In 2002, Microsoft presented its official Support Lifecycle Policy that was based on detailed customer feedback. The predictability of support services was cited as a very important issue for Microsoft’s customers. Microsoft responded accordingly by alerting customers years in advance that the XP operating system and Windows 2003 have an “end of life” date scheduled for April 8, 2014. Although XP and Windows 2003 have been very popular, Microsoft will no longer support these products after the April 8th deadline. This information has been well-publicized by Microsoft for many years. There are still over 600 million worldwide XP users and it seems that many have chosen to simply ignore these repeated notifications. We can assume that users who have not upgraded by now fall into one of two categories. The first group includes those who are willing to take their chances and plan to continue using Microsoft legacy products that are no longer supported. The second group is XP users who are truly unaware of the deadline. Do you fall into one of these two groups?
The Final Countdown is Now!
After years of these “end of life” warnings, XP and Windows 2003 are now in the final days of the deadline countdown. Surprisingly, one of Microsoft’s latest strategies has been to ask for help. Computer Troubleshooters recently posted a story on our Facebook page about how Microsoft had begun taking a grassroots approach to spreading the word. Microsoft resorted to asking for help by seeking volunteers to remind business owners, friends, family and colleagues about the upcoming XP deadline. Via their blog, Microsoft asked experienced and technically savvy users to help others understand why it is important to make the switch to Windows 8 and to make the upgrade now!
Ignoring this Deadline is Not an Option
Some users claim a variety of reasons for resisting this XP upgrade, but don’t forget that there are a few key reasons you cannot ignore this deadline. The issues for residential users can be serious, but the consequences for businesses hold additional threats and even possible legal ramifications.
Here’s How You and Your Business Can Be Impacted by Not Upgrading
- Security Risks: Without the security provided by an updated operating system, all of your business data and personal information are vulnerable to harmful viruses and spyware. Malicious viruses will very likely be unleashed on XP’s “zero day.” Undefended computers can be completely immobilized with viruses quickly spreading over the net to PCs still operating on XP. No business owner wants to think about a virus spreading through all of their computers. All of the data that keeps your business functioning will be placed at risk.
- Compliance Issues: Businesses that continue to operate on XP can actually face compliance issues. Resulting compliance issues can lead to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to securely maintain its systems and customer information. Compliance problems can place your business in legal peril and seriously damage your business’ reputation in the process.
- Upgrade Expenses: If you think a system upgrade is just too expensive, Computer Troubleshooters urges you to reconsider this viewpoint. Many technical experts consider using an unsupported product such XP, as an act of irresponsibility on the part of the business. Remember that the problems that are likely to arise can cost your business significantly more than the upgrade. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish when it comes to investing in an upgrade.
- Custom Support Available for a Price: In fact, there will still be some support available to XP users after the deadline, but at the annual cost of $200 per device. Depending on the number of computers your business is using, it’s not much of a bargain. In reality, this is only a temporary, contingency plan.
Playing “chicken” with this deadline is tempting fate and there can be serious consequences. You can find yourself in the cross-hairs of cybercriminals on April 8th and potentially face business compliance problems. If you are still using XP, take action today. Call Computer Troubleshooters and one of our experts can help you understand your XP migration options and work with you to develop an upgrade strategy. Call Computer Troubleshooters before it’s too late. The final countdown is now! Are you prepared?
Mobility has quickly transformed the way most of us are now working. According to recent research over 50% of mobile phone users use now regularly use their mobile phone to access the internet. This rate has nearly doubled over the past three years. Are you using mobile internet features to enhance your business?
Increase Efficiency and Effectiveness with Mobility
The increased need for productivity coupled with affordable technology has shifted employees away from being tied to a desktop PC. Workers equipped with mobile devices are now communicating with customers from their cars and accessing data from the Cloud while working at home. Employers and employees can keep projects up to date by easily sharing information via mobile devices at any hour of the day. Mobile flexibility is enabling businesses to quickly move forward with enhanced efficiency.
