Chances are, you’ve upgraded or replaced your company’s computers a few times since your phone system was the newest bit of technology in your office. Now, your phone communications might be the victim of poor sound quality, long hold times, or dropped calls. And even though your system still allows you to make and receive calls, obsolescence and downtime are just right around the corner.
A business phone maintenance plan of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” may work in the short term, but that old phone system is hurting your business. The moment something breaks, you’ve got a whole new set of issues to address. The best time to replace your old phone system is before it breaks.
While it’s true that technology allows businesses to operate leaner and cleaner, it can complicate the logistics of an office relocation. Here are steps you can take to assure the process happens smoothly and with minimal downtime.
End of Life is a term for the end of support for a hardware or software product and its patches, including security updates and customer service. When Windows XP reached End of Life, it was on 40% of the world’s computers. Today, Windows 7 runs on 70% of business computers. Planning ahead can save you money and headaches.
Whether it is a power outage, loss of internet or phone lines, or something more drastic, if your business shuts down unexpectedly, it is going to cost you money. The goal of DR/BC planning is to know how much it will cost to stay in business and not lose customers. Here are the resources to include when adding up your business continuity cost.
Spectre and Meltdown belong to a category of vulnerabilities called “chip hacks.” These affect the processors of computers, phones, and tablets. Both hacks rely on the manipulation of processor operations in order to retrieve sensitive data. Spectre exploits a design flaw by tricking programs to perform unnecessary actions, potentially exposing confidential data. Meanwhile, Meltdown grabs information from the processor that ordinarily would not be accessible.
Please note that both of these hacks would require an actual malicious attempt by a hacker. Without the manipulation of the processor’s operations, private information, such as passwords, is relatively safe. However, if we’ve learned anything about security flaws, it’s that someone, somewhere, will make an attempt before a patch can be applied. The potential for your passwords to be exposed is real.
During the budgeting process, it’s not enough to focus solely on workstations, servers, infrastructure, or bandwidth. While these are important pieces of the overall puzzle, there are also other items to consider when creating your IT budget. VoIP phone systems, application delivery models such as CRMs and PSAs, and disaster recovery planning are also significant considerations.
The best phone system is the one that suits your needs and doesn’t make you pay for things you don’t need. Instead of learning definitions and technologies, identify the needs you have for your phone network and let your salesperson do the hard part.
As a small business owner, it’s likely you are using some type of data protection strategy to guard against data loss. However, data protection is only half the story. The other half is minimizing downtime. No matter how well you’ve protected your business’ data, that protection can be useless if you are unable to access it. Every minute, every hour, every day that you are unable to retrieve your protected and stored data affects your bottom line.
Your business continuity plan should include a data backup solution that allows you to mitigate the effects of data loss and time to recovery. Surprisingly, many businesses use a data backup solution that is inefficient and incomplete.
A full business continuity solution not only addresses the preservation of business data, it also provides a means for fast, full restoration in the event of a data disaster.
The suite of apps and cloud services available through an Office 365 subscription has been a game changer for many businesses. Because Microsoft pushes updates to the software behind the scenes, users always have access to the latest version. Following the debut of Secure Score, The Hartford Financial Services Group announced plans to use the score reported by the tool to help determine premiums for their cyberinsurance products. It is only a matter of time before other insurers follow this path. Microsoft’s Secure Score tool gives businesses and insurers alike a quantifiable measure of security within Office 365.
Oftentimes, SaaS and Managed Services are presented as an either/or scenario. I can understand that kind of thinking since SaaS is an outsourced solution for software deployment and maintenance. To many business owners, this outsourced software doesn’t need any additional management. But businesses typically use a mix of proprietary software and SaaS, often with custom and legacy systems thrown in for good measure.
Managed Services Help Stabilize Your IT Budget Let me ask you a question. How much have you spent on IT in the past 12 months? If your total IT spending over the past year makes you a little uneasy, it might be because of unexpected IT expenses. Maybe your oldest computer finally gave up the ghost and you had to invest in
If your business uses a Managed Services Provider (MSP), the day-to-day security and functionality of your business systems can be less of a concern through their use of Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM). Put simply, RMM allows for 24/7 monitoring of your business systems, with an eye toward preventing issues and quick repair following events that threaten to disable your business.
Before the advent of managed services, businesses without a dedicated IT staff often only addressed IT issues whenever something was broken and needed to be fixed. But as the technological landscape has evolved and issues such as data security and disaster recovery have become more and more important, businesses are recognizing that there is more to IT than just handling issues as they arise.