  While also ensuring that your business always stays on top of technology and ahead of your business rivals. In addition, an MSP will also provide training for your employees. So that they can run the hardware without any problems and be better able to spot cyberattacks.

Need More Info

With the help of an IT managed service provider, you can easily operate your business using state-of-the-art equipment. Without breaking the bank. If you are still on the fence about signing up with an MSP, joining our webinar might help you decide. Just sign up here and we’ll see you at the webinar! If we can be of further assistance please feel free to contact us.

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Use Technology Business Consulting Services to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Technology Business

The way you run your business changes daily in our digital world. Most of our operations and transactions take place online. If your business does not have the latest IT solutions, your customers might pass on using you in favor of your more advanced rivals in the industry. One problem is that many owners of small and medium-sized businesses are not technologically proficient. When faced with IT-related issues, most people will be clueless. Think about it. When you’re ready to take the next step in protecting yourself from hackers, consolidating your network will be a good idea. Hopefully not too often, because these situations can be debilitating for any business.

How Technology Business Consulting Can Help

Some business owners retain an IT professional in their payroll to handle such issues as a safety measure. But on the other hand, more businesses now prefer outsourcing technology business consulting services. Let’s look at some of the reasons why.

Provides a Cost-Effective Solution

Compared to hiring regular tech experts, technology business consulting services from a third-party provider offer a much more viable solution. They still come at an expense, but it is worth it. IT experts have extensive knowledge and experience and can resolve almost any technology-related issue swiftly within your budget.

Update Your Systems with the Latest Technology

Technology business consulting is not just for existing problems. It is also valuable for providing solutions before problems even happen. The complete IT system assessment will help you stay up-to date with all of your tech needs. When you work with an expert, you might be surprised at how much your business improves when you use more advanced technology. Many parts of your business can now be done automatically, like payroll, inventory, and marketing. A technology business consultant can help you identify which of your processes can be automated. This improvement will allow your employees to spend more time and effort on the core focus of your business rather than on routine tasks.

Keep Your Business on Track

A reliable technology business consultant will not only provide you with the technology solutions you need. But he will also constantly monitor your business performance. Your success reflects their success, so you can be sure that they will do what they can to keep you on the path towards growth and development.

Offers Highly Versatile Technology Skills

The IT skills that a technology business consultant can provide for your company are truly amazing. They may specialize in specific areas, but most have a broad range of knowledge in many systems, functions, and sectors. No matter what kind of technical problem you might be having, call your consultant. They will offer an effective solution shortly.

Choosing the Right Technology Business Consulting Company

There are many excellent IT consultants out there, but you must make sure that you pick the most suitable one for your business needs. Check ratings and feedback from past clients and take a close look at their portfolios before even setting up an appointment. Always read through their website to learn about the services they provide Most technology business consultants offer a free initial consultation. During the consultation, ask crucial questions that will help you identify if they are the right pick for your business. Describe your business and your goals thoroughly and pay attention to their solutions.

Time to Get Started!

The process of finding the right IT consulting company may take a long time and even become complicated. But the benefits will be worth your efforts. If you want to learn more about how the right technology business consulting firm can benefit your company, sign up for our webinar here. Listen to our top consultants and find out how you can use our services to turn your business into a success!

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Making the Most of Your Quarterly Business Reviews

QBR-Blog-1 QBRs

Quarterly business reviews, or QBRs, are among the most valuable tools you can use to check the health of your business. These reviews give a clear assessment of your company over the previous 90 days or so. You can use them to improve the weaker aspects of your business. Unfortunately, some companies do not get the proper feedback from their QBRs. Most likely because the quality of the QBR is not that strong. If you do not have a managed service provider and are handling all your IT internally, then you must conduct your QBR as well, which may not be an easy task, as you will quickly see. If you have already partnered with an MSP to handle your company, they will provide QBRs. The question is whether your MSP is giving you an accurate and unbiased review or not.

How an MSP Provides QBRs for Your Business

When you hired your managed service provider, it was to help you with many of the IT-related processes in your business. As well as manage routine system procedures so that your in-house staff could concentrate on the core of your business. During the QBR, your MSP will present how their services have impacted your business. The MSP will do this with summaries of how each aspect of the business has performed. They might also use quantitative analysis to illustrate how well or poorly the business has performed. The MSP will highlight the areas that need attention and the areas that are in good shape.

What to Expect in Your Review

The quarterly business review is your chance to put your business in the best possible position for continued growth and success. At the same time, it also functions as an evaluation of what your current IT provider has been able to help you achieve your business goals for the past quarter.