Consider some of the following mobile efficiencies that can help your business:
- Continuously Connected employees have the flexibility to work from home, while on the go and during travel. Conducting business is now a 24/7 proposition. Accessing information from the office while you are at the airport creates greater efficiency for you and your business. Perhaps you don’t want to be at the airport? Virtual meetings can conveniently connect you with colleagues and customers while saving time and money. Productivity with flexibility has become our new reality.
- Protecting Company Data has become an increasingly important concern for business owners with the advent of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Flexibility has ushered in the trend of employees bringing their own mobile devices into the workplace. This means that company data is probably stored on employees’ mobile devices. What would happen if an employee’s laptop is stolen and it contains confidential business data? Many businesses are now protecting sensitive data by using remote wipes and encryption software on employees’ personal devices in addition to the use of mobile virtual workspaces. Businesses need to establish written BYOD policies and educate their employees about security practices. Many businesses now require employees to sign BYOD contracts. If your business doesn’t have BYOD guidelines in place, you are already falling behind in appropriate business practices.
- Online Resources can efficiently provide businesses with professional training, technical skill development and new product training with the agility of “as needed” availability. Employees can connect to e-learning opportunities through their iPhone or Android devices from home. Business owners can easily take advantage of online management guides and financial tools that can benefit their business.
- Mobile Apps are available to help you run your business more effectively and efficiently. Business owners previously needed a core foundation of various office programs, an e-mail system and some industry-specific software to keep their business functioning. Now there are a wide array of mobile Apps that can help business owners with time management, scheduling, travel expenses, cash flow, accounting and e-mail organization. There are Apps for nearly anything a business owner needs and they are easily available. Many of these Apps enable small businesses to compete with larger companies, plus you can run your business from anywhere.
Is Your Business Prepared for a Mobile World?
Computer Troubleshooters can work with you to assess your mobility needs and develop a plan to keep your business’ technology up to date. If your business needs to move to Cloud services, utilize mobile Apps or strengthen data protection – we can help. Computer Troubleshooters is here to help your business stay productive and efficient through mobile technology. Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you.
By the late 1980’s, computers were becoming increasingly popular and almost immediately computer viruses arrived on the scene like a plague of destructive locusts. No one is celebrating the fact that computer viruses have now been around for over 28 years. Especially considering that over this time there have been a number of viruses that have wreaked havoc worldwide. The key to combating the ongoing threat of malicious computer viruses is a combination of vigilance and protection. Since computer viruses aren’t going away anytime soon, Computer Troubleshooters wants to help you stay safe by providing information about how these viruses spread and how to protect your computer.
What is a Computer Virus?
The defining characteristic of a virus is that it’s a self-replicating program that has become installed on a computer without the user’s knowledge or consent. It’s a secret program that is typically hidden within the code of another known program. Once that program is activated, the virus begins infecting the computer by inserting its own replicating code within files. The bad news is that viruses spread quickly. The symptoms of a virus can range from a completely non-responsive computer to spontaneous crashing and corrupted data. A virus can also delete everything on the hard drive, use the email program to spread itself to other computers and display annoying messages on the screen.
How Does a Computer Become Infected with a Virus?
Computer viruses spread across the Internet through online downloads of infected audio and video files. Frequently, viruses are contained within illicit software that is downloaded from the Internet. Viruses also come disguised within e-mail attachments, via instant messaging messages, and are contained within images and digital greeting cards. This is why computer users should never open an email attachment unless it comes from a known source. Even then, be on guard. Recently, Computer Troubleshooters warned our clients to be aware of CryptoLocker, a virus that hijacks computers with a demand for $300 in ransom. This virus was delivered via e-mails that appeared to be from a reputable companies, versions include organizations such as UPS, FedEx, Australian Banks, the Australian Tax Office, & the Australian Federal Police. Even if you get a message that seems legitimate, proceed with caution.
What is the Cost of Computer Viruses?
Worldwide computer viruses cost billions of dollars’ worth of economic damage each year due to systems failure; wasted computer resources; identity theft; lost, stolen and corrupted data; increased labor and maintenance costs; in addition to untold amounts of anxiety, frustration and lost hours trying to remediate the damage. Internet usage continues to grow at a rapid rate, so a virus can start spreading globally within minutes. Plus with the advent of Smartphones, viruses now have more portals and can travel even further and faster.
