Small Business IT Consultant: Utilize Network & IT Consulting

outsourced it main advantages of network and it consulting

Small business owners often face the difficulty of having to do everything on their own or only having a small amount of staff that don’t possess the knowledge base needed to run a business smoothly. IT is one area often left behind when you are thinking about staffing your small business. This is because most employees have a small amount of IT knowledge. Companies figure they can use their staff’s pieces of knowledge and fit them together as an IT solution. However, by doing this, you could be wasting both valuable time and money.

Help Your Small Business by Hiring a Small Business IT Consultant

Hiring a small business IT consultant can help save your business money and help free up time for other projects. Here is a quick look at why you may consider hiring an IT consultant.

Utilize Your Time Better

When you are using your own time or the time of other non-IT specialized staff members on IT solutions or problems, time is being spent away from other projects that benefit your business. By hiring Network and IT Consulting staff, you will have a dedicated person or team to research equipment and programs, install them, and troubleshoot any issues. No longer will you need to pull a staff member from what they are working on. You can call your small business IT consultant and know your problem will be fixed.

Eliminate the Costs When Hiring Full-Time Staff

Hiring a consultant eliminates the need to hire a full-time staff member. You will save money by not having to pay a full-time wage, benefits, and other expenses that may come when hiring a full-time staff member. You are also keeping a cubicle, desk, or office space. This can help if you are already short on space or allow you to use that space for your staff or client needs.

Streamline Your Technology

When you hire a network and its consulting firm, you hire a consultant or team with a whole new level of knowledge. This knowledge can help your company purchase the best equipment for your specific needs. While doing this, your small business IT consultant can help you streamline your IT equipment and processes, allowing things to run more efficiently. This can help reduce your technology budget and give you a system that caters to your business’s specific needs.

If you are looking for an IT consulting firm to help improve your small business while saving you time and money, contact us at 4 Corner IT.

Best Practices for IT Service Management

practices for it service management
Practices for IT Service Management

Most businesses today rely heavily on IT service management to resolve IT issues that arise from time to time, which promotes sustainability within their business operations.

In that case, IT service management (ITSM) focuses on ensuring that your IT requirements are in line with what you aspire to achieve as a business operator. Additionally, ITSM shifts companies from addressing problems when they occur to the prevention of eventualities.

So, for your organization to overcome IT-related challenges, your ITSM strategy should include the design, delivery, monitoring, and management of the use of IT services within your enterprise. Here are some of the ITSM implementation best practices.

Do Not Wait for The “Perfect Time”

Most individuals will wait for the “perfect time” to make particular decisions, the “right time” to take action, or the “ideal time” to deploy a particular plan. However, it is important to note that there is never a “perfect time” to start something, neither is there a “perfect solution” for every problem affecting your organization at present or in the future.

For that reason, you need to appreciate the fact that the ITSM requirements of your firm will vary on different occasions, but you cannot fail to implement the service because of this fact. Additionally, deploying an ITSM strategy will bear a specific impact on your business operations, which is okay.

The reason, in this case, is that ignoring the need to implement ITSM may result in the loss of customers due to the absence of particular processes or poor deployment of the same. So, implementing ITSM is paramount whichever way you look at it as an entrepreneur.

Prioritize Your Clients

Some of the considerations for most business owners before making specific decisions include the risk factor and their financial obligations. The reason is that entrepreneurs will ultimately transfer both the risk and cost of any process to the consumer. Therefore, as you work towards implementing ITMS, you need to ensure that each of your products and services avails value to the end user.

As a result, you will strengthen your relationship with customers as they enjoy value for their money when you decide to implement the ITMS.

The 80/20 Rule

When referring to the 80/20 rule in ITSM the implication is that 80% of business processes are useful to entrepreneurs, while 20% are critical, 20% of infrastructure manager installations are responsible for 80% of service outages, and 20% of your users as a service delivery manager are the cause of 80% of recurring IT issues.

As such, the best practice, in this case, is maintaining essential details on resolving problems manually whenever they arise even as you automate processes.

If you need more information on IT service management best practices, contact us today!

Speeding Up an Old Computer

speeding up old computers
Speeding up Old Computers

It happens to every computer eventually: it starts to become less responsive, more sluggish, and just much slower overall than it used to be. It’s frustrating to deal with, but it’s a fact of life for all technology.

Many people simply buy a new computer to replace their slow, aging one. However, there are many ways to speed up an older computer if you want to hang onto it a while longer.

Clean Out the Junk

Many computers start to slow down because they end up bogged down by too much useless clutter. Although it’s not the most impactful change, freeing up hard drive space will help speed up your computer. This is especially true if it’s near capacity.

An easy way to clean up all this unneeded junk is to use CCleaner, which is a program that automatically deletes unused junk files for you. It also allows you to easily uninstall any programs that you’re not currently using to help free up even more space.

Change Startup Programs

A lot of programs will automatically startup when you first boot up your computer. While this may seem convenient, since you won’t have to start them yourself, having too many startup programs can make your boot up times significantly longer.

Once again, CCleaner comes in handy here. One of the tools that it has built-in allows you to change which programs will launch when Windows starts up. If your computer feels especially sluggish when you first turn it on, then disable as many of these startup programs as possible.

Scan for Viruses

It goes without saying that viruses and other malware will slow down a computer more than anything else. So, making sure your computer is virus-free is very important.

Luckily, Microsoft has a free antivirus program that you can use called Windows Defender. It’s built into all versions of Windows from Windows 8 and up. If you’re using Windows 7 then you will need to install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) instead.

