Have You Outgrown Your IT Service Provider?
Congratulations…your business is growing. You have reached the tipping point where you can no longer rely on a friend to help with your IT infrastructure or pay an IT person to come and fix your problems on an adhoc basis. Your business has moved up to the next level and you need to have your hardware and software setup for your staff to communicate and collaborate efficiently. Now is the time for you to start thinking about your long-term requirements and how the likelihood of downtime will affect your business productivity. 3 signs you have outgrown your current IT service provider: 1. Longer response times Rapid response time is crucial to your business operations. If you are relying on a “one-man band” IT provider to drop everything the moment an IT disaster strikes, the chances are they will not be able to address your situation in a timely manner, leaving you with employees doing nothing and customers going elsewhere. On the other hand, if you engage an IT company providing your business with a Managed Service Plan, you and your staff will be back up and running in no time, and most issues can be fixed remotely. 2. Your IT provider is not proactive Using an IT provider as and when you have an issue can be very risky; this reactive solution will prevent your business from operating efficiently and the downtime will cost your business significantly. Having a proactive plan with a managed service provider will give you peace of mind, as your infrastructure is managed and monitored 24/7 to maintain productivity. 3. Inadequate hardware and software Servers and PC’s need to be updated on average every 5 years. Using up-to-date technology and efficient devices will improve your business productivity and security by running the latest applications. If you are not receiving the latest updates to your IT systems, you are also increasing the risk of a cyber-attack or security breech.
Cloud Adoption in Australia
Cloud adoption is rapidly maturing in Australia; with organisations forecast to spend around $5.6 billion on public cloud services in 2019. While moving your business to the cloud can offer significant savings, it is not the only reason why companies are moving their data to the cloud. Providing you have an internet connection, using the cloud can help employees be more flexible with authorised access to company data at any time and in any location. Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. Here are a few reasons why businesses are opting for a cloud based solution. Lower Costs By moving to cloud computing you can save a substantial amount of money through reducing the purchasing of equipment, infrastructure and software. A cloud service requires a lower investment and lower overall costs than on premise solutions. Reliability In the event of a disaster, having your data backed up is crucial. With your data in the cloud, it is much easier to back it up and restore than keeping it on a physical device. Scalability With cloud computing you can easily upscale or downscale your resources to accommodate your business requirements, for example, adding new employees or increasing your data storage. Efficiency Cloud computing gives your business the resources to share and communicate more effectively as it allows greater collaboration between employees, and allows multiple users to share and work on projects all at the same time. If you would like to find out more on what a cloud based solutions can do for your business, get in touch with us today.
Why Do I Need A Managed Service Provider?
This question always pops up when talking with potential clients and it is one we love to answer! Many small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) tend to have a break-fix solution in place and look at a managed service plan like an insurance policy that they may not use. A break-fix solution fixes the problem as it occurs, putting their entire business at risk of downtime. This can bring all business activity to a standstill, lasting anywhere between a few hours to days or even weeks. It will cost them loss of earnings through lost business opportunities; it can damage their reputation, and will decrease the morale of their employees. However, technology is constantly evolving and its changing the way businesses function. Hardware and software management is becoming more challenging for the business owner, and outsourcing to an MSP who helps manage their network, devices, and users can dramatically change a company for the better. A reputable Managed Service Provider will become more of a partner to your business, and not just a monthly invoice. Here are a few reasons why your business needs a Managed Service Provider. Cut the risk of downtime An MSP will take a proactive approach and avoid many IT issues. If a client is experiencing a problem, an MSP will be able to respond and resolve the issue quickly before it gets out of hand. Improve security You will have peace of mind knowing your network is being monitored around the clock, and an MSP will make sure your Anti-Virus and Patches are up to date. Lower costs Save on recruitment and training by outsourcing to a provider who has the skilled staff ready to help with your issues. You will see faster results as you focus on your business instead of your IT problems, and you can guarantee that a reactive solution costs a lot more time and money than a proactive solution. Most importantly, the spending will be controlled and predictable. MSPs are able to give you monthly or quarterly reports on how your system is running. The reports are used to forecast your IT infrastructure, so you can be prepared for any changes that the system requires. Remote access With remote access, an engineer can login and resolve your problem without having to leave the office; again, this lowers costs on labour call out fees. MSPs will bring the expertise, experience and knowledge in their service offerings. They have the technology, tools and resources to improve efficiencies, procedures and processes. Rather than try to keep up with the latest hardware and software requirements, let an MSP do it for you.
How to Protect Your Business from Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware remains a massive threat to small to medium sized businesses with only 1 in 4 attacks reported to the authorities. A lack of cybersecurity education is the leading cause of successful ransomware attacks, with phishing emails the top delivery method followed by malicious websites, web ads, and clickbait. The aftermath of a ransomware attack can be crippling for an SMB. Mainly due to the amount of downtime which can be 10x greater than the cost of the ransom requested. So, what can we do to prevent an attack I hear you ask? Unfortunately, no one is immune from an attack… HOWEVER, with these 4 steps, you can better prepare your business in the likelihood of a ransomware attack. Step 1. Backup your data! You must have a disaster recovery plan. Everyone makes mistakes, emails containing viruses are opened every day, and important files are often deleted by mistake. If you are taking frequent snapshots of your data, you can simply restore to a snapshot before disaster struck. 90% of businesses without a BDR solution do not recover from a disaster! Step 2. Patch & Update! A patch is a set of changes to a computer program or its supporting data designed to update, fix, or improve it. Unpatched software puts your entire network at risk because malware takes advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, like operating systems and browsers. Ensure that devices and systems are regularly updated with the latest security patches, do not make do with default configurations, and take the time to disable any features you do not need. Step 3. Educate your employees! Phishing emails are becoming increasingly accurate. You need to train your staff so they can differentiate between a legitimate email and a malicious scam. Think before downloading or opening attachments and double check the email address. Just because the name might be familiar to you, does not mean it is coming from the same person. Hover over or click the name to reveal the email address and make sure it checks out! Step 4. Invest in quality antivirus software! New viruses are created every day, and it is the antivirus software’s job to keep up with the latest threats. It protects the computer from incoming threats and seeks out, destroys and warns of possible threats to the system. Buying a new computer can be an expensive investment. Antivirus and security software, on the other hand, is available at relatively affordable prices. Investing in high-quality antivirus and security software is like buying an insurance policy for your computer and your important data.