What’s Your Protection Plan for Computer Viruses?
At home and at the office, continue to be vigilant about Internet downloads. Remember to be cautious about opening unknown e-mail attachments and always “Stop. Think. Connect.” Stay alert and be proactive by educating your employees and family members about appropriate security precautions. Additionally, keep your computer current with the latest updates and antivirus tools. Even with those safeguards, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that you are totally protected because there is no existing software that is able to catch every new viruses that pops us.
Computer Troubleshooters Can Help with Anti-Virus Protection
If you believe that your computer is infected with a virus, contact Computer Troubleshooters for assistance. Additionally, we strongly recommend an annual anti-virus protection assessment for your business and home computers. Computer Troubleshooters is happy to offer security recommendations and help you develop an anti-virus protection plan.
We all make personal New Year’s resolutions on January 1st. This year, why not commit to a few professional resolutions for your business, too? Computer Troubleshooters strongly encourages you to put a new technology plan at the top of that list for 2014. We are offering some technology planning guidelines that can help you form a strategy as you think about your business resolutions and professional goals for 2014.
Technology Solutions That Can Benefit Your Business in the New Year
Backup Services: Cloud services include data storage and backup systems plus access to software programs. Information stored on the cloud can be shared with other users anywhere and at any time. Data shows that 61% of surveyed small businesses are currently using some form of cloud-based service with another 5% planning to add cloud services by 2014. If your business is not currently using the cloud for backup service, it’s time to make a plan for switching over. The cloud can provide data storage plus a variety of services and benefits. Put the cloud at the top of your list.
Security Measures: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) research shows that over two-thirds of surveyed companies already have employees using their own computers on the job. The advantage is that BYOD makes it easier for employees to stay in constant contact and also work from home more productively. The efficiency of BYOD comes with the responsibility on the part of the business for training employees on security policies and standards. Safeguarding your network and ensuring the confidentiality of your data is critical to the security of your business.
Disaster Recovery: Within the past year natural and weather related disasters have raised the business community’s concerns over data recovery solutions. As you consider your disaster recovery plan, try to consider the consequences of losing all of your business’ data. Think of the lost revenue if your business is off-line for several days. This will remind you of how important it is to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. There are a variety of disaster recovery plans available. After the disaster occurs, it’s too late to wish you had kept that New Year’s resolution for a disaster recovery plan! Commit to a disaster recovery plan now.
Managed Services: Technology is a key component tied to the success of your business. It enables your business to stay efficient, productive and competitive in today’s marketplace. That is as long as your technology systems are up to date and functioning properly.
Have you considered a managed service plan? A managed service provider develops a customized IT service plan that will suit the budget and the needs of the client’s business. A service plan can help your business reduce IT operational costs while actually providing a higher level of IT service.
The need for a managed service provider has become increasingly important as business owners need to make informed and increasingly complex choices about technology solutions.
Prepare for 2014 – TODAY!
Computer Troubleshooters can work with you to assess your IT needs and develop a customized plan for your business. If your business needs to develop a backup system, move to cloud services or develop a Mobile App – we can help. Computer Troubleshooters is here to help your business stay productive, efficient and competitive in 2014. Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you.
Cloud Computing is the latest buzz word in IT, but what does it really mean for Small Business in Australia. What IT services will Small Business use? What IT support will they require to migrate and maintain their IT systems?
The reality is that cloud computing can come in a few different varieties and the chances are you are probably using one already.
- Software as a Service – this is where the software that you would use in your business are physically running in data centre and you are access via your internet connection. The advantage of this type of relationship is that the provider does all the system and application maintenance, you can generally access from anywhere on the internet and the systems are often designed for multiple users access. Most of the financial products such as MYOB, Quickbooks and Xero have this as an alternative.
