3 Tips to Dodge $525k in Cybersecurity Damages

Trust. It’s a word that will define the use of engagement with...

3 Tips to Dodge $525k in Cybersecurity Damages

Trust. It’s a word that will define the use of engagement with both technology platforms and companies big and small from 2018 onward. No matter the size of your organization, companies are finding themselves center-stage in embarrassingly public or financially depleting data breaches and cyber-attacks. And in the worst of cases, both.

Business Insider recently released a report outlining major consumer brands who had faced significant hacks over the last 12 months. The reality of their report is that millions of shoppers and consumers like you and me have had profoundly personal and private information potentially exposed to those who shouldn’t have access to that data. In some cases, impact is minimal, in others, it results in significant personal loss and costly legal action due to identity theft that can take years to resolve. My suspicion though is that the long-term negative effects of a data breach that take place today will be felt years down the road as hackers and data thieves become more skilled at using compromised data quickly and with specific purpose.

So where does this leave you as a business owner or as the trusted steward of your organization’s data? The reality is that it leaves you in a difficult, but defensible position if and only if the right precautions are in place, adhered to and taken seriously across the organization.

Per Webroot’s 2018 Annual Security Survey the average estimated cybersecurity attack costs small and mid-sized businesses over $525,000 per instance.

Regardless of whether or not an unexpected bill like that would put you out of business, the negative impact to brand perception, your customer base and internal slow-downs are in many ways avoidable.

The right cybersecurity approach is one that takes a holistic view of your organization and focuses on three specific areas.

  1. A premium must be put on building out and maintaining policies and procedures that are clearly documented, organized and shared cross-organizationally.

  2. Proper training for your internal employees is a must. One of the most common ways for hackers to get inside the four walls of your organization is via phishing emails. These emails come across many times as less than obvious attempts to steal your data and in most cases look like they are coming from “known” senders with requests not overly out of the ordinary. Training your team to spot and avoid these emails is key to ensuring your corporate account isn’t depleted after sending money to a rogue bank account.

  3. Pro-active monitoring of your systems via integration between both a Security Operations Center and a Network Operations Center. This powerful duo can proactively monitor all of your systems and applications and then make intelligent decisions on who and what is “normal” behavior and what instead needs to be addressed before it’s too late.

IT Authorities is committed to helping organizations protect both their reputation and pocketbooks by providing industry-leading cybersecurity support for clients of all sizes. While companies are often unique in how they go to market and differentiate themselves competitively, one thing remains true; in 2018, every organization needs a comprehensive strategy and partner to combat the ongoing and increasing threat of cyber-attacks. We are here to help, advise and partner with you. Please reach out with questions or if you would like to engage in a complimentary cybersecurity consultation. Stay secure out there!

Play to Win, and Don’t Get Defensive

At the height of the Sneaker War between Adidas and Nike...

Play to Win, and Don’t Get Defensive

At the height of the Sneaker War between Adidas and Nike in the 1980’s, Phil Knight, founder of the brand known for its Swoosh logo and high-flying Air Jordan basketball shoes introduced changes to Nike’s corporate Code of Ethics. Number one on the list was this rule:

“At Nike, we are on the offense, always. We play hard, we play to win, and we play by the rules of the game.”

Talk about a workplace morale booster! Everyone wants to be a player on a team that shows up to win and isn’t afraid to take the risks required to do it. But, a lot has changed in the environment of business since the 1980’s. There are more systems, more people, more data and more integrations and cross-functional expertise to make sense of it all. Let me ask you, are most of today’s organizations playing offense? Are they playing to win in today’s complex IT and business environments? Even if they wanted to, could they?

Defense Might Win Championships, But It Kills Businesses

The formula for playing offense in business hasn’t really changed. Perfecting your core competencies, understanding your customer base, delivering desirable products and services and seeing “around the corner” remain some of the key ways to ensure profitability and business success. And theoretically, all the systems we’ve acquired since the computer revolution should make it easier, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, it has in many cases had the opposite effect. Instead of becoming leaner and producing more with less, we now have legacy tools and infrastructure that quite literally sit on the shelf and cost us millions of dollars to maintain. It is our own enterprise architecture that forces us into playing defense. Our staffs are bloated and the age-old statistic that IT organizations spend 80% of their time, effort and dollars on support, and only 20% on innovating and bringing new things into the enterprise, becomes a very real reality for many organizations.

While things like software-as-a-service and Cloud platforms have indeed become tools for organizations to offload some of the burden of legacy applications and infrastructure, they’ve also dramatically decreased the cost of entry into the business environment. It used to be that all those systems and processes were an asset to an organization, but in many ways, they’ve morphed into liabilities.

Companies like Dollar Shave Club, with less than 200 employees, are being bought up with acquisition prices in the billions. Never in history has it been easier to play offense and get in the game for less than it does today. Does this mean that every company that has been around for longer than 10 years is doomed? Of course not. Those companies still have massive advantages when it comes to playing offense like branding and an existing customer base. It is a reminder though that focusing on perfecting your business model and innovating for tomorrow is mission-critical to longevity.

Invent the Future, Don’t Respond to It

The model to play efficient and effective offense in business for long-term success in 2018 and beyond puts a heavy emphasis on partnerships. As you look at and recruit top talent, are they coming to work for you to “maintain” age-old technology stacks? Or are they coming to you to push the boundaries of innovation, refine your business processes, build skill-sets and help you compete in the market? If it is indeed the latter, what obstacles may stand in their way that prevent them from being 100% effective? Is it overly burdensome systems, hardware or applications? Is it a lack of insight into dispersed datasets and databases hampering your internal teams from extracting business value? Are there questions on how to best take advantage of new technologies and migrate to newer, more efficient platforms?

