28Aug

Why Your Business Needs an IT Infrastructure Assessment Now

Like most business leaders, you understand that your IT infrastructure must be ready to help you compete, grow, and keep your data secure in the digital age. That’s why nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of SMBs indicate technology is a primary factor in pursuing their business objectives, according to a recent CompTIA survey.For more please visit IT Services in Houston.

This shows why businesses place their IT infrastructure second only to their workforce in achieving those goals. But to know where you’re going, you must know where you’re at, which starts with an IT infrastructure assessment.

What is an IT Infrastructure Assessment?

The goal of an IT assessment is to show what technology, systems, and processes are hampering efficient business operations, increased cybersecurity, and business growth. The IT provider assesses all areas where services are being deployed, including:

  • Hardware
  • Operating Systems
  • Network
  • Servers
  • Applications & Application portfolio assessment
  • Client Devices
  • Legacy Systems Lifecycle Assessment 

The engine that runs your business is fueled by the way people, processes, and technology come together in a holistic way. That’s why an effective IT assessment starts with a deeper understanding of how your business operates using technology and systems to do the following:

  • Align IT with core business goals
  • Identify and eliminate business process pain points
  • Affirm business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans and systems
  • Meet any applicable regulatory compliance measures within the IT infrastructure (PCI-DSS, GLBA, GDPR, HIPAA, SOX FISMA, etc.)

While these points show that an IT infrastructure assessment provides a granular view into how IT is or isn’t working to keep data secure it may still be a little vague for many business leaders. If you’re an IT manager making the case for such an assessment, you must provide reasons that speak to the business leader and show why you need an IT infrastructure assessment.

Why Do You Need an IT Infrastructure Assessment?

For most SMBs, the resulting costs of IT infrastructure security vulnerabilities and operational downtime are viewed as remote possibilities until it happens. The truth is there are plenty of things happening daily that will have long-term bottom line consequences such as:

  • Poor software update and patch management
  • Poor onsite, offsite and cloud data management 
  • Security vulnerabilities that invite data breaches via spyware, phishing attacks, malware or worse

These things and a laundry list of other security vulnerabilities make small businesses especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. In fact, about 43 percent of the more than 41,000 cyberattacks identified in Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report targeted small businesses. That’s why IT infrastructure assessments are important to uncovering these vulnerabilities that can cost your business thousands or even millions of dollars.

Collectively looking at these systems and how they are used by your employees are critical to developing a plan to mitigate these challenges as part of an ongoing IT strategy. The first challenge to an IT assessment is that many businesses rely on part-time IT personnel. 

While they may be highly skilled IT generalists, they are often at the mercy of time constraints, limited viewpoints into the business operations and a lack of expertise needed to make such an assessment. Internal IT managers must deal with limited staff and a full plate of business daily IT needs. 

Both types of businesses need expert support capable of providing a 360-degree view of all technology, systems and processes. That means a custom IT solutions provider that can deliver a detailed IT Infrastructure assessment and resulting IT strategy planning. Please go on to IT Services in Houston for more details.

By taking a proactive rather than reactive approach, your business can ensure technology best serves all operational and security needs. The goal is to know where you’re at in terms of IT needs. With that knowledge and support, you can cost effectively plan and implement the right changes at the right time. This brings your business real ROI while positioning it for operational stability, security, and growth in the digital age.Please Visit IT Services in Houston.for Assistance 

14Aug

How to Find the Right Managed IT Services Partner for Your Small Business

Small businesses understand technology solutions are vital to business process efficiency and cybersecurity that will define their success in the digital age. The challenge comes in finding the right managed IT services partner to help choose, implement and manage those solutions. Businesses must start the process with an understanding of what these providers should deliver.For more assistance please visit IT Services in Houston.

Leading managed services providers (MSP) consult, implement, maintain and monitor a company’s IT infrastructure in a cost-effective way. Their goal is to enable the business to concentrate on core capabilities while they deliver:

  • Network management and Security
  • Support for desktops, servers, and other hardware
  • Software/hardware implementation, patch management and updates
  • Cloud services management
  • Helpdesk support
  • Outsourced CIOs
  • Disaster recovery , back-up and cybersecurity strategy 

There is no one-size-fits-all for IT since every business’s needs are different. This truth makes it important to look for a provider with the following attributes:

  • Expertise in your business sector and a clear understanding of the pain points and how to resolve them
  • A track record in working with your specific software, devices, operating systems, antivirus tools and email host.
  • An ability to explain the technology in business terms rather than buzzwords 
  • Certifications in the right hardware, software and vendor platforms used by your business 
  • Broad vendor partnerships showing proven and forward-thinking technology approaches
  • Service flexibility with monthly or quarterly check-ins, clear agendas, and consulting on business IT and operational technology (OT) needs for future implementations
  • 24/7/365 support, fast emergency response times and technicians for on-site maintenance/troubleshooting support
  • Remote network and IT system monitoring and management capabilities

True IT expertise is defined by an ability to develop and maintain networks, compute devices, applications, cloud services, and security strategies that work holistically. This approach is crucial to driving efficient processes and operations that position the business for growth. 

Managed IT Services for SMB Growth and Efficiency 

According to the 2019 SME Pulse Report from Oxford Economics, over 50 percent of small businesses surveyed have plans for investment in cloud platforms, workforce productivity tools and more productive communications systems among others. Support in developing and implementing a cloud strategy can lead to:

  • Lower Opex and Capex
  • Increased security
  • Operational flexibility and scalability
  • Workforce collaboration through mobility

Businesses can get these and other benefits from implementing a software-as-a-service 

(SaaS) platform like Office 365, migrating workloads and applications to the cloud, and disaster recovery/backup strategies. Attaining those benefits and smoothly implementing them requires an experienced cloud consulting and migration services provider. 

The reality in the real business world is IT infrastructure and the cloud are only as good as the security underpinning them, so managed IT services providers must excel at security strategies.

Managed IT Services for SMB Security

More than half (53 percent) of SMBs have experienced a breach according to the Cisco Cybersecurity Report. Something as simple as a lack of regular patch management or antivirus software updates can provide openings for cyberattacks that stop business processes and lead to business downtime.Visit IT Services in Houston for managed IT Services for SMB Security.

This statistic among many others shows why staying one step ahead of evolving cybersecurity threats is vital to business continuity. That’s why a managed IT services provider must be able to show the tools, processes and systems capable of proactively helping them stay on top of threats, current security trends, and privacy regulations. With IT budgets much smaller than the typical enterprise, small businesses must do more with less. The ideal managed IT services provider will deliver the expertise, personnel and technology vendor relationships that will position a business to meet changing needs. By providing those services in a flexible, scalable and cost-effective way, small businesses have the support they need to compete today and tomorrow. For more details please visit IT Services in Houston.