- Infrastructure as a Service – With advances in virtualization technology it is now possible to have all of the business benefits of a server. With the physical server located in a data centre the provider is able to partition servers to multiple clients sharing the costs and allowing businesses to avoid the initial purchase & licencing costs, and share the running and upgrade costs such as electricity, and end of life replacement. If your current Hardware is more than 3 years old is may be worth checking this alternative.
- Platform as a Service – This is when a both the Software & Infrastructure can be provided in such a way that your business systems are located in the cloud. Increasingly software providers and integrators offer complete platform service that allows your business to outsource IT to a specialist who can run you business systems for you remotely. Microsoft Hosted Exchange email is a great example where an outsource provider can manage the administration & management of the system, while your business can enjoy enterprise grade IT delivery without the big business price!
- Hybrid Cloud – Hybrid is really a combination of your traditional on premise infrastructure with any of the 3 Cloud components mentioned above. It is not only regarded as migration strategy, but also a legitimate IT approach that allows you to cherry pick the suitable components for your business and integrate with your current infrastructure. Hybrid is a sensible alternative to gaining the benefits of cloud with the advantage of traditional on premise equipment.
Increasingly application development & Microsoft licencing is pushing all Small Business in Australia along the cloud path in one way or another. Our love of mobile and multiple devices also make the cloud approach more manageable. With soaring costs of electricity, & building of more of data centre capacity, the opportunity for Cloud services for Small Business is now a reality especially with additional benefits such as power redundancy, centralized backup, and core systems management.
Some of the downside of Cloud computing still exist, issues such as internet access speed, internet redundancy, data security, and data sovereignty (is it in Australia?) need to be understood and managed. An IT support provider such as Computer Troubleshooters have considerable experience in setting up a migration and system plans that maximises the benefits and minimises these risks.
Having an IT support expert like Computer Troubleshooters who interests are aligned with your business interests will ensure you get the best solutions at the right price. We would only suggest embarking on the Cloud journey with a guide who will help you along the way.
Talk to your local Computer Troubleshooters to see if your business would benefit from having more of it Business Systems in the cloud.
Cyber Crime continues to grow at an alarming rate worldwide and we are all potential victims unless we take a few precautions, here is a brief explanation of the risks & our prevention checklist.
What does “cyber environment” actually mean? We can interchange that term with others such as information technology, computer networks, Internet, digital, wired and virtual. It’s the non-physical terrain created by computer systems that is keeping us more interconnected than ever before. The average person now spends over five hours a day in online activities related to jobs, education, e-mail, mobile banking, health care, online shopping, travel, entertainment and social media communications. All of this digital convenience also presents a wide range of threats, dangers and responsibilities. Especially with more information shared via Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, we need to be increasingly vigilant about the security of our personal data.
The Dangers of Cyber Crimes
For individuals, the ever-present danger of cyber crimes includes hacker theft of confidential information, money, credit, banking and even medical information. This type of crime often results in personal identity theft. Other facets of cyber crime include online bullying and stalking that can affect your children. Malicious business scams are probably the most common. The threats to businesses include the loss of intellectual property, stolen client data or harm to the business’ computer network. The statistics on cyber crime are sobering. In 2013, online scams had increased by 355%. Cyber attacks on small businesses had increased by 18% over the past two years, with over 60% of these targeted businesses closing their doors within six months.
How to Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Business from Cyber Crime
In both our professional and private lives, each of us needs to assume responsibility for our online activities. These responsibilities involve a combination of equipment maintenance and software updates coupled with appropriate online behavior and a constant vigilance against criminal activities. We suggest that you start with this brief checklist:
- Maintain a Clean Machine by running the most recent operating system, security software, apps and web browser as a defense against online threats such as viruses and malware.
- Firewalls and Encryption should be in use by businesses to secure their internet connection. Educate employees about passwords and internet security guidelines.
- Spam and Phishing are hazards you can avoid. Don’t open e-mailed attachments from strangers and never click on unknown links contained within e-mails. Enable the filters on your e-mail programs to screen for spam. Beware of messages indicating upgrades, technical updates and special offers. These tactics are no longer limited to e-mail, so be vigilant when on social networking sites.
