Use These 5 Steps to Implement Your Business’ Technology

Implementing new technology into your IT infrastructure is not something that can be done without serious consideration. If you skip the planning process, the last thing you should expect is for things to work out in your favor. Start by weighing your organization’s specific needs, then consider all of the ways that those needs can be met. Today we are going to discuss how you can make all of this happen in the easiest way possible.

The process, as you might expect, is a multi-layered one. Start with a business needs analysis, then transition into identifying technology that addresses these pain points, how you will afford said technology, focusing on what your business does well, and calling upon the feedback of employees to strengthen the implementation.

Analyze Your Business’ Needs

Understanding your business’ needs should come first. Be sure to consider what challenges your business must tackle moving forward, as well as how you might overcome them. We want to emphasize one point: only implement new technology solutions that solve problems for your business. If you are too liberal with the employment of new technology, your infrastructure could grow in a negative way, making it more difficult to administer maintenance and keep things up-to-date or in proper working order.

Consider the Price Point

As a small business owner, you know all too well how large costs can set you back, especially with investments in new technology solutions. This makes it significantly harder to budget for. While you could implement new technology by paying for it up-front, there is value to using the “as a service” model for new solutions, as well, many of which provide services based on a monthly payment model. Since these products are scalable, they can be easily budgeted for.

Lean Into Your Strengths

On a micro level, you already do this by delegating duties to your employees based on their roles within your organization, but on a macro level, you can do something similar with your technology solutions by putting your efforts into investing in technology that augments these strengths. One example is the business that prides itself on customer service. This type of business can provide even better service by utilizing help desk solutions or instant messaging chats. Basically, you supplement what your business is already good at with technology that makes doing that even better.

Ask Your Employees

If you are stuck on where to implement technology, you can always get feedback from your employees. Consider asking them what challenges they face and how they can be addressed. You can use this information to implement technology that helps them perform their day-to-day duties in an easier and more efficient way. This approach also helps to give your employees a voice within your organization, which is a value that you cannot underestimate.

Work with a Managed Service Provider

If you are not sure how to address any of the above, we can help your business approach implementing new technology solutions by doing so with intention. To learn more about how you can reach your business goals, facilitated by technology, reach out to 4 Corner IT at (954) 474-2204.

Aspects of Managed Services Support

aspects of managed services support

Managed services and break-fix services play essential roles in supporting your business in IT-related matters. Small and medium entities face tough choices in deciding between the two aspects and complementing IT resources as well as personnel in place. 

Managed Services vs. The Break-Fix Mentality

Just as the name suggests, the Break-fix mentality interacts with your business only when you experience IT problems. 

The vendors of break-fix services send IT professionals to your location to provide remedies at your business location. 

After finding a solution to your IT problem, you are charged for the services rendered. The break-fix services have no ongoing fees and do not tie you to any contracts.

On the contrary, managed services entails outsourcing service providers that share the responsibility for your IT system. 

It creates an extensive and continuous relationship between your business and your service provider. 

Such services work off your business premise and use their systems to supervise and deal with identified IT problems. Mostly, the problems are identified before you experience any system outages. 

Why Break-fix is No Longer Good Enough for Your Business

Below are the main reasons why the break-fix mentality is not any good for your business. 

Subdues Productivity

When you use this model, you are forced to assign your IT needs to your employees. Since this might be a good idea in the short term, it reduces the level of productivity and leads to wastage of resources. 

Cost

In this IT model, you pay for labor, repairs, and consultation. It is impossible to budget for the issues, and there is no reasonable way of establishing whether you are paying a fair price. 

Besides, there are no preventive measures that you can put in place to avoid any problems in the future. This leaves you susceptible to surprise system breakdowns and costs. 

Extended Downtime

In this model, when you experience an IT problem, every minute costs you money. The sporadic nature of this model leads to extended repair time. The extended downtime and the additional repair time increases the cost making it undesirable.  

Do Managed Services Cost More Than Traditional Break-Fix Services?

Managed services cost more than break-fix services. Managed services involve the provision of a recurrent service, which translates to recurrent expenses. 

The services differ based on your business’s needs though it is vital to be proactive in using IT services to achieve business objectives. 

When you use this IT model, you accrue higher upfront fees, monthly subscription fees, and monitoring fees. 

Engaging a managed service provider increases the level of visibility and your capability to establish robust IT strategies. In as much as it is effective and creates accountability, the services cost more than the services rendered in the break-fix model. 

How Are Managed Services Priced?

All businesses want to minimize costs, but that is just one factor you need to think about. Therefore, you need to understand all the pricing aspects of IT services models before you make a decision. 

Managed IT services pricing is based on the following.

  • The number of users
  • Risks Involved
  • Your needs

The price of managed services depends on the monthly cost per user, the coverage, the number of specialists, and the extent of coverage. 

