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Importance of Working With Professional IT Support Teams

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultant

Just a few decades ago, companies didn’t have to worry about one of the most important aspects of running a modern business: reliable information technology (IT) services.

In today’s digital realm, however, IT services are as integral to a company’s success as its product or service. That being said, some companies have been slower to adapt to this change, and may be working with outside IT consultants for the first time.

If your company is interested in working with business IT consulting experts to modernize your business, then here are three crucial services to consider. While not every business will require all three of these services, these are just some of the ways your company can benefit from working with IT consultants.

Data storage
There is a truly mind boggling amount of data in the world today, and the vast majority of it exists online. From healthcare records to customer financial information, virtually every company has some degree of data storage needs. While it may seem simple enough to store this data on hard drives on site, this can be an especially dangerous way to store data.

Without regular data backup services, it’s possible to lose all of your information in a digital instant. Working with third-party IT services ensures that all your essential information is not only stored properly, but backed up in case anything ever happens to the servers or the data itself. Even better, IT consulting services can ensure this data is stored in a user friendly way, ensuring that you can examine and search through your data to find actionable insights.

Digital security
Cyber security is another major aspect of today’s business climate. Whether you need to protect sensitive customer data from internal leaks or safeguard credit card information from hackers, it’s important that you keep your company safe and your information protected. Between 75% and 80% of all malicious attacks actually come from within the organization itself, making it all the more necessary to hire outside IT services. Regular security auditing and penetration testing can help protect your digital infrastructure 24/7/365.

Stay up-to-date with latest tech
In the 90s and early 2000s, most companies employed in-house information technology teams. However, in the age of cloud computing, it’s easier than ever to receive the latest software and computer support through the web. By working with managed IT services, your company can leverage the best business technology in the world. Rather than working with dozens of different software vendors, managed IT services can help you set up all of the software your company needs at once.

Simply put, working with IT consultants can help your company save time, money, and run more efficiently. Don’t let your company be susceptible to online hacks and damaging software vulnerabilities — work with a team of trusted business IT professionals to prevent any major digital issues.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of IT services or discover the most trusted IT consulting Charleston has to offer, contact Integrated Technology Services today.

How to Speak With Your IT Provider Part 2: Communication Strategies

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it servicesCommunicating what you need can be difficult, especially in a highly specialized field like IT. In many ways, it can feel like being in a foreign country without speaking the language: you communicate with gestures and vague generalizations.

Of course, over time you’ll start to develop a language of your own — or at least a methodology for communicating.

This two part series is designed to help you do exactly that, but for the language of IT professionals. In the first part, we discussed framing tools to help define your IT services needs. In this second part, we will look at active strategies to facilitate deeper communication.

Center Your Conversation Around You Business
We spent a whole post giving you the tools to frame the types of services you are looking for, now it is time to put those tools to the test.

When talking to an IT professional, it’s important that you tightly restrict your conversation to the needs of your business. Don’t get bogged down with trying to understand the mechanics of technology, at least not initially. If you are unsure of what a service is or how a piece of technology works, ask them to explain it to you in the context of how it will impact your business specifically, both in a procedural and financial sense.

Be Open-Minded
Once you have explained the needs of your business, you should make an effort to honestly listen to the advice that you are given. While IT services or computer support that your IT consultant is bringing up might seem out of left field, give them the opportunity to explain why those particular IT services would be beneficial

Especially when it comes to security, it is important to defer to their expertise. There have been several very notable cyber attacks lately, but the truth is that they are much more wide spread than you might think. The federal government alone has seen a nearly 680% increase in attacks in the last six years.

Maintain Your Authority
It is very easy when talking to IT consulting services to let your curiosity get the best of you. While the incredible strides made in technology can be incredibly fascinating, or alternative, overwhelming, it is important that you maintain your authority over the situation.

If you feel like a service is not necessary for the success of your business, you shouldn’t hesitate to say so. While it is always important to respect the opinion of experts, you shouldn’t let them convince you that they understand what your business needs better than you do.

The biggest challenge when trying to enlist the help of IT services is communicating clearly what you and your business need. Hopefully, this two part series has given you the tools you need to better communicate with your IT provider.

How to Speak With Your IT Provider Part 1: Build, Guide, or Run

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultant

Whenever you’re outsourcing something as vital to your company’s success as IT is, communication becomes incredibly important. You need to be able to explain the needs of your business in clear enough terms that you receive the support and assistance you require. Failing that, you are basically just wasting time and money.

In order to better assist you with your communication needs, we’ve developed a two-part series in which we will be delving into some important concepts and terms you will need to be familiar with.

In this first part, we will define the three broad lenses through which you can view your IT needs, and explain how to use them to communicate your needs.

