The TDSIT Blog

Outsourcing IT: Small Business and Managed IT

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 02:01 PM

outsourcing IT (2)

Technology today feels like it’s evolving almost daily! In fact, some experts say that technology advances significantly every 28 days. For many business owners this rapid evolution can impact their business IT choices faster than they might have expected when designing their initial systems. This can make keeping your IT infrastructure reliable and up to date not only confusing, but expensive.  Enter Managed IT Services!

Managed IT Services can help keep your technology up to date by giving you a more efficient and cost effective solution to your changing IT requirements. A Managed IT Provider will recommend appropriate solutions for your unique needs by analyzing and understanding your company’s goals and objectives. They can help monitor your networks, give employees access to applications, fill the needs of server and desktop management, security, and provide ongoing IT upgrades and maintenance.

Here are just a few of the many benefits small to medium sized businesses can experience by working with a Managed IT Provider:

  • Budget control and cost savings – A poorly managed IT infrastructure can be expensive to keep operating efficiently. It’s incredibly important to understand your current needs and build IT infrastructure with an eye toward the future. Managed IT Services is a practical and cost effective way to accomplish this goal.
  • Staying up to date with increasingly complicated technology - Hardware and software are constantly changing. Keeping up to date with software upgrades alone is time consuming and can take focus away from your core business functions. Having a Managed IT Provider on call can take this task off of your plate freeing your time to concentrate on growing your business.
  • Stability in your IT infrastructure - Businesses often run the risk of stretching resources too thin when it comes to improving IT infrastructure. If you are not thoroughly on top of the latest offerings and upgrades, it’s possible to overspend for the wrong technology. A Managed IT Provider can keep your technology on track and make responsible and reasonable upgrades as needed, offering infrastructure stability.

Working with a Managed IT Provider is a smart option that can streamline your technology and offer a myriad of benefits to help you grow your business. If you’d like to know more, contact us today for a free no obligation technology risk assessment

technology-assessment

Tags: IT outsourcing, IT services

10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Data

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 03:16 PM

10 Easy Ways to Protect Your DataWe file data all the time, every day. And it goes…somewhere. What we too often fail to consider is exactly where it goes, and what fail safes we should build around it. Recent breaches at national retailers such as Target, Home Depot and JPMorgan Chase prove data security is a critical issue. The breach at JPMorgan Chase affected 76 million households and seven million small businesses. We still don’t know the depths of this data crisis, either at JPMorgan Chase or in the bigger picture.

If you’re not protecting your data, you and your valuable customers are about to become a target.

The worst data protection plan is not having one. The idea that “someone else takes care of it” leads too many business owners and managers to think that they’re protected. It may be that no one in your company is responsible for data protection. But that responsibility will fall on the business owner or manager when a lawsuit is filed after a data breach. Better to make it someone’s job now than after you get sued.

Here’s what I can tell you about protecting your data from internal and external threats:

1. Have a plan — As I said, the worst plan is simply not having one. Make an inventory of the data you receive, collect and produce, and list where it’s stored, too. That can include printer hard drives, cloud storage systems or internally based servers. Then, figure out ways to protect the data you found. Create a backup system, and protect yourself against attacks through encryption and other methods. 

2. Hire the best — When my company moved into the information technology business, I hired two employees for the task of data maintenance and protection. The temptation would have been to hire some friends or connections from within my industry. But their expertise would fall outside of IT. Instead, I hired two employees with specialized skills in IT and let them learn the intricacies of the print business later. Don’t short yourself by letting someone already in the company convince you they can take care of it, even if they have an IT hobby.

3. Have a backup — Systems fail, and they fail all the time. Sometimes a natural disaster like a flood or a tornado can destroy data servers. Thankfully, that’s not common. But have you ever seen a hard drive actually disintegrate? My technicians have told me how they can melt like a candle and that happens far more often than a tornado. And it can happen through no fault of your own. Think of all the important documents you want to use in the office tomorrow, then find a place to save them that isn’t on the desktop of your PC.

4. Invest in the cloud — We recommend a cloud system for all of our clients. It not only creates a backup, but it also allows for more efficient and intelligent data management. Through a cloud system, you can move a document safely and securely from your smartphone to your work PC to a Mac laptop at your home. The cloud can also send data to you, wherever you are — you can arrange for a voicemail sent to your office to arrive as an email, accessible through your cell phone. Cloud systems also help with redundancies. If I delete an email from my phone, it goes away from my desktop mail client too.

5. Get a third-party consultation — Even with a detailed plan, backup system and cloud storage, it’s best to have someone double check your work. For the same reason an accounting firm might ask for a third-party audit, you should do the same with your data management plan. Hire a consultant to comb through your systems and watch them discover vulnerabilities you haven’t even considered yet.

See 5 additional steps to protect your data and continue reading the full article at inbiznwa.com

 For more information, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: IT outsourcing, 10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Data, security, the cloud

Jumpstart Productivity with an Outsourced IT Department

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Nov 01, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

outsourced ITSmall and medium businesses as well as large corporations understand that IT is a substantial expense that is often very difficult to properly measure return on investment.  Virtually every business needs a computer of some type along with other devices such as printers, copiers, scanners, network equipment and more.  There is also software to support, install and maintain that adds to the expense. 

Outsourced IT has emerged as a viable option for many businesses of all sizes.  There are distinct advantages to leveraging outsourced IT for your company:

  • Your company can focus on its core business instead of diverting valuable resources towards routine equipment maintenance or troubleshooting
  • Risks are assessed and a strategy is developed to help to mitigate those risks
  • Network analysis and management can be handled to maintain consistent and reliable performance
  • Software installation, routine maintenance and upgrades are performed consistently which will reduce the likelihood of issues or failures
  • Desktop management is handled by a provider instead of using more valuable internal resources
  • Troubleshooting is performed according to your service level agreement (SLA) with your outsourced IT provider and based on your needs
  • Service and value are easily measured to provide a quantifiable return on investment
  • Managed print services will keep the expenses associated with printing well controlled while keeping the office print processes productive

To determine the best outsourced IT provider for your specific business consider these tips:

  • While cost is a factor it should not be your only focus 
  • Carefully review your service level agreements (SLA) to make sure they will meet your business needs
  • Evaluate the technology that you currently use and make sure your provider can support that technology.  For example if you use a specific brand of printer you should find a provider that has a good reputation to support and maintain that brand
  • Your provider can work with you to identify key areas where outsourced IT would be beneficial

As one of the first steps, your provider should evaluate your internal processes and apply costs to those processes to properly compare and demonstrate value.  Make sure you include any future initiatives or expansions that could be occurring so that those expenses can be factored as well.

Outsourced IT can be a great benefit for small businesses as well as large corporations.  Each company has its own set of unique requirements, and there is no single provider that could fit every company.  Evaluate your options carefully in order to choose the right provider for you.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment.

Print Assessment

Tags: managed service provider, document management, MPS, IT outsourcing, outsourced IT