- Backup Your Computer and Mobile Device in the event that your equipment is physically stolen or lost. You might have lost the device, but the data is preserved by the backup system. The theft of smartphones has become a major crime. Be aware of where your smartphone is at all times. If your phone is missing, consider using locator apps and you can even use a remote wipe to clear information from your missing phone.
- Secure Your Device by activating the key-lock feature and using a password. A particularly complex password is suggested. Change your passwords periodically.
- Safeguard Your Personal Information when using unsecured, public connection by avoiding apps or websites that require your password. These are the types of connections accessed in airports, hotels, coffee shops and libraries. You might want to reconsider doing your online banking in an airport.
- Manage Your Social Network Privacy by reviewing the latest changes to privacy settings and be sure you are using these settings properly. Think twice about what you are posting on these sites – more people might see this than you think. Educate your children about social media behaviors. Hide your e-mail address from online profiles.
- Disposal of Older Computers is another source for the theft of data. Remember when you delete files, the information is not actually erased. The hard drive should be overwritten, degaussed or physically destroyed. Never dispose of a computer that hasn’t been secured. Your information could end up in the hands of a criminal.
Computer Troubleshooters Can Help Your Business with Cyber Security
Computer Troubleshooters can do an assessment of your business’ computer network. We can also provide recommendations for establishing a strategic approach to cyber security and assist you with a variety of solutions to reduce the risk of a security breach. We strongly encourage you to prepare your business for the threat of a cyber security crime, call your local Computer Troubleshooters office today for help and advice.
Who plans a funeral years and years in advance? Microsoft – that’s who!
Next year on April 8th, Microsoft officially ends Windows XP operating system’s life cycle. Even with over 600 million worldwide users, Microsoft will no longer sell or support Windows XP and Office 2003. There will be no automatic fixes, updates, free assisted online technical support and security updates. Unfortunately, many of the 600 million users either don’t know or have forgotten about the funeral. If you like it or not, it’s time to accept the death of XP and make a plan for the future.
“When XP goes out of support, it’ll be a lot like driving a car that you can’t buy parts for anymore,” said Jay Paulus, Microsoft’s Director of Windows Small Business Marketing.
If you are feeling like you missed the memo, apparently you are not alone. Microsoft’s customer surveys indicate that for enterprises with 5-250 employees, only 55% of them know about the end of XP and 70% have no idea what the change will entail or how it will impact their business!
Are you part of this group?
Upgrade or Your Business Might Face the Consequences of Security and Compliance Issues
You should take this situation seriously and find out immediately if any of your computers are still running XP. If the answer is yes, your business can be negatively impacted with some significant consequences. You should consider the following information as you make your Windows XP migration plan.
- Security Risks: The biggest problem is the security threat to your business. Without the security provided by an updated operating system, all of your business data and personal information are vulnerable to harmful viruses and spyware. There is a strong likelihood that malicious viruses will be unleashed on XP’s “zero day”, leaving undefended computers immobilized and viruses spreading quickly over the net to PCs still operating on XP. No business owner wants to think about a virus spreading through all of the computers that keep your business functioning.
- Compliance Issues: For many businesses, continuing to operate XP can result in compliance issues leading to the suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to securely maintain its systems and customer information. Compliance problems can place your business in legal peril and seriously damage your business’ reputation.
- Upgrade Expenses: As a business owner trying to control costs, do you think an upgrade will be too expensive? Think again. Some experts view a business that continues to run XP as a liability bordering on irresponsibility. The problems that are likely to arise can cost your business significantly more than the upgrade.
- Custom Support Available for a Price: For businesses in denial about the end of XP, support will actually remain available after April 8, 2014 but at the annual cost of $200 per device. Depending on the number of computers your business is using, it’s not much of a bargain. In reality, this is only a temporary, contingency plan.
Security and compliance are perhaps the two most critical issues facing the business community in regards to the end of the XP life cycle. Tim Rains, Microsoft’s Director of Trustworthy Computing, stated in Microsoft’s Security Blog, “After April 8, attackers will likely have more information about vulnerabilities in Windows XP than defenders.”
