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Top 5 IT Mistake Small Companies Make

9/11/2012
Long, long ago, small businesses did not have to worry about being computer experts or technically savvy – it was just about business. Not exactly the same scenario in 2012, as organizations realize that in order to compete, they must be smart about technology and take precautions in avoiding common IT security and data protection problems.   That being said, while most companies recognize the necessitude of securing important business data, many companies today continue to making costly missteps.   Let’s explore five all-too-common technical blunders, so you can avoid them and save yourself a lot of time and money....Read more...

How IT Support Can Help Startup Companies

9/7/2012
Startup companies are balls of emotion.   There is nothing crazier than being part of an exciting startup.   You and a few colleagues are gathered in a basement or in a warehouse somewhere and you’re creating something special. You have an idea and you work each day to make sure you can bring the idea to the light of day so you can become the next big startup in the business world.   It’s an exciting time when the startup is just getting going, but not everything is exciting. There is constantly a worry over money. This is the...Read more...

Don’t Let Spam Overrun Your Small Business

9/6/2012
Spam is a huge issue for everyone.   It’s the nature of the Internet beast that spam will always be everywhere.   Spammers are the best at what they do. They infiltrate computers and software and spread throughout networks collecting information they can use for illegal profit and gain. It’s scary to think about how good these folks are at getting this information.   For small businesses the issue of spam is big. Every company is at risk of being overwhelmed with spam, but for small businesses there is likely more of a risk. Without the assistance of a large...Read more...

Do You Need a Custom IT Solution or a Template Solution?

8/15/2012
For growing business there is always the issue of cost. As a successful business owner you already realize that it takes smart decisions to grow the company. A decision many companies face multiple times in their lifetimes is dealing with template solutions versus custom solutions. We like to believe that our company is unique and different from other companies, but we also want to fit into a template solution because they are cheaper and easier to implement.   When it comes to managing IT for the business the question of customer versus template is important. The cost savings of a...Read more...

Make Your Website and Business PCI Compliant

7/27/2012
Yesterday we mentioned the PCI DSS in our post about order processing and information security. Today we’re going to go into more depth on the PCI compliance topic because it’s important for any business that process payments electronically.   It’s likely that if you’re reading this article you have a need to be PCI compliant. You’ve probably already been involved in making sure your business is compliant on a variety of issues that deal with the information you process as part of doing business.   For this article we’re going to go over the basics of being PCI compliant. These...Read more...

How to Handle Order Processing and Information Security

7/26/2012
Are you an e-commerce business?   Most businesses that sell products or services are in the e-commerce business today. Many consumers are using the Internet to make purchases. E-commerce is not necessary for all businesses, but if your target customer is using the Internet it can make sense to have an e-commerce option.   The issue all e-commerce companies have is dealing with order processing and information security. There are always stories in the news about companies having important transactional information compromised. These stories are scary for consumers and make them shy away from doing business with a company that...Read more...

How to Deal with Email Security Issues

7/23/2012
Email is used by nearly everyone that uses the Internet.   For businesses, email remains an important communication channel. There is no sign of email usage slowing either. People are using email more than ever and that includes for business purposes.   The issue for business owners is email security. There are a few issues that are priority concerning email security. Here are some thoughts on each of them so you know how to mitigate the risk at your company.   Incoming Spam   The first thing people think about when it comes to email security is inbound spam. Every...Read more...

Five Current Issues with In-House IT Management

7/20/2012
Small businesses have a choice to make as they grow.   Should you manage your IT in-house or outsource?   It’s a difficult question. The goal is to optimize your business for the most profit. It can be cost effective in many situations to bring staff in-house. You can pay them less than a consultant or an outside firm.   There are trade offs, though.   Let’s examine five current issues with in-house IT management.   Lack of Expertise   The first issue for a growing business looking to add IT in-house is a lack of expertise. It can be...Read more...

How Web Based Software Can Grow Your Business

7/9/2012
Web based software or Web based application offer real opportunity for business owners. Whether you own a small business with just a handful of employees or own a medium sized business with 50 employees you can likely find a way to grow with a Web based software solution.   These Three Web Based Software Solutions Save Time   Let’s backup and point out what Web based software is. If you have access to the Internet there is a chance you’ve used Web based software. Think of it as something you use while in a browser or using the application system...Read more...

Are You an IT Company? Why Focus on IT Solutions?

7/3/2012
What is the core focus of your company?   Chances are it’s not related to the IT world. You might be based on the technology field, but even then it still wouldn’t mean that it’s beneficial to focus on the IT side of your business.   There are advantages and disadvantages to managing IT solutions in-house, but for most small and medium sized businesses it makes sense to have a dedicated IT provider.   Let’s discuss three common areas where businesses can benefit from focusing on their business while an IT expert focuses on the IT part of the company....Read more...

Addressing The Top IT Concerns of Small Business Owners

6/26/2012
Do you have IT issues?   If you're like most small business owners you're shaking your head in agreement. Every company of every size has issues with IT. Computers cause more frustrations at companies than most other areas of business. There is just something about computers that cause people to boil. The machines are supposed to work all the time and when they don't we feel like it's the end of the world because it really can be if we depend on our computer to do our jobs.   Today the goal is to address a few of the top...Read more...

