06Apr

How Does SAP Activate Methodology ensure faster Implementation?

Accelerated SAP Implementation Methodology (ASAP) was widely used as SAP Implementation methodology. But, with advent of S/4 HANA, SAP Activate methodology is introduced which ensure agile project implementation. ASAP used to include five project implementation phases i.e. Project Preparation, Business Blueprint, Realization, Final Preparation, and go-live & support; mapping existing business processes done in blueprint , and assessing fit-gap analysis used to take anywhere from few weeks to months in ASAP.

In SAP Activate, business blueprint phase is not conducted, instead fit-gap analysis is conducted and leveraging from SAP best practices and rapid deployment framework to assess the feature & functionality gap if any. In addition, Activate uses four project implementation phases instead of five in ASAP.

1.      Prepare:

In this phase, business users explore SAP best practices along with standard SAP Business Processes such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay or hire-to-retire in HR module. Sample scenario is executed in SAP Sandbox server for business users to evaluate how closely standard system meets their respective company’s process

2.      Explore:

Here the business & SAP implementation team agree on different configurable objects related to organizational structure & transaction data i.e. company code, plant and sales organization. A complete fit-gap exercise is carried to identify gaps that standard SAP is unable to offer. In this context, a fit-gap strategy is devised in which it’s decided if a system enhancement, a customized application or activating business add-in will address the gaps.

3.      Realize:

In this phase; agreed configurable objects in explore phase are configured. In addition, company-specific scenarios are created for testing business processes. All custom-developed objects are also tested in this phase.

4.      Deploy:

A detailed integration testing is done between various SAP modules/components to see data/information flow is complete & correct. User trainings are also conducted in this phase followed by cutover activities in which company transitions from legacy system to SAP.

Thus adopting above four implementation phases; project implementation timelines are greatly reduced.

06Apr

Preventing Supply Chain issues with EWS

Early Warning System (EWS) is built on SAP logistics information structure that allows you to monitor & receive alerts for specific configured exceptions. It can help various logistics departments personnel’s like production manager, procurement manager, material planner & Quality supervisor to optimize their business processes & have better decision making.

In real world; due to lack of coordination & availability of data at real time, numerous supply chain problems rises. Following and numerous other business processes can be avoided if simple functionality of EWS is implemented:

1.      Negative sales trend for particular group of products lasted for couple of weeks; however; senior management only got aware of this trend in quarterly sales meeting.

2.      The scrap quantity of high value product never exceeded more than 3% but yet it already crossed threshold value of 7%. Production manager only came to know about it long after the loss already incurred.

3.      Procurement of certain raw materials shows a decreasing trend but procurement manager was unware of this due to which he was unable to take advantage of falling price by ordering more.

4.      A vendor repeatedly misses delivering target which in turn effected inventory of raw material. Management only came to know of this development once significant production/procurement losses had already incurred. Timely information would help management find other source of supply.

Configuring EWS is fairly simple with absolute no involvement of ABAP; the first step is identification of key figures (Production Scrap, Delivery date etc.) you want to monitor for any deviation, monitoring of key figures can be configured as trend (positive or negative) or by threshold value. You can then group these exceptions based on color-coding, the last step is to define periodic analysis in which we set the frequency based on which the user will be informed if any deviation has occurred (E.g. Daily, weekly or monthly)

As you can determine it’s fairly easy functionality that can be implemented and high benefits can be reaped out of it.

For more details about our company services please visit (https://3qubeconsulting.com/)

23Dec

The 2020 Guide to Small Business Cloud Migration

3Qube Consulting IT Services in Houston.When your small business is preparing for a 2020 cloud migration, start with the premise that savings, efficiency, and adaptability aren’t attainable without proper planning. The foundation of the  migration process is about how best to navigate changes to how people, processes and technology work within your small business. That’s why the steps to a smooth cloud migration hold the key to understanding the deeper challenges of cloud migration.

Proper Migration Planning and Execution

This crucial planning process starts with having a detailed understanding of where you are now, which will determine where you want to go. That means understanding your infrastructure costs today to calculate and compare the costs of operation in the cloud tomorrow. That should start with an audit to give you a solid understanding of the network, storage and database capacity you need to run the applications you want to migrate to the cloud.

Cloud providers have simplified pricing structures so they can be more easily understood. Each of the major providers makes cloud cost calculators available to help in this process:

When it comes to evaluating which workloads are suitable for moving off-premises you must assess them based on the criteria of speed, sensitivity and scale. If an application that you rely on is changing fast, it may be a good candidate for cloud migration since the costs of keeping up with those changes can be lower through software as a service (SaaS).

