Is Your IT Department Operating as Highly Paid Digital Babysitters?

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

managed it servicesFive to 10 years ago, any business with any type of advanced computer services had no choice but to build an in-house IT Department. At first, these IT workers were absolutely vital to the company, setting up the business’ first website, building servers, and helping employees with any computer problems that arose.

But over time, far too many IT Departments evolved into extremely high-paid babysitters. Many computer experts with advanced degrees found themselves stuck in jobs babysitting servers that worked fine 99.9% of the time, waiting around all day until someone needed help setting up a printer. Meanwhile, businesses were wasting money on high-paid IT consulting experts.

Thanks to the rapid development of cloud computing and major advances in business computer services, the vast majority of IT busy work has become automated — business servers, websites, databases, telephony, and even more complex services like network security management. Tasks that once required full-time IT workers to manage can now be automated completely. Despite this, some older companies still pay for IT divisions designed for a bygone era.

So how can you finally start saving money on your IT costs?

Fortunately, there is a simple answer. You don’t need to hire expensive business IT consulting experts for a solution, you simply need to invest in managed IT services.

Rather than paying a fortune for your own in-house IT team, managed IT services handle all of your computer and technology needs. In 2016, there are still far too many companies paying computer experts that do little more than babysit a server while they check Instagram.

Instead, managed IT services can install and manage any type of computer system you need. What kind of computer services can the best-managed services providers offer?

Short answer: if it’s on a computer, IT managed services providers will provide. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for data management, backup and recovery, infrastructure management, network security, access control systems, digital marketing, web design, operations technology, cloud-based applications, Office 365, website maintenance, or firewalls and antivirus protection — the best managed IT services have got you covered.

Even companies with modest computer needs are outsourcing IT in 2016. That’s because so much of our record keeping and communication have gone online, and most businesses lack the experience to protect that valuable data. Even the federal government struggles with security, as cyber security breaches have shot up 680% in the last six years!

Plus, security experts estimate that 75% to 80% of all malicious attacks come from inside an organization, not from external hackers. In fact, there’s a 59% chance an employee will steal some kind of corporate data after being fired or deciding to quit.

So if you need to cut IT costs and protect your business in 2016, then it’s time to finally discover the benefits of managed IT support services.

5 Ways to Keep Your Website Current

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

web design

You may be under the impression that as long as you have a website for your business, you are keeping up with the times. However, this is not exactly the case. Research shows that if you have a website, but it still seems stuck in the past as far as navigation and graphics go, you may be harming your business more than helping it. There are different types of marketing strategies and having a good web design is one of them. Here are a few easy ways to keep your web design up to date.

  1. Company Focus – Make sure that the content of your website is still going in the same direction as the company’s branding. Looks, themes, designs and general aesthetics should change and evolve over time as trends move on and your clientele develops. Your website should always reflect the focus of the business, so your potential buyers can easily understand what the vision and goal of the company is.
  2. Web Design – This does not just focus on the look of the website, but its functionality as well. Understand what the consumer wants. For the most part, this means convenience. No one wants to sit there and try to figure out how to work a website. They want to get in, find what they want, and get out. Make it simple for them to do that or they will ‘get out’ before they find what they want. Having a navigation bar at the top of every page is helpful for clients, because they’ll be able to see the entire site at a glance without having to trudge through unnecessary pages.
  3. Traffic Tracking – Keep a log of who is visiting your site, how long they are staying there, and what they are looking at. This will help you figure out how to make your potential buyers the happiest. There are various different pieces of software that can automatically do the tracking and gathering of data for you, so that you can see it at a glance. If you can find out the desires, likes, and dislikes of your target audience, this will go a long way in helping you cater to their needs.
  4. Social Media – Social media is quickly becoming the biggest marketing tool. About 93% of marketers stated that they use social media for business now, and 47% of Americans said that Facebook has made a large impact on their purchasing decisions. Take advantage of blogging and other outlets that can enhance your website and business. Get outside help with social media if you are not familiar with all the benefits it can offer.
  5. Search Engine Optimization – Considering the fact that 93% of Internet users begin their experience with a search engine, SEO (search engine optimization) should be right at the top of your marketing list. This involves more than just having a few good keywords, and requires a fair amount of work and patience. Nevertheless, improving click through rates and taking advantage of pay per click opportunities can really help your business generate more traffic.

There are many great benefits of having a website, but you need more than great web design to attract attention. Your website has to stand out from the crowd to get noticed online. There are many things that can deter a potential buyer from your site, so make sure to do your research, find out what your target audience is looking for, and let every single element of your website cater to that need. The great thing about websites is that they are inexpensive to make, so you don’t have to cut corners and try to save costs by allowing parts of the site to be meaningless. Keeping current is your main goal. If you can do this, you will be surprised at the traffic it will generate, resulting in sales and profits.