Lens 1: Build
Build is likely the easiest of these three concepts to understand. As the name implies, you are looking for an IT consultant or provider that has experience developing IT services and systems that best fit your company’s need. Build style services require a great attention to detail and cutting edge understanding of the IT field.

If you’re experiencing massive problems with your information software that you don’t believe can be solved with better training or small upgrades, or if you have no software at all, then you will likely be looking for a “build” type IT service.

Lens 2: Guide
The guide based lens incorporates a wide number of services, but on the most basic you can think of them as IT consulting services. Guide can help you optimize the way your business utilizes its technology, making you a more efficient and effective business. It can also help you train your staff about general IT best practices and concerns.

One of the main focuses on the guide side is IT compliance. There are a number of mandates, such as PCI, HIPAA, and FISMA, that require your business to handle their information in very particular ways. A “guide” style IT consultant will help you protect, track and control access to information in a way that is in line with any applicable regulations

Lens 3: Run
Run services are the extreme of outsourcing. They provide managed IT services for your business so that you can focus your resources where they are more vitally needed. These services are especially great for small businesses and startups, allowing them to have the best IT care without the expense of an in-house team

Run programs include any number of IT services, from managing your SQL database to installing cloud based servers. What really sets the a “run” lens apart is the fact that you’re having them handled entirely by another company.

You can use these three lenses as a way to help self-diagnose the sort of services that your business needs. From there, you’ll be more able to communicate your needs to an IT consultant or provider.

4 Ways to Protect Your Computer From Being Damaged

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

computer maintenanceA broken computer can cause extreme panic amongst business professionals. Whether you’re responsible for your entire company’s data storage or you’re just working on something important for your job, it’s essential that you do everything you can to protect your computer from being permanently damaged.

Here are a few ways to ensure that your computer is safe and all your valuable digital information will remain protected.

Stay on top of computer maintenance
If you just neglect your computer, over time, it’s going to be permanently damaged. Even if you are extremely careful with your computer each and every day, if you’re not providing regular computer maintenance checks, it’s going to break down eventually. If you’re unaware of how to perform minor computer repairs or computer maintenance, contact a professional to help you out.

Store all your information on the cloud
Although you should have as much important information as possible in multiple areas just in case something happens to it, you should absolutely have a backup cloud storage account. There are quality cloud providers that can assist you and your entire company with all your cloud services needs.

Work with IT professionals to keep software up to date
Your software should always be top of the line to avoid any complications. Digital hackers are always innovating and finding new ways to break into valuable databases, so it’s up to you to make sure that your software protection programs are highly advanced. Work with IT consulting services to ensure that you’re getting expert assistance and your software is strong enough.

Be careful surfing the web and opening emails
About nine out of every 1,000 computers in the U.S. are infected with spam. Simply by opening an email from someone you think you know can ruin your computer for good and lose all your information. Make sure you’re always double-checking emails before you open them so you’re not welcoming any spam to infect your network. Also, be cautious while surfing the web because a visit to the wrong website can harm your computer as well.

It’s up to you to protect your computer from being damaged. If you want to learn more about how to do so or to work with helpful IT professionals, contact Integrated Technology Services today.

3 Reasons Why Small Business Should Outsource Their IT Services

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

IT provider

Small business owners are not only the backbone of the American economy, but they are the embodiment of the American dream. These people are building their own legacy, leaving their mark on their town, state, and the nation.

In the past, small businesses were almost exclusively run by the people with the most at stake: the owners. Even today, employees are often very carefully chosen to reflect the values and beliefs of the small business owner who employs them.

But as information technology becomes increasingly important to businesses, many small businesses have started to struggle to keep up. The issue? For many business owners, the cost of hiring a full-time IT professional is incredibly prohibitive.

One workaround is to outsource your IT needs. But for many business owners, putting such an important part of their business in the hands of another firm can be scary. This guide will show you why small business owners stand to benefit from outsourcing their IT needs to an IT provider.

  1. Save Money
    The most obvious benefit of outsourcing your IT services rather than hiring an in-house IT professional is the money saved. That is because you will not need to create a full-time position, nor will you have to negotiate salary with a qualified professional. You can simply get a quote from an IT provider for the services needed, and then move on to running your business.
  2. Get Only the Services You Need
    Whether you need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, help making your network align with IT compliance standards and regulations, or simply need a broken computer repaired, business owners have the ability to tailor their managed IT services to precisely what they need. That means much less waste.
  3. Better Cyber Security
    According to the 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey, a remarkable 87% of small businesses experienced a breach in cyber security during 2012. Working with an IT provider allows you to have the most up-to-date IT security available, meaning that you are significantly less likely to experience a cyber breach.

If you are a small business owner looking to expand your IT infrastructure, outsourcing with an IT provider is a much-needed compromise. While it might feel unnatural to trust someone not directly tied to your business and your mission, United States-based IT providers can be the key to unlocking new customers and more effective practices.