2020 Cloud Migration Planning

Many small businesses get in over their head with unseen costs, time delays and downtime when they don’t start with less sensitive workload cloud migrations. It may be best to start with small-scale applications that will need to grow quickly. 3Qube Consulting IT Services in Houston Cloud consulting services give you the chance to control the entire process and adjust as you go without hurting the business in big ways.

The idea is to identify and carefully plan the migration process needs for those applications requiring low latency/high bandwidth and extreme interdependence with other workloads, applications and databases. Determining whether cloud migration targets can be part of a shallow migration (lift and shift) hybrid (some aspects in the cloud and some remain onsite or an all-in approach are highly dependent on business needs, timetables budgets. Having the proper strategy is crucial to regulating costs, identifying process challenges and meeting KPI outcomes.

 There are also fees attached to the migration process that you must understand and calculate before starting the process including:

  • Fees associated with transferring data to the provider’s systems
  • Potential bandwidth needs to accommodate cloud workload and application access
  • Costs associated with running and synchronizing on-premise and cloud data for system checks before cutover

Migration Support Benefits

Even when it seems like a cloud migration is very basic, your business may lack the necessary people and expertise to execute it on your own. By enlisting the support of an experienced provider of cloud migration services you gain access to strategic approach mapping, cloud architecture development and the expertise needed for the actual migration and post migration process. This support brings the following benefits:

  • Experience and knowledge from migrations across numerous businesses and sectors
  • The ability to quickly identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Support for determining what workloads will bring the biggest benefit from cloud migration Identifying any additional migration costs
  •  Putting tangible and intangible benefits into business terms that make sense for you

This can range from growth potential and the ability to deal with seasonal business spikes through cloud auto scaling measures and bandwidth planning needs. To remain competitive, small businesses will need to integrate cloud computing into their organizational and IT structures in 2020. One thing that is certain is that your business needs will change over the course of the coming years.

Cloud SaaS providers like Microsoft Office 365 are responding to those needs with new capabilities such as integrated artificial intelligence (AI). While this opens even more possibilities for your small business, you’ll likely benefit from skilled and experienced support to make 2020 cloud migration cost effective, efficient and beneficial.

Need help with cloud migration for your small business? Reach out to our team at 3Qube Consulting IT Services in Houston today for more information!

19Dec

5 Cybersecurity Risks Business Need to Consider for 2020

Although cyberthreats carry over and intensify every year, there are always new and evolving risks businesses must be prepared to repel. Many threats will be rooted in the most common cybersecurity challenges all businesses face with new branches designed to exploit operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) convergence ,IT Services in Houston. The latest 2020 cybersecurity risks are a blend of next generation and virtually new threats so here are 5 risks you need to consider in the new year.

1. Evolving Cloud Security Risks

Although SMBs are at different points in the journey, most have begun the move to the cloud through software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings that have increased access, versatility and management simplicity for their IT teams and workforce. But every advance can bring challenges with security as organizations misinterpret the shared responsibility model between cloud providers and businesses. This leads to businesses overlooking gaps in the security approach to their cloud infrastructure.

Office 365 instances are an example where many organizations are unprepared to address the changing threat landscape that attackers see as the gateway to the business’s most sensitive data. This has given rise to IP theft, data leakage, credential cracking, and O365-specific attacks.

The challenge is more than an offshoot of the lack of clarity regarding the shared security model between cloud providers and businesses.

A recent Barracuda Networks report showed 40 percent of IT organizations aren’t doing enough to protect Office 365 data, which was detailed in a Dark Reading article. These challenges will continue to evolve in 2020 and beyond with emerging O365 phishing and malware attacks that are the next generation of attacks like KnockKnock.

2. An Evolving Phishing Landscape

While phishing and whaling threats have been around for some time, attackers are constantly evolving their methods of attack. A cybersecurity risk that will surely grow in 2020 and beyond is known as voicemail phishing schemes. Often considered an offshoot of AI-driven deep fakes, these business email compromise (BEC) attacks occur via voicemail phishing scams. They are prevalent with business email systems where fake audio files are used to prompt a user to give up their passwords to retrieve what is in reality a fake voicemail message.

A recent McAfee report shows how these combination of phishing and whaling scams targeted organizations from many industries like finance, IT, retail, insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and others. A wide range of employees were targeted, from middle management to executive level staff.

