22Nov

5 Reasons Your Business Should Have Hosted Backup in Place

Hosted Backup that looks after the entire backup process of a small business relieves the pressure of existing in a threat-heavy business landscape where downtime can be crippling.For More Visit IT Services in Houston

According to a National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) small business survey, 41 percent of businesses back up their business data daily while 21 percent do it multiple times per day. Those figures are still far too low which means it leaves many of these businesses are left with no comprehensive recovery strategy. 

But beyond giving business owners a solution to outages and disasters, backup and disaster recovery services provide many more benefits to organizations. Here are 5 reasons your business should have hosted backup in place.

#1. Avoid Downtime and Data Loss

While your workforce is the number one resource contributing to business success, your data is a close second. The work produced through application access cuts across every aspect of the business from sales and marketing to HR, engineering, customer service, accounting and more. The downtime that could come from losing access to this data or losing it all together could lead to loss of business, clients, and even legal complications among others.

While the answer is to have a data backup system in place, it’s imperative to have an offsite backup as well to be secure from downtime. With hosted backup, the hosting provider maintains the backup equipment and monitors the backup process. They have the expertise and systems to ensure that the data is faithfully backed up day after day and can be restored when needed.

#2. Improved Speed of Data Recovery

Having a disaster recovery plan in place with the ability to get your small business back up and running fast can have far-reaching consequences for the business as we’ve discussed. The right hosted backup provider can support nearly instant restoration of the data and files regardless of the location. They can help you to determine how much data you can afford to lose between backup points (Recovery Point Objective) and the duration of time the business can be down before it negatively impacts the business. This varies based on the business needs and the sector.For more details please visit IT Services in Houston

#3. Maximize Workforce Productivity and the Bottom Line

Downtime means your workforce cannot work, and that means a loss of clients, customers and income. Having 24/7 backup and support can ensure that business operations can remain virtually uninterrupted so that productivity, communication and customer service are unaffected.For more details please visit IT Services in Houston

#4. Ensure Data Security at Rest and In Transit

It’s not safe to leave on-site backups without encryption. The process of backing up data to the cloud can be even more problematic without the best encryption. In a cloud backup solution, the hosted backup provider handles the encryption of data at rest and in transit while making sure that you are the only one with the encryption key that provides access to that data. This can be vital for every business but is particularly important for small businesses with regulatory compliance considerations that require the protection of digital data governed by HIPAA, SOX or PCI.

#5. Better Use of IT Resources

On-site backup storage has finite space and increasing that storage comes at a cost. There are maintenance and monitoring needs with on-site backup which can strain IT resources from personnel to budget. Hosted backup brings the expertise, technology and scalable cloud storage They can set up, monitor and make sure that only the new data is backed up every day, which minimizes storage costs and the need for IT support for monitoring.

Backing up data to a cloud-hosted environment can accommodate any small business’s needs whether they are simple or complex. Knowing where and how to build on the benefits of the cloud that go beyond hosted backup requires a sound cloud strategy. The right cloud consulting services partner can help your small business to plot your strategy for today and tomorrow’s growth, security and disaster recovery in the digital era.

19Nov

What to Consider When Assessing Your Technology Stack

If you’re a small business owner, it’s unlikely that you think in terms of a technology stack. But this is essentially a group of technologies that are interdependent and help accomplish specific tasks across the business process spectrum. To meet the business demands in the digital age today and tomorrow, it’s vital for businesses to assess their technology stack to see where they are and where they need to go.For more details please visit IT Services in Houston

Rather than looking at hardware and software separately, small businesses should consider them more holistically. This would include the network, computing, the cloud, mobility, analytics and communication/web access. These technologies collectively drive processes, strategy and revenue.

The goal of assessing the technology stack is to uncover challenges to improving processes, strategies and revenue. This enables you to evaluate and optimize your technology and plan technology stack modifications for future growth. To help plot that course, here are five things you should consider when assessing your technology stack.

1. Are Business Processes and Technology Secure and Efficient? 

You understand that applications, networked desktops, wireless access points, laptops, switches, routers and servers broadly enable business processes. The first question you should be asking to assess them is if they are secure and operating efficiently. For instance, do you have safeguards in place to avoid or overcome the following challenges: 

  •     Network or connectivity outages
  •     Server crashes because of security intrusions or inadequate compute/processing
  •     Protocols for lost or corrupted data
  •     Loss of application or data access

Assessing the security and efficiency of the broader technology stack requires the ability to maintain, monitor, and improve:

  • Computing
  • Firewalls and encryption
  • Application services
  • Physical network access and network services
  • User/client access to this infrastructure
  • Web servers
  • Email
  • Critical databases, and more

 Just because your technology stack works, doesn’t mean it works efficiently and is secure. It takes a detailed assessment of the components within the technology stack and an ability to assess it holistically to uncover friction and security points. The evidence of these challenges is often visible in slow and costly processes. 

2. Are Legacy Business Technology Processes Slow and Costly?

Optimum performance and security with desktops, laptops and even on-site software programs are a short three to four years even with patches. They soon become vulnerable to process slowdowns, cyber attack, integration problems and more. This makes it imperative to know the following as part of the assessment process:

  • Age of your software and hardware
  • Repair, update, patch and replacement history

Gauging staff response on whether computers and applications are slow and cumbersome with constant crashes and failure to perform provides valuable insights. 

3. Are Applications and Network Access mobile, Flexible and Agile for Productivity?

Every business operates in a mobile world where the workforce needs productive and collaborative ability from anywhere. If your workforce has difficulty accessing the network, applications and lacks the access to remote desktops, it limits their ability to be productive.