Do You Have an XP Migration Plan in Place?
Microsoft is fully invested in ending XP’s life cycle, so this is not a situation you can simply ignore. It’s happening on April 8, 2014, so mark your calendar. Most large organizations have been working on their migration plans for years. For small-medium sized business owners, the hour is getting late so we strongly encourage you to take action today!
Windows 7 and Windows 8 offer greater efficiency for enhanced productivity; more fully integrated WiFi and Bluetooth; improved user-interface; less down time and decreased labor costs for repairs. Again, Computer Troubleshooters encourages you to take this situation seriously and develop a migration plan immediately. Our experts can help you understand your XP migration options and work with you to develop an upgrade strategy for your business. Call your local Computer Troubleshooters office today before it’s too late.
Do You Have a Reliable and Tested Backup System in Place?
Imagine that you are working on some critical financial data at the office or perhaps sorting through family photographs on your computer at home. What would you do if the computer containing all of your business and/or personal information crashed and your entire “digital life” suddenly vanished? What would you do if your computer was lost in a fire, destroyed in a flood or stolen at the airport? Do these scenarios put you into an automatic panic thinking about your data? At least the information can be recovered because you have a reliable and tested backup solution in place. Right?
Backing up is something we all know we are supposed to do. Yet, sometimes we feel that we are simply too busy to spend the time researching various secure backup solutions or we feel that money should be budgeted in other areas. Many of us are still relying on old tapes, stacks of disks and USB flash drives as our backup plan. Even if you have an external hard drive backing up your computer, this system isn’t entirely foolproof. External hard drives can also crash or be stolen and all of your information will be gone. Once disaster strikes and all of your business or personal information have been wiped away, it’s too late to think about what you should have done. Trying to recover this information is impossible in most situations and extremely costly.
We strongly encourage you to be proactive and establish a backup plan immediately. Even if you already have a backup plan in place, you should reevaluate the solution as technology is evolving rapidly!
Backup Solutions Move Online
As ominous as the disaster scenarios above may sound, the good news is that backup options have become significantly more reliable and widely used. Technology and increased internet speeds have switched backup processes to on-line data storage. Here are a few informative pointers on how on-line backup systems work:
- The on-line backup provider will download their software to your computer.
- The application simply runs in the background backing up your data to the provider’s secure storage servers. It’s a simple automated system that backs up everything on your computer. Not just select files – everything.
- Most on-line backup providers encrypt stored data in a class known as “Bank Grade Security.” With this high-level of data encryption, there is no need to worry that your business or personal information can be seen by others.
- A user friendly interface enables you to set-up a backup schedule and to download and restore files once the files are backed up.
- Think of on-line backup as insurance for your data. If you lose any files, you retrieve the information via the on-line backup system. You pay a monthly fee to keep your data insured.
- On-line backup keeps your file structure intact. You can search for backup information just as you would find the information filed on your computer. It’s efficient and user friendly.
- On-line backups provide easy recovery if disaster happens to strike.
Why On-Line Backup is Your Best Solution
On-line backup is the best solution for ensuring the security of your business data and also personal information. On-line backup provides protection for your data in the event of a computer crash, theft or natural disaster while also delivering an elevated level of security. Within the realm of on-line backup solutions, there are a number of vendors and solutions to consider.
Contact your local Computer Troubleshooters to help you determine the best backup scenario for your business or home use. Be sure that your data is safe, secure and backed up.
The term “IT outsourcing” is generally defined as the use of a third-party service provider to deliver IT- enabled business processes. Outsourced IT support services typically involve sub-contracting responsibility for some of the following processes: application and software development; data storage via cloud services; web development and hosting; application support and management; database development and management; security; telecommunications; social media management; technical support and help desk services. Outsourced IT support enables both large corporations and small businesses to benefit from experienced IT guidance; remain up to date on technology; and have access to knowledgeable best practices. It’s simply not possible for a business owner to be an expert at everything. It’s a smart strategy to know when to hire an expert for certain functions that will enable you to keep your focus on moving your business forward.