There are also evolving phishing threats via SMS (smishing) and over the phone (vishing). While 2-factor and multi-factor authentication can provide an effective bulwark against these voicemail phishing scams, far too many businesses have yet to implement effective identity management across cloud services.

 3. Mobile Malware

As BYOD and mobility have become ubiquitous across SMBs mobile attacks have begun to evolve with 2020 cybersecurity risks now growing among the countless devices connected to the network. The potential for any mobile device accessing the network without being properly secured is a potential attack vector. Cyberattacks are poised to take advantage of this and will continue to evolve different means to do so in 2020 through malware. 

4. Reruns of Old CVEs

January 2020 saw the end of life for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 and many businesses are still using devices with this operating system. This will result in many new vulnerabilities which can only be overcome through patching or replacement of the OS.

These make for an easy asset attack vector for threat actors to be able to exploit old vulnerabilities and new threats that take advantage of a lack of patching. The major concern for businesses using this OS is many will find the cost of replacement difficult. Others will be dealing with small IT teams without enough time to undertake such a complex project.

5. Internet of Things (IoT) Threats

Businesses of all sizes are incorporating more IoT devise for monitoring tracking and collaboration just to name three areas. But IoT is still in the evolutionary stage so many devices are still not designed with security in mind. A recent report revealed a 55% hike in the number of IoT threats from 2018.

This will become a growing problem in 2020 and beyond as these devices are added to the business network. Every device connected to the network poses a potential vulnerability that bad actors will seek to exploit and gain a stronger foothold and access within the business.

As the year progresses, businesses will have to adapt to evolving forms of cyber attacks while preparing to defend new attack vectors that come with emerging technology. With endpoints constantly growing beyond the edge of the network, 2020 cybersecurity risks will require holistic security solutions that are innovative, resilient and adaptable. for more detail visitsIT Services in Houston

10Dec

6 Qualities to Look for in a Project Leadership Partner

While every small business understands they must keep up with information technology to stay competitive in the digital age, how best to do that can be more elusive. While project management best practices are the foundation of technology implementation success, few small businesses have the in-house IT, IT Services in Houston and project leadership expertise. In fact, only 58 percent of organizations fully understand the value of project management according to the latest Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Survey.

Your small business is focused on business relevance and return on investment (ROI) of information technology projects. While you may be considering outside expert IT project support, it’s all about understanding what to look for in a partner. Here are six qualities to look for in a project leadership partner as you begin your journey.

1. A Focus on ROI 

One of the most important qualities to look for in a project leadership partnership is a focus on ROI. That translates to an ability to quickly assess the current state of your business technology and how you use it. This approach enables your partner to determine what technology upgrades, management, or monitoring would bring the biggest operational and bottom-line return.

2. Strong Technology Provider Relationships

While some manufacturers like Microsoft are very important across nearly all small businesses, the right partner takes a generally agnostic view of technology manufacturers. They are then in the best position to review, vet, and choose the best solutions to solve real-world business problems in a cost-effective way.

The right partner will also develop strong technology provider relationships across all product and system categories geared to the needs of businesses like yours. They base this on deep experience across countless successful projects and business needs.

3. Experience, Certifications, and On-going Training

It’s a given that any partner you consider would have deep experience in common systems and technology. But they should also be highly experienced with the latest technologies and have the certifications to back it up.

They show this by bringing a mix of IT specialists and generalists that are cross trained in different systems, platforms, hardware and software. You want to make sure your partner brings the business-critical competencies based on your IT infrastructure today and what you will need tomorrow.

4. Strong IT Strategy Approach 

Regardless of the size of your business, every system and piece of hardware and software must be the most efficient that it can be. It must also fit into a holistic technology approach focused on business outcomes and processes. The right partner can make these assessments because they are driven by a focus on IT strategy development. This ensures they will integrate any new technologies at the right time and in the right way to fulfill the present and future needs of the business. 

5. Data Security Expertise

Every small business must have strong data security in the age of growing breaches and cyber threats. This need encompasses every technology you use and every part of your business. The right partner should make security a part of every decision they make in conjunction with your business.

They show this by bringing data security expertise and the ability to craft a security plan to fit your needs and your budget. The right approach should encompass everything from regulatory compliance, and hosted backup to patch management, hardware/software life cycle and emerging best practices for cloud and network security.

6. Change Management Expertise 

Any IT Services in Houston implementation or project will mean changes to how people, processes, and technology interact to fulfill business needs. The right project leadership partner understands how to avoid change management challenges. This ultimately comes down to knowing how to work with leadership and the workforce across departments and disciplines. The result is an ability to ensure a smooth transition to new and potentially different processes or technologies.