Make sure you run your antivirus program regularly to ensure that your computer stays virus-free.

Reformat

Sometimes, a simple tune-up or freeing up hard drive space just isn’t enough. Your computer may end up becoming plagued with corrupt files, driver problems, or broken registry keys. In some cases, it’s possible to go through and fix each of these manually, but it is very difficult and time consuming to do.

The easiest fix when your computer has issues like these is to reformat it. This means wiping the hard drive and reinstalling Windows.

To do this, you will need to get your copy of Windows and follow through with its installation instructions. Microsoft has made the process incredibly simple and streamlined from Windows 7 and up. Just be sure to install over your current installation so that it wipes everything clean.

While all of the above should speed up just about any computer, they still might not do a good enough job. In that case, all you’re left with is upgrading the parts in your computer. However, you have to be pretty computer savvy to do this. Or you can try to find someone else who can do it for you. If that’s not an option, then, unfortunately, it’s probably time to upgrade to a brand-new computer.

If you’re confused or need further instructions, then don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Tips for Protecting Your Office Computer

tips for protecting your office computer

One of the reasons why employees need insight on how they can protect their office computers is to maintain the privacy of the data in the system they use. Apart from safeguarding personal information observing best practices is a requirement for all computer users in most organizations. The reason is that when users exercise due diligence, the company can eliminate online threats that may compromise the data they hold.

Here are a few tips that employees can consider adopting to protect their office computers from both internal and external threats.

Tip One – Back Up Important Files Frequently 

Virus attacks, a system crash, and hardware failures are some of the challenges that affect users from time to time, and it is difficult to establish when you can expect these threats because they are unforeseen. For that reason, it is critical to take necessary precaution by ensuring you back up critical files and documents regularly.

It is advisable to backup your data in multiple locations, and there are several options you can consider including flash drives or cloud storage. Frequent backup of the information on your office computer will prevent loss of information in the event of an unexpected eventuality.

Tip Two – Observe The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) 

Accessing computers with administrator rights when it is not necessary is not a good idea. The reason is that using such a high-privilege account exposes you to several threats that can affect your systems. For instance, when you log in to an unsecured site with a computer that uses administrator rights your computer may suffer severe damage including the loss of files and reformatting of the hard drive.

Additionally, any website that is unsafe may create a new user account with administrative access that may lock you out. Therefore, only opt for administrator right systems when there is a need to do so and while you are at it follow the necessary procedures for security purposes.

Tip Three – Update Your Software Regularly 

Updating your office computer software from time to time is not an option. As such, you need to watch out for the latest service packs and patches that will enhance the security of your software. You can also consider third-party security software that gives you alerts when your current solution is out of date for you to act accordingly. If you need more information on tips for protecting your office computer, contact us today!

Online Identity: Understanding and Keeping It Secure

online identity understanding and keeping it secure

Online Identity

With the proliferation of the internet over the past several years, the term “online identity” has become commonplace and is practically a buzzword. However, lots of people do not have a full grasp of what an online identity is and its significance in our Internet-driven world.

Simply put, your online identity is a digital composite generated by websites based on your interactions online. Websites build an online identity based on your activity on a website as well as any personal information (name, date of birth, social security number) that you may have entered. Most websites also install cookies on your computer when you visit them; cookies enable the websites to track your behavior online. Using cookies, websites are better able to build up and save your online identity. The use of cookies by websites is sometimes beneficial because it enhances your online experience; for example, shopping online is easier because there is no need to enter all your information every time you visit the same website.

The preponderance of personal information over the internet has presented an attractive target for unscrupulous individuals. Hackers spend time and money to compromise the data of innocent internet users. When compromised, this data is often used for malicious purposes. Stories abound of people who had their online identity compromised and stolen. Some of the consequences of a stolen online identity include:

  • Decreased job prospects: Some employers check the credit history of potential employees. A poor credit history due to online identity theft may hamper your chances of getting that desired job.
  • Financial losses: Hackers can use your stolen identity to steal money from your bank account, open credit cards, or make purchases in your name. Any of these can leave you with a negative financial impact. In 2016, customers lost more than $16 billion as a result of online identity theft.
  • Emotional impact: The theft of your online identity may leave you emotionally vulnerable as you try to re-establish and regain your online identity.

Given the importance of your online identity, it is important that measures are taken to keep it protected. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your online identity most of which are relatively inexpensive. Some ways to protect your identity online include:

  • Responsible browsing: As much as possible, browse on websites that are secure. “HTTPS” in the web address bar usually denotes that a website is secure. Never put your personal information on a website that is not secure; this is denoted by “HTTP” in the web address bar.
  • Password security: Your password should be secure so that it is difficult to compromise. Usually, this involves a mix of upper and lower case characters, numbers, as well as special characters. Ideally, passwords should not be shared across websites. Furthermore, you should change your passwords on a regular basis.
  • Security suites: These are commercial software used to protect devices from spyware, viruses, or other forms of malware. Any device that you use to access the internet should have some form of security suite installed.
  • Heightened observation: Close attention should be paid to your bank accounts, credit reports, or other financial accounts. Suspicious transactions should be noted and reported promptly so that immediate measures can be taken in case it is an attempt to steal your identity.

At 4 corner IT, we can help protect your identity online. We are a managed service provider with lots of experience in keeping your online information secure. We will assess and recommend the optimal protection needed to suit your online preferences. Contact us today for further discussion as to how we can keep your online information safe and secure.