Since the global COVID pandemic forcibly introduced many, many businesses to the benefits of remote operations, there has been an increase in interest in hybrid workplace operations—a combination of the standard, in-office operations with remote work all working in tandem. However, for all its benefits, there are some threats that hybrid work brings with it that need to be acknowledged as well.
Downtime can be deadly to a business in excess, and it is an unfortunate reality that businesses with poor technology maintenance practices experience more downtime than others. The more often your technology breaks down, the more you spend in wasted time and reactive maintenance, so it’s a best practice to take care of your technology before it becomes a liability. One tried and true way to do so is with some help from an outsourced provider to aid your help desk.
It’s not easy managing office technology and business solutions. A lot of thought goes into their day-to-day upkeep, and small businesses often do not have the time or resources available to ensure their technology is properly maintained. What they don’t tell you is that you don’t have to do all of this yourself. You can easily outsource these responsibilities to a managed service provider.
Technology management is something that a lot of businesses struggle with, especially small businesses that already have many employees fulfilling many different roles and taking on additional responsibilities. Managed IT services give businesses who struggle with technology management a way out by providing access to top-notch services designed with the small business in mind.
A critical, widespread vulnerability was just discovered, and this one is a very big deal. In fact, Log4j is one of the worst vulnerabilities we’ve seen, period. Your business needs to be aware of it, and you absolutely need to take measures to prevent it.
When you experience technical difficulties, do you have a process in place to make sure that the problem is resolved in a timely fashion? This process is known as troubleshooting, but it can be a lengthy process when pulled off correctly. Let’s make sure that your staff are all on the same page with the five critical steps of troubleshooting any problems your business encounters with technology.
When you think about technology maintenance, how often do you tend to address issues with your infrastructure? Do you wait for something to go wrong before addressing it? If so, you are going about technology maintenance all wrong. When you take this break-fix approach to your IT infrastructure, you run the risk of serious complications that could result in expensive downtime and costly repairs.
There is no greater tool for your business’ success than the technology it uses, at least in theory. If you want to maximize the value you get from your technology, you need to make the correct decisions, which is easier said than done. Let’s go over some of the things to not do with your business technology.
Hardware Needs and Capabilities Your hardware needs will largely depend upon how you intend to design your IT infrastructure: are you going to keep your solutions on-site in a server, or will you choose to make use of the cloud for most of your needs? Will you operate with company-owned devices, or will your employees be able to do their work on their own technology? To determine this, you need to fully understand what is required of the hardware that your team members use to complete their tasks successfully. This is a relatively simple process, but SRS Networks is always available to help, if need be. Features Based on your business’ procedures, what are the most important tasks for your hardware solutions to be able to handle? Will your team need to do any specific tasks, like print documents from a mobile device? Will point-of-sale systems be needed in bulk? What kind of workload will their network infrastructure need to support? Fully understanding these conditions will be key to ensuring that your intended hardware can deliver what you need it to. Storage Data is crucial to your success, so you need to have a plan prepared to deal with that which you collect. How much you will need to store, how you intend to back this data up, and how you’ve planned for business continuity will all impact how your storage infrastructure is built up. In turn, this outcome will dictate your hardware needs. Performance Again, what processes will your business’ hardware need to support as your daily functions are carried out? Word processing and video editing are very different processes and have very different hardware requirements to work properly. Working with an IT provider to ensure your business’ hardware has enough processing power for its intended use is crucial. Budget Here’s the thing, hardware investments can very easily run out of control, expending much more of your available funds that you would want to. Whether you need to purchase a new workstation, a new server, or any other IT component, you should go into the process completely understanding what it is you need. That way, you can find the vendor who offers the best value for your purchase, stretching your budget. Mobility Remote operations are increasingly popular amongst businesses, so it only makes sense that you seek out hardware solutions that can support mobile work when it is called for. This may be the difference between investing in a laptop over a desktop workstation, or the reason you elect to adopt cloud solutions. Security Whether you’re considering adding biometric authentication to your access controls, or you’re simply seeking to avoid data loss, there are hardware solutions that are involved in these processes that you need to consider as viable options. Consider any in-house infrastructure you might implement—what’s the one thing that it all needs, constantly? Electricity. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) device can often be crucial to avoiding data loss and hardware damages, helping to protect your data by reducing the threat that a power outage could cause. CCTV cameras are another example of a piece of hardware that can significantly boost your business’ security. Hardware Ratio Finally, you need to make sure that you have the infrastructure in place to support your various solutions. This will help to […]
How Businesses Can Benefit from Managed Services Right Now It goes without saying, but businesses everywhere are feeling the impacts of widespread orders to close their doors in the attempt to minimize the continued spread of COVID-19. While this makes the idea of any major operational shifts intimidating for the small business owner, the transition into a managed service agreement can ultimately help protect your business from closing for good. Let’s look at a few of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for businesses, and how working with a managed service provider (MSP) makes these difficulties somewhat less of a concern. Challenge #1: Businesses Can’t Operate with their Teams Staying Home Naturally, without their employees coming in to work, businesses have found it difficult to keep up on their workloads. This obviously isn’t a great situation for these businesses. However, in the face of such a pandemic, employees can hardly be blamed for wanting to minimize their chances of infection by staying home. This is an especially big problem for businesses deemed essential, as people are still relying on their services, but they can’t in good conscience put their employees at risk. With an MSP’s support, it is much easier to find a balance to maintain operations, especially for those businesses who can sustain themselves via remote work. While this may not apply to all industries, those that can function without employees needing to come into the office can adopt the solutions and security required to do so. In these cases, an MSP can serve as a useful resource by helping to manage the use of these solutions. Challenge #2: IT Support is Difficult to Acquire Safely Working from home is one thing. Receiving support for the technology that is used in the home is (for many) another can of worms entirely. While this is true in most circumstances, the need to keep our distance from one another makes this a larger concern. You don’t want to put your team members, or the repair technician for that matter, at risk. An MSP can help resolve this situation on two fronts, both thanks to the remote nature of managed services. First of all, the management of your IT means that an MSP’s technicians will always be using remote monitoring tools to catch and diagnose issues on the devices that your team uses. Secondly, with the same remote access, the MSP can then resolve many of these issues without an in-person visit at all, whether your team is in the office or working remotely. Challenge #3: The Economy Isn’t Strong Enough to Invest in Any Additional Services Let’s do a quick comparison between how the traditional IT services will bill your business, compared to what is included by an MSP. The old-school repair service doesn’t incorporate additional fees into their rates, like time and materials. As a result, the total price can be wildly unpredictable, and practically impossible to budget for accurately. On the other hand, by offering a predictable service covered by a comprehensive monthly fee, the MSP’s rates can be budgeted for and scaled with the services delivered. With a few exceptions for out-of-scope services, a business that signs on with an MSP can operate with the confidence that they know what their bill will say each month […]