 To accomplish this, they will provide training and education. They also understand that your workforce is the best source for knowing the most about what needs to be done and the source of process pain points. The right partner will start each project by getting input from the staff to make them part of the process of change and get their buy-in. This will help to shape everything from technology maintenance and upgrades to new implementations today and tomorrow. 

This is only the beginning of what the ideal project leadership partner brings to the table for your small business. The goal is to start with these six qualities as the foundation of what to look for in terms of project leadership services. They will naturally lead you to other important qualities in a partner that best positions every project for success as the business grows and changes. For more info Visit 3Qube Consultancy IT Services in Houston

02Dec

Everything You Need to Know About Identity Management

Identity management is at the heart of every business’s ability to be productive and secure in the digital age where data breaches are escalating an evolving. Almost two-thirds of organizations believe they’ve had a breach due to employee access according to the Beyond Trust 2019 Privileged Access Threat Report.For more visit IT Services in Houston

This shows the importance of identity access management (IAM) for users across business assets like applications databases, communication and collaboration tools, the network and cloud assets. This includes even third-party vendors and every employee from the moment of onboarding through permission changes in role needs to when they leave the company.

IAM systems give administrators the ability to change user roles and permissions as needed while enforcing policies going forward. This includes the ability to simplify reporting and compliance auditing for any government regulations.

The tools and software supporting identity management must be flexible and robust to meet complex access needs for network systems, applications and the cloud. This can range from  Microsoft SharePoint and the wireless network to Office 365, ERP and CRM systems. Administrators need a simple, flexible, and scalable way to manage different user access privileges including:

  • On-site and branch office employees
  • Third party, off-site contractors
  • Hybrid compute environments (on-premise computing, software as a service (SaaS) applications and BYOD users)

 The Importance of Identity Management

Lost or stolen passwords can provide bad actors with the means to gain access to the network and data. Identity management is the first line of defense against cyberattacks from ransomware, hacking, phishing schemes, and other malware attacks.

Even small businesses struggle with providing access to only the systems that individual users need to do their jobs. That’s why IAM systems must accommodate consistent access rules and polices across an organization while enabling administrators to assign specific access permissions for each employee. By having central management capabilities, administrators have transparent control and flexibility over identity management.

Regulatory compliance

Nearly every small business has regulatory compliance needs that they must meet for personally identifiable information (PII) data of its customers. That can translate to electronic personal health information (ePHI) or payment card industry compliance (PCI).

Identity Management Synchronization

Identity management is one of several common cybersecurity challenges for small businesses and enterprises. Success in this area requires forethought and collaboration across human resources, IT, security and other departments. 

Identity information often comes from multiple repositories, such as Microsoft Active Directory (AD). Microsoft developed AD as a user-identity directory service for Windows domain networks, so it requires a cohesive configuration and management strategy.

An identity management system must be able to synchronize the user identity information across a variety of systems and applications while providing administrators with a single source of truth. But not all users need or should have the same access, which has given rise to different methods and tools for identity management.

Identity Management Methods

There are several methods for identity management that are both necessary and prevalent to aces security and operation. These are just a few of the most important methods.

Risk-based authentication

This system analyzes each login by looking at the device, location, and network origin and applies different levels of strictness based on the current risk profile. The higher the risk, the more restrictive the authentication process becomes for a user.For more visit IT Services in Houston

Context-aware network access control

This policy-based method looks at the current context of a user’s access request. That may mean blocking user access requests that come from an IP address that hasn’t been identified and authorized as safe (whitelisted).For more visit IT Services in Houston

Federated identity management

Federated identity management lets you share digital IDs with trusted partners. It’s an authentication-sharing mechanism that allows users to employ the same username, password or other ID to gain access to more than one network.For more visit IT Services in Houston

Identity Management Tools

An identity access management system is often comprised of one or more tools that fulfill their function via software or are code-based protocols that enable functionality.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

SSO enables users to carry over their identity authentication status from one network, website or app to another using the same access credentials.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

This open standards-based protocol is used for managing and accessing a distributed directory service, such as Microsoft Active Directory.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

 MFA goes beyond usernames and passwords to add additional authentication levels. More that 70 percent of businesses today are using as many as four authentication methods according to the Okta 2019 Business at Work Report.