Did You Know Utilizing Outsourced IT Support Can Benefit Your Business?
A business owner can contract for outsourced IT support services with a provider in the neighborhood, across town or on the other side of the country. Some IT service providers even come to the client’s site. Computer Troubleshooters already offers this type of skilled IT service to many of our clients. Whatever the particulars of the chosen outsourced IT arrangement might be, the practice is increasingly popular because there are many advantages to this service. Here’s a list of the top four benefits you can take advantage of by outsourcing your IT support services:
Benefit 1: Control costs by eliminating full time staff to manage IT functions. By outsourcing IT support responsibilities, you pay only for the specific tasks you need accomplished. You can also control your initial capital outlay for IT infrastructure
Benefit 2: Expertise and efficiency is immediately available by outsourcing your IT functions. IT service providers have a wide range of technical expertise and are focused on delivering efficient strategies and outcomes to their clients. As a business owner, you won’t need to worry about a full-time employee being trained, skilled and experienced for each new IT project. Simply call your IT service provider and a skilled professional is available to help.
Benefit 3: Stay competitive even if you don’t have a big budget for IT expenses. Large companies may have in-house tech professionals and cutting-edge technology, but smaller businesses generally don’t have the financial resources to support these services. Through economies of scale, outsourced IT support services provide access to the technology and professional expertise that you need for your business to stay competitive. By outsourcing your IT support services, a small business can function like a big business. This competitive edge will impress your clients.
Stay Ahead of the Competition with Outsourced IT Services
In today’s economy, the business world has become increasingly competitive. Business owners need to carefully manage every aspect of their business to stay a step ahead of their competitors. If trying to manage IT issues is distracting you from the core issues of your business, it’s probably time to consider an alternative. Outsourced IT support services are an affordable and efficient alternative to wasting your time on IT headaches.
Computer Troubleshooters can provide professional IT services to your business as needed, with no need to hire full time employees. Let the experts at Computer Troubleshooters work with you to assess your IT needs and develop a customized plan for your business. Computer Troubleshooters can manage your IT services and you can manage your business. Give your local Computer Troubleshooters office a call and one of our computer professionals will be happy to help you
If your technology stopped working, would your business stop functioning too? Is your business totally reliant on the information stored on your computer systems or could you continue to deliver 95% of your products and services and catch up on the computer work later? No matter which end of this scale your business is at, you will fare much better during a major technology outage if you plan in advance, before it happens. This month we take some of the mystery out of Business Continuity Planning.
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is the process of working out how your business will continue to function during a disaster. These threats to your business could include:
- Burst water pipes
- Flooding (severe rainfall)
- Influenza outbreak
- Hardware failure
- Software Failure
- Internet outage
- Severed phone cabling
- Security breach
- Damage by disgruntled employee
- Employee error
- … And many more!
BCP begins with identifying the possible risks and the impact they would have on your business. What functions would be affected if your main administration PC crashed? How long could you be without internet access? It’s important to evaluate the probability of these incidents occurring and the severity of their impact. This will help you to determine which incidents are the highest priorities to be addressed.
Next, you look at how these risks can be prevented, or the impact of them lessened. This could include copying data to a different site or having a laptop that has the same business-critical software applications as your administration PC.
Finally, you plan the actions that would be needed to help you respond when this incident occurs. Do you need to go to another site to get a copy of your data or bring the laptop in from home? Do you need to temporarily relocate to another site that does have internet access? Can you run a paper-based system until you can access your computers again? Think about who will be responsible for doing what and what resources they will need. This also needs to include any third-party suppliers of your business, like your local Computer Troubleshooter.
Your Business Continuity Plan should be examined, tested and maintained on a regular basis. This is to ensure it still reflects the changing needs of your business and also to make sure that the key parties within your business understand their roles in the process.
Whilst it may seem a little daunting, some forethought and planning will save you a lot of time, stress and money when things do go wrong. Talk to your local Computer Troubleshooters about the best way to keep your business running smoothly if you’re suddenly without your technology.