The level of support included and your levels of business that the support is designed for affects the pricing of managed services provided to you.  

The Real Benefits of Managed Services

The benefits of managed services are clear. The model provides IT services to every aspect of your business. As a result, your entity achieves higher standards of IT services. 

Implementing managed services in your business offers several benefits, including:

Enhanced Productivity

Outsourcing IT functions dedicate in-house IT experts to projects that promote innovation and enhance achievement of set objectives. 

Promotes Scalability

Most entities find it more useful to start small and expand according to the growing needs. Managed services make it easy for you to scale either up or down and increase capacity depending on the scope of changes in your business needs. 

Keeps Pace with Your IT Demands

When you outsource IT services or partner with skilled IT professionals, you alleviate the pressures associated with keeping pace with the dynamism of technology. 

Contact us for professional advice on the best IT model for your business.

Computer Tip: Learn How To Keep Your Outlook Inbox Clean

computer tip learn how to keep your outlook inbox clean

An Outlook inbox that is constantly full is frustrating, and can make it more difficult to notice important emails. How do you maintain your Outlook inbox without spending hours each day? Microsoft Outlook has a couple of built-in features that help you quickly and continually keep your inbox clutter-free.

Outlook inbox

Folders

Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to begin cleaning up your inbox is by using folders. This will help you separate each topic in your inbox and make them easier to access. Right-click on your main email account folder in the sidebar and click “New folder.”

Rules

OK, so now you’ve created all your necessary folders, but you are still required to drag each email into their respective folders; this is not ideal. You need to set up some rules. Perhaps you get plenty of unimportant emails from a specific address every day. You can set up a rule that automatically pushes these new emails into the folder you specify. You can accomplish this by clicking on the “Rules” tab of the Outlook menu, and clicking “New rule” and following the instructions (directions are very similar for most email applications).

Search

Now that you have your folders and rules set up you need a way to access these emails quickly, other than simply clicking on each folder. In your inbox, you can input a search term in the search box and select “Search All Folders,” that way your search will include all of your folders. You can also set Outlook to search all folders by default by going to the Search section of the Option menu, and in the Results tab check “All Folders” under the heading “Include Results Only From.”

Now you are all set! Enjoy your clean and efficient email inbox. Contact us if you have any additional questions about Microsoft Outlook.

Everything You Need To Know About Remote Data Backups

everything you need to know about remote data backups

Remote data backups, also known as ROBO backup, is the practice of securely storing mission-critical data in remote offices. The advantage of this approach is that it allows an organization to keep all of its data in one place. Remote file backup services allow you to log into a remote drive and through an online interface upload a company’s data. The entry point of storage space for most remote data backup services is 5GB. A potential drawback of remote data backup is data transfer speed. The process can take very long if you’re tied to the maximum upstream speed of your network.

Remote Data Backups

Recent research demonstrates that 60% of a company’s data does not lie in databases and servers covered by Data Recovery Programs. These days cloud backup is a popular remote backup and recovery solution. Backups are kept in a remote office and replicated through cloud storage.

ROBO backup services can reduce storage capacity demands, keep productivity high in a company and meet strict service level agreements. They are a guarantee against fire and theft, and they allow remote access to data from any location, and permit selective files restoration. A company can create copies on tape for disaster recovery. They also allow instant recovery anytime to help you save time and money needed post disaster. They eliminate effort involved in recording, maintenance, and rebuilding of files in case of disaster. By freeing people from these obligations, a company can streamline their staff.

If you would like to learn more about remote data backup please contact us.

Business Computer Backup: How To Backup Your Computer To The Cloud

business computer backup how to backup your computer to the cloud
Cloud Backup

Cloud backups are the easiest form of backup to set up and maintain, and most services allow access to your files from various platforms.  And learning about business computer backup is very important.

To backup your files, create an account, download software, and input your account information. After this process, every time your computer goes online, the software will automatically back up your files.

Do not confuse online backup services with cloud storage and syncing services like Dropbox and Google Drive. These services save your files in the cloud–mostly for collaboration and editing–but they do not store all system files.

Cloud backups encrypt your files so no one has access to them and copies them to a number of drives on various computers. If one of these computers losses data, your information is available in another server.

After uploading your information, the client does not have to worry about uploading their material again.

A downside of cloud backup is that the initial uploading can take a few weeks or months, but this will depend on the amount of data that a company wishes to upload and the speed of their Internet connection.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) focus more on download speeds than upload speeds. A good idea is to temporarily update to a plan with more “upload bandwidth” during your initial backup.

Another potential problem with the use of cloud backup services is if you lose your physical backups and need access to all of your files. In that situation you would be limited by the speed with which you could download information from your cloud service.

Resolving these problems depends on working closely with your ISPs. If you would like to learn more about cloud backup contact us.