Conclusion

Identity management requires a management strategy to decide on the right tools, processes and rules, which can be a time consuming and complex process. Many small businesses lack the IT support or the security expertise to create, implement and test that strategy to ensure it’s truly secure. 

The small IT budgets for many businesses requires identity management solutions and support that are cost effective but still provide the latest tools, approaches and expertise. By working with the right identity management partner, small businesses can create and implement scalable, flexible and comprehensive IAM strategies. This helps them to keep systems, applications, and data safe while providing the user access needed for optimum business productivity.For more visit IT Services in Houston

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.

31Oct

How Your Business Can Better Prepare for Change Management Challenges

Change management is one of the most written about and least understood aspects of digital transformation for enterprises and small businesses. While different size businesses face the same challenges, small businesses are likely to see bigger rewards with a technology implementation that often sits at the heart of the need for change management.For more details please visit IT Services in Houston.

Although this process seems easy on paper, it’s more of a challenge in practice with less than 50 percent of initiatives meeting outcomes. Planning and execution may appear to be the biggest challenge to change management success. But a closer look reveals it’s always rooted in the lack of employee acceptance. That may not be the easiest thing to turn around for enterprises, but small businesses are often in the best position to empower its people to be the drivers of successful change management.

How People Drive Successful Change Management

According to a Gartner survey of over 6,500 employees, the best organizations rely on their workforce rather than executives to lead change. By putting people at the center of the initiative, your business can be better prepared for change management challenges and ensure successful outcomes.

The right approach is to look at the major roadblocks through the lens of preparing and involving people early and often. This is the surest way to avoid challenges before they become major issues in implementing change in the workplace. By building the process on a foundation of detailed planning, you can minimize problems and navigate unexpected events common to digital transformation.

Lack of Proper Planning for Digital Transformation

Technology like CMS, ERP, Office 365 and others go to the heart of how your workforce delivers positive outcomes and productivity through processes. Proper planning starts with a clear roadmap of current-state workflows to drive the technology implementation and rollout strategy.

This requires a plan for existing environment evaluation and optimization focused on the needs and experiences of the workforce. By involving the people doing the work every day you build the framework for plan development that includes:

  • How new technology and processes will integrate with legacy technology and established workflows

  • Identifying and training internal change management champions to promote the new technology, answer questions, and assist with problems

  • Developing training programs ahead of implementation

Creating exploration teams made up of the people doing the work enables you to map processes and uncover pain points while also forming the roadmap for new workflows. By involving the workforce at all stages of planning and implementation, you can minimize the challenge of resistance to change.

Resistance to Change

It’s natural for most human beings to resist change based on the fear of the unknown. Workflows become engrained over time. Workaround that make up for the limitations of legacy systems are also hard to give up. Without knowing how it will change our workday and responsibilities, our resistance to change becomes the biggest challenge to the business.

Overcoming these hurdles requires being transparent by explaining why and how the change will happen along with the benefits that will be shared by the workforce on an individual level. To accomplish this, you should focus on clear cross-communication using all available channels to make it possible for conversations that value everyone’s input, perspectives, concerns, and ideas.

Failing to Communicate

Success of change management hinges on communication with the workforce, which avoids uncertainty and cultivates buy-in and ownership. Management must center the experiences, knowledge, and beliefs of everyone impacted by the change in the following ways:

  • Develop a communications plan for rollout in the months leading up to the actual change and the months of post implementation

  • Involve all employees as much as possible through meetings or brainstorming sessions to help during the planning, implementation, rollout, and adjustment phases

  • Make the change management process a conversation with the workforce rather than a lecture

  • Create a work environment where employees feel they are driving the change

That means involving each employee in meaningful decisions about their work on a process and departmental level. Many things can go wrong in a change management process, so having experienced support can mean the difference between success and failure.See more at IT Services in Houston

The Merits of Skilled Technology and Change Management Support

It’s expected that everyone within an organization will focus on the business and core competencies. The challenge is this structure leaves little room or experience for dealing with the complexities of digital transformation through change management.For more details please visit IT Services in Houston

Small businesses often lack the IT and change management experience to make all this possible on their own. The ideal answer often lies in having a skilled technology and change management support partner. Their goal is to help the business prepare for digital transformation via project leadership services.Also for more details please check IT Services in Houston

The right support partner brings a combination of deep experience with many transformations coupled with a fresh viewpoint and workforce engagement. This enables them to understand the limits of current-state processes and uncover the needs of the workforce. By engaging the people in all phases of the process, they can drive lasting change that positions the business for future growth and efficiency.

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