3 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities in Need of IT Consulting

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consulting

Every business currently in operation uses the Internet for any number of tasks. Not only does the success of the company rely on the web, but the security of their customers’ does as well. All online portals are connected to a store of personal and sensitive information. It just takes an individual with a laptop, determined to get their hands on it to find this critical info.

You would hope that as technology improves, cyber security threats would become less of a problem. However, there are a few risk factors that computer software can’t eliminate on its own without human intervention and IT consulting. Even the federal government has experienced an increase in cyber security breaches of nearly 680% over the past six years.

Here are just a few such cyber security vulnerabilities:

  1. Insecure passwords: Although most know that ineffective passwords have long been the bane of cybersecurity, it hasn’t stopped people from using their trusty “123456” or “password1” codes. As many as 80% of all cyber breaches are a result of weak admin passwords. Hackers have an extensive knowledge of the most commonly used passwords and have no trouble cracking them.
  2. Human factor: Network security systems can do little good if the people using them leave vulnerabilities. Emails are a prime example. Out of the 60 billion emails sent each day, around 97% are spam, many of which may be malicious. If clicked on, there’s little your computer can do to stop the problem.

    It’s easy to just let these messages sit in your junk for months on end, but it’s important to be able to differentiate between malicious and secure messages. IT consulting services can not only show employees what malicious emails might look like, but also implement programs designed to weed out the most deceiving attacks.
  3. Emerging technologies: While new and improved technologies are still the best shot at enhanced security in the future, it also means that hackers will have better technology at their disposal. Because technology evolves so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the possible cyber threats. Network security management can keep a system up-to-date with the latest drivers and add-ons for security programs to maintain their impenetrability.

While the benefits of having a website and a digital infrastructure can be priceless, it could do more harm than good without the proper security and business IT consulting. Keeping your customers safe will keep your business safe.

The Most Affordable Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

tips to increase sales

>With the advent of the age of the internet, came the largest hub of information and human traffic of all time. As a result, the online world has become saturated with countless advertisements being forced on users. Because of this, people are now accustomed to ignoring this form of marketing simply because they are too overwhelming to pay attention to.

In order to reach users and make the most of the benefits of a website without the need to flash ads in their face, search engines have become the latest tool to generate traffic to a website. By using specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to a company’s products or services, users will hopefully find their way to the website on their own. With an estimated 93% of all online experiences beginning with the use of a search engine, the potential for exposure is unmatched by any other channel.

Of all marketing tips to increase sales, search engine optimization techniques are likely the most affordable types of marketing services with the highest return rate. Inbound leads, including search engine optimization, are on average about 61% less expensive than outbound leads, such as print advertising or mailing.

When it comes to incorporating these keywords onto a site, onsite content and blog posts can be effective in generating traffic as well as offering reliable information to users. Using SEO marketing tips to increase sales also saves money by killing two birds with one stone rather than paying for one team to cover content, and a separate team to handle marketing.

Informational onsite content, such as blogging, is reported by around 70% of content marketers to have substantially increased their brand awareness. Internet users are far more likely to trust a company or a brand if they find the search results on information to be organic rather than seeing it solely as a tool to initially grab their attention.

Of all marketing tips to increase sales, ranking high on search engines and keeping users interested with organic content and attractive web design will gain consumer’s trust more than other different types of marketing strategies. Internet users are savvy and respect companies that understand that.

How Computer Support Can Impact a Company’s Success

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

computer support

The new age of business did not take long to realize the substantial advantages that new technologies, specifically computers and the internet, can offer to improve processes as well as reduce operation costs. Digital programs have allowed for automation to increase reliability and consistency, while simultaneously reducing the need to hire more employees. However, because the online marketplace expanded so quickly, many companies put a lot of stake into the internet before understanding all of the risks that come along with it.

Not only do companies risk losing money from security breaches, but vital information and data can also be stolen, risking clients’ security and generating a bad rapport within their industry. Some companies believe they don’t need to worry about these cases with some simple firewalls and password protected programs, but far more advanced systems of computer support are also still at risk.

Even the government has been a victim of many digital threats. The federal government saw a 680% increase in cyber security from the surge of computer usage over the past six years. If the government, which has entire sectors of computer support devoted to information technology (IT) for the saek national security, experiences these issues, a standard malware safety program has little hope of stopping an experienced hacker.

One surprising factor that has proven to be a serious threat to security is internal breaches. Between about 75 to 80% of all malicious attacks come from within an organization instead of an external threat. Because of this, it has become necessary to use ethical hacking (or advanced computer services), such as security auditing and penetration testing, which evaluate network security systems and infrastructure thoroughly.

As an extra line of defense, some large organizations have instituted policies that ensure efficiently managed IT services and better network security management. Compliance mandates, such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), require businesses to protect, track, and control access to important and sensitive information.

With the vast majority of companies utilizing some form of computer system for operations, network security management has never been so important. Reliable computer support can mean the difference between success and failure.