If you don’t have secure remote access to business process software, the network and databases your limiting productivity, collaboration, business growth, and the bottom line.

4. Are Technology Operational, Maintenance, and Support Costs Getting Higher? 

Aspects of legacy desktops, servers, switches and software bring more maintenance and cost problems than they are worth. That’s why you should consider how much you’re spending to maintain, fix and replace these parts of the technology stack. This helps you to gauge whether there might be a more cost-effective and efficient path.For more details please visit IT Services in Houston

 Businesses spend 60 to 85 percent of their IT budgets on maintaining legacy hardware and applications that can’t meet current business needs. It may be possible to lower those costs through use of the cloud stack, technology planning, network monitoring and other solutions. 

5. What is Our Plan in the Event of Network Downtime?

Your network is made up of several components, so If it goes down, you lose access to connected desktops and servers, databases, applications, and more. Every business needs comprehensive backup and disaster recovery that provides:

  •     Off-site cloud storage of data for recovery
  •     Adequate off-site / cloud protection and plans for servers and applications
  •     Clear mapping of network connection points
  •     Remote access and communications protocols

There are certainly more considerations when assessing your technology stack. The bottom line is that you are in the best position to optimize its performance in real world business terms with a managed services provider (MSP partner). They can provide the detailed IT infrastructure assessment and managed services to find and remedy hidden problems that affect business operations. By moving to a proactive rather than a reactive stance with your technology stack, your business can lower costs, while increasing efficiency, productivity and business growth for today and tomorrow.For More Details IT Services in Houston

12Nov

5 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Small Business IT

As a Houston business owner, your focus must stay on the business. But you can never overlook the health of your IT infrastructure sitting at the heart of the business. No matter the size of your business or your IT support, your business health heavily depends on the health of your technology infrastructure. For more details please visit IT Services in Houston

The IT Industry marketplace and community education source known as Spiceworks shows where the challenges are for businesses when it comes to IT. According to their 2020 State of IT: Industry Trends Survey of more than one thousand IT buyers, 50 percent say the biggest challenge businesses face is keeping IT infrastructure up to date. The same percentage see balancing IT tasks and improvement projects as an equal challenge.For Further information please visit IT Services in Houston

By outsourcing your small business IT to an experienced Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) your small business can overcome these and other challenges. These tangible benefits are not abstract. They improve your businesses operations in real ways that strengthen the bottom line while lowering costs. Here are just five of the main reasons to outsource your small business IT. 

1. Lack of full-time IT Support

It’s likely your small business doesn’t have the IT budget for full-time IT staff or lacks the ability to higher as many staffers as you need. By partnering with an outsourced MSP, you get access to an expert IT team, services, and tools to support your internal IT or provide complete IT services. This comes at a fraction of the costs of even one full time IT staffer while lowering costs in many other ways.

2. Lower Predictable Costs

Most small businesses have small IT budgets and hope for the best when it comes to unexpected expenses. Having an MSP for small business IT mitigates the heavy cost of an emergency IT project or a downed network, which can wipe out a yearly IT budget.

 Managed Services work proactively rather than reactively to monitor, predict and prevent technology emergencies that stop your business cold. This approach helps change needed technology from costly capital expenses to manageable operational expenses. Options such as flat rate fees for routine maintenance and IT assessments can lower costs by finding problems before they lead to downtime. This support can reveal simple fixes and cost-effective new technology implementations that improve business operations, processes, and the bottom line. 

3. Eliminate Expensive Downtime

While an hour of downtime can cost your business thousands of dollars, you may not know how much you’re losing because of:

  • Inefficient network or server processes
  • Slow computers
  • Application patches
  • Malware, viruses and other cyberthreats

These all work to slow down your workforce in ways that costs you incrementally and often imperceptibly. You don’t immediately see the death from a thousand cuts leading to big losses. It’s only when you look at the accumulation of the minutes of downtime over dozens or hundreds of workers 365 days a year because of slow or inefficient technology processes. 

The right MSP can provide proactive IT services to prevent downtime in all its seen and unseen forms slowly draining your business of productivity and profits. Those services include vital IT infrastructure assessments, security patch management, and system monitoring support. This hardens your network against hackers (inside and out) and protects your business’ bottom line.

4. Access to Affordable New Technology That Improves Your Business

Most small and mid-market businesses have small or no internal IT team, so they lack the technology vendor relationships needed for vital technologies at the best price. The right MSP brings a host of strong vendor relationships with leading providers. Because of their economy of scale with a client base, they can get technologies at the best prices.

They also have invested in the training and accreditation on these systems across their staff. This helps your small business leverage technologies that make you more competitive, efficient and scalable while being prepared to open new lines of business. They also bring the ability to consult on technology decisions based on real-world business needs. The goal is to help you make the right choice, implement it quickly, and optimize the operation of your business in ways that matter to you.For more please visit IT Services in Houston.

5. Access to an Experienced and Skilled IT Team

Most small business on-site or internal IT support are IT generalists that may not have the expertise in broader technologies including:

There are a host of other technologies driving the modern business in the digital age. Outsourcing your small business IT brings skilled experts in digital technologies that can:

  • Transform your business processes
  • Lower costs
  • Improve productivity

These are just several of the many reasons why you should outsource your small business IT to an MSP expert team. Every aspect of your IT infrastructure plays a critical role in the competitiveness of your business and its bottom line. While the benefits that come with outsourcing small business IT are clear, achieving these results depends on choosing the right MSP. To learn more about choosing the right IT Services in  Houston, follow this link.