Some of the standard inclusions that you can expect in your QBR are as follows:

Review of Goals Achieved

Based on the goals and KPIs agreed upon when you hired your MSP, they will present a list of which ones have been achieved and a summary of how they accomplished them.

Assessment of Performance

The provider will also give you an overall assessment of their performance by scoring all the individual aspects that they manage for your business. Such as hardware, network security, cloud-based services, inventory, and more.

Presentation of Strategic Challenges

The QBR will alert you to the areas of your business that need special or urgent attention. If any items are at risk, they will be included in the challenges section of your quarterly business report.

Important Actions to Take after Receiving Your QBR

Upon receiving your QBR from your MSP, go through it thoroughly and use the evaluation to make your business run smoother. Increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive more profits. At the same time, use the QBR to gauge the value that your current MSP is contributing to your business. If there is constant and sizeable growth, your MSP must be doing a good job. If you want to learn more about how to make the most of your QBR to improve your business. Join us at our upcoming webinar by registering here. At this event, you can learn straight from the experts as they discuss this topic in greater detail.

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Be Proactive So Your Business Technology Doesn't Fall Behind

Technology-Blog-4

Over the past few years, technology has seen numerous changes and advancements. It certainly will continue to change in the future.

Even fundamental operations are now significantly dependent on technology in most firms. Business owners should realize that using the latest technology is beneficial for usefulness, versatility, and overall productivity.

Adapting to the Changes

In the ever-evolving world of technology, today’s most modern and cutting-edge devices could be rendered obsolete in just a few years time. And you may have already purchased yours! Before that happens, though, you would probably have already upgraded to the newest version of the device, which will need to be upgraded again in a few years time, and so on… This phenomenon repeats itself in many other areas of our lives too – especially those connected with keeping up with the latest fashions and trends. The cycle keeps repeating itself to this day, but will it always be this way?

Reactive vs. Proactive

Most firms don’t have a proactive strategy, which is not the ideal answer due to the rapid pace of technological growth. Plan for when new technologies will be released and implement them accordingly. They will be able to keep ahead of the group in this manner. You’ll be several steps ahead of the competition by the time the rest of the industry learns about the innovations because you’ll already have them up and running in your system.

However, in practice, most organizations use a reactive strategy. Many businesses address issues only after they become chronic rather than before they become a problem. They may find a solution, but it does not make them proactive. Hardware and software updates are generally late or only done when necessary due to time, budget, or logistics restrictions.

Keeping Up with Technology’s Challenges

If you don’t want your company to fall behind the competition, you must constantly catch up with technology. It can, however, be exhausting, time-consuming, and expensive. Consider the thousands of dollars you’d have to spend every two or three years or so on new hardware and other devices. Consider how much time your employees would spend updating the company’s software packages regularly, followed by even more time learning how to utilize the new versions.

What about businesses that lack the financial resources to keep up with the frequent changes and updates? Despite these obstacles, it is necessary to keep up with technology and work toward business growth and success.

Keep Up To Date with A Dependable MSP

Would it be possible to be proactive so that your business’s technology doesn’t fall behind? There is, thankfully, a solution, and that is to hire a reputable MSP.  A managed services provider, or MSP, can help businesses run more efficiently when working with IT. One of the many things they can do for your company is to take a proactive approach to technology maintenance. You won’t have to worry about staying on top of new updates or keeping an eye on your system for indicators of trouble. Because they’ll take care of it. Let’s look at some of the more noticeable advantages that utilizing a proactive approach to your IT can provide.

Improved Safety

The tools used by hackers and cybercriminals are evolving at the same rate as corporate technology. Being proactive, an MSP should provide cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions to protect your data and business from online threats. They’ll find weak spots in your system that need to be strengthened and address them to keep your business safe and allow for speedy recovery in the event of an attack.

Little Downtime

When a system fails unexpectedly, the entire organization could endure significant downtime as your in-house IT staff tries to get the system back online. Business operations will essentially halt at this time, and you will most certainly lose a significant quantity of money. The majority of downtime may be minimized or avoided altogether with the assistance of an MSP. Regular preventive maintenance, and system updates, can be scheduled around business hours to minimize the impact on business operations.

More Efficient Performance

It’s not only about avoiding difficulties when you’re proactive. It’s also about boosting productivity and streamlining corporate operations. By integrating shared applications and automating business processes, you can dramatically improve your organization’s performance.

Last Thoughts

Staying current with technology relevant to your organization takes a lot of time, effort, and money. Fortunately, if you have a dependable MSP, it is a lot easier and more cost-effective. If you’re unsure if your provider is giving you the best options, use these 7 audit questions to verify their performance. Give us a call if you’re not happy with what you’re getting from them. We’ll discuss the technology we’ll employ to keep your company ahead of the competition.

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