5 Technology Tools That Allow You to Grow Your Business

6/21/2012
Everything is about technology these days.   As a business owner you're probably hounded by vendors with software and technology that will solve your business problems. While it's possibly all these solutions will help you and your business the only thing that really matters when it comes to technology is whether or not a tool allows you to grow as a company.   A good business manager knows that low cost customer acquisition is important for a profitable business. Any technology tool that increases low cost customer acquisition is an obvious winner. Another aspect of business that technology can benefit...Read more...

How to Create a Hardware Upgrade Plan

6/20/2012
Small businesses and even larger businesses struggle with hardware upgrades. It’s difficult to know what is needed versus what is nice to have. It involves everyone in the company including the top-level managers and the folks that work on computers nearly their entire workweek.   It would be nice to have the best equipment for every employee, but in a world of tight budgets it’s just not always easy to make everyone happy by providing the best equipment.   Hardware upgrades are difficult, but here are a few areas of focus you can use to create hardware upgrade processes that...Read more...

What to Look for in a Third Party IT Partner

6/19/2012
We write quite a bit about why a third party IT partner is beneficial to your business, but when it comes to actually choosing one it’s still necessary to have insight. It’s an important decision because this partner will have access to key information plus they’ll be responsible for your business uptime, which allows you to work and continue to grow and make money.   Here are three areas you should look for when evaluating IT partners. Don’t limit yourself to a company that doesn’t have these qualities because without any of these you can run into issues and find...Read more...

How to Handle Network Permissions

6/15/2012
Permissions to files and data are a tricky issue for businesses.   Decisions need to be made about who has access to what information. These discussions can get difficult for a company because it needs to involve a few different departments including management, HR, and IT. All departments need to be involved to make sure all sides of the permissions matter are covered before granting and blocking access.   Here are a few rules to follow as you work to setup your business network permissions.   Business Network Permissions Guidelines   Employees would probably like access to more files than...Read more...

Securing Your Small Business Network

6/14/2012
You probably read about computer network security breaches every day. There is always some hacker out there looking to access passwords, usernames, and other vital business information they can use in some way to make money or to extract revenge on someone.   Security issues happen to large businesses. Those are the stories that make the mainstream news every evening, but security is also a big concern for small businesses.   How to Secure Small Business Computer Networks   Information security is important for businesses of any size. Large companies usually have protocol in place to handle break downs in...Read more...

How to Handle Employee Internet Browsing

6/8/2012
A big question business owners and managers have today is how to deal with employee Internet browsing.   The issue is relatively new, but has become something more companies have had to deal with in the past 10 to 20 years. Prior to the 2000s, companies didn’t have access to high speed Internet. Today, most companies have offices with access to the Internet. As a result, employees have access to the distractions the Internet has to offer and when the distraction becomes an issue of production and efficiency it can be a problem for the employees, managers, and owners.  ...Read more...

How to Upgrade Employee Computer Hardware

6/6/2012
Previously we touched on the process for upgrading employee computer systems and software.   Today, we'll talk about upgrading the hardware.   For most situations, software needs upgrading more often than hardware. Computer hardware today can last a long time from a physical standpoint. It's more the speed and efficiency of the machines that causes companies to upgrade the hardware for their employees.   It's different for various companies. Some will go five years or more with the same hardware. Employees can handle the same workload and work efficiently without needing an upgrade. Some maintenance along the way is probably...Read more...

The Benefits of Outsourcing Small Business IT

6/4/2012
Computers. Servers. Software.   For business owners and managers these three items can lead to big headaches.   The IT world is confusing to many in the business world, but it is entirely essential. You need to have experienced people handling your companies information systems in order to operate a successful business. So much of business today happens with computers and the Internet that even a small amount of downtime can cost a company thousands if not millions of dollars.   But what about the costs?   In-house IT is not cheap. As a small business owner you understand the...Read more...

Introverts and Extroverts - Making Your Workstyle Work for You

5/21/2012
Do you know what ISTJ, ESFP, ENFJ or INTJ stand for? These make up the alphabet soup of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In the event you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t heard of the instrument, it is a personality type indicator test that places each respondent into categories of 1 of 16 personality types.   Each letter corresponds to a different preference. The first two letter preferences correspond to I: Introversion or E: Extroversion. Contrary to popular belief, there is no wrong, right, or best personality type -- and being an introvert or extrovert does not make one...Read more...

Should Your Company Move Toward Hosted Anti-Spam?

4/6/2012
The battle against spam, or unwanted bulk mail or junk mail, is a constant and seemingly never-ending one.   Blocking spam is a critical component of any technology infrastructure. Just when you think your anti-spam software is performing well, your server goes down or you experience a network outage.   Ouch!   Pesky spam sneaks in, and your team has to begin the fight once again. It is extremely frustrating to say the least, but is it worth it to make the switch, or include, a hosted anti-spam anti-malware service?   Or, you may in be a situation where your...Read more...

Small Businesses: Finding Success with a Virtual IT Department

4/2/2012
One of the most critical and essential components of any successful business is the IT, or Information Technology, department and infrastructure. Establishing and maintaining an in-house IT department requires manpower, overhead, and human resources — most of which small businesses don’t have.   So, many small and mid-sized companies opt to outsource their IT needs to a virtual IT department to save the considerable expense and staffing needs.   What is a virtual IT department?   It is a company or group of technology professionals dedicated to managing and maintaining information technology systems for businesses from afar. Enter the “cloud...Read more...


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