IT Authorities partners with the largest brands and organizations in the world to take on the burden of monitoring and managing their hardware, networks, software applications and mission-critical ERP support functions. We also work collaboratively alongside our clients to help asses, migrate and manage their Cloud infrastructures. We do this so that our customers can attack the future of tomorrow and position their internal teams to bring real value to the marketplace. By allowing our clients to refocus their attention on the things that matter across their enterprise architecture, both IT and business teams are free to create and deliver world class experiences for their customers and ultimately win new business.

Whether you need assistance managing your internal systems and hardware, software applications or cloud environments or even building and delivering new applications and more efficient processes, IT Authorities has the industry knowledge and expertise to keep you playing offense 100% of the time.

How to win with SAP in the fast-moving CPG space

It’s no secret SAP is a big player in the Consumer Packaged...

How to win with SAP in the fast-moving CPG space

It’s no secret SAP is a big player in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) vertical. With over 23% share in the global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market, SAP has paved a definitive path as the technology backbone of many of the world’s largest consumer brands. Going all the way back to April 1, 1972 in Weinheim, Germany when five ex-IBM techies worked nights and weekends in the pursuit of bringing the world standard application software to today, some 340,000 customers and 80,000+ global employees, SAP continues to innovate and deliver new applications alongside its customers.

Honor the Past, Embrace the Future

The B2B and B2C environments have changed greatly since 1972. Today, innovation and new technology are being delivered at a speed that most could only dream about four decades ago. In parallel, the time for organizations to respond has rapidly decreased. Ten-year technology roadmaps and multi-year deployment strategies have been disrupted and, in large part, abandoned for shorter term, “quick win” projects with high business impact. And while this shift in thinking represents monumental change, it happened in some ways seemingly overnight. Cloud computing, software as a service (SaaS), and the way which consumers engage with technology in their personal lives at home has immensely changed expectations. Intuitive user interfaces, predictive data, and insightful and meaningful engagements with technology are no longer just part of using a mobile app. Quick, digital access to meaningful data is becoming a requirement across the CPG industry today to enable real-time adjustments to business processes.

SAP has similarly responded alongside its CPG customer base.  This is demonstrated by such developments as:

  • Tools like SAP HANA Cloud Platform allows developers to write “cloud native” applications, unique to each business.
  • SAP Fiori has helped redefine the standard SAP GUI and transform it into something you actually want to engage with.

Whether the end users are working inside SAP’s Enterprise Warehouse Management (EWM), SAP’s Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), SAP’s Asset Management (AM) or many other core SAP ECC modules, that ability to bring consumer grade experiences across the technology footprint of your organization is here.

The Time is Now

More so than many other industry verticals, timing is everything in the CPG vertical. At one time, rocks were being sold as pets and Beanie Babies were so wildly popular that you had to consciously watch out for counterfeit stuffed animals. LEGO was once a wooden toy manufacturer from Denmark struggling to get by in a world of new polymer toys that were cheap and easy to mold. Fast-forward to 2018 and rocks are back to being rocks, Beanie Babies are most often found in dusty attics and in the case of LEGO, they shifted from wood to plastic, invented their proprietary block system, partnered with Star Wars and literally changed the world of toys. 

Change is the one constant in business and that’s why partnering well and focusing your organization on its core-competencies are more critical than ever before.  The right partnerships and internal direction can help you quiet the distracting noises and roadblocks to effective change in your business

In order to have business stability and longevity in an age where consumer need, wants and opinions change daily, businesses must be laser focused on creating great ideas and then mastering a go-to-market strategy that encompasses the creation of ideas, manufacturing, distribution, retail and replenishment. In an effort to do this, many organizations have turned to SAP to help consolidate some of the core functions of the business. While these functions are often managed by highly paid resources who hard code new customizations to fit the uniqueness of the business, and by Business Process Leads (BPLs) who help bridge the gap between IT and certain business functions, the day-to-day “doing” and getting things to market still remains a challenge. And, in most organizations, those highly paid business process leads, other applications experts, and even SAP itself, are the ones fielding phone calls and emails attempting to fix issues so manufacturing can continue, products can get shipped, and sales can be made. Some organizations have an internal help desk team to handle front-line issues, but they are typically backlogged or lack the technical and/or business process expertise to get issues fixed quickly. Either way, just like having the right idea at the right time is more critical than ever, getting your product to market quickly and efficiently is equally as important for the profitability of your organization and long-term customer loyalty.

Partnering for the Future

This is where having a partner like IT Authorities, an expert in the world of CPG, becomes an asset to your existing team and organization. Because IT Authorities is focused on, and works with some of the world’s largest consumer brands, we not only bring technical expertise to your mission-critical applications like SAP, but we also understand your business processes and how each and every action can have a positive or negative consequence to your business.

IT Authorities works complimentary with your internal teams to address tier 1-3 SAP functional support issues, so your highly paid resources can focus on that next great idea and innovate within the business. IT Authorities also provides managed services support for your other software applications, hardware needs, as well as cloud infrastructure support, all centered around helping you run a best-in-class business. Bringing benchmarks, innovations and best-practices from across the IT Authorities customer portfolio helps create tremendous value for our customers as they know they are getting industry leading advice, support and services.  Now, they can focus on creating and delivering engaging products and experiences for their customers today and into the future.

Meltdown and Spectre CPU Vulnerability

The immediate exposure to these exploits are minimized if...

Meltdown and Spectre CPU Vulnerability

Meltdown and Spectre are the new security vulnerabilities in modern processors such as Intel, AMD, or ARM CPU chipsets. Normally, programs are restricted from reading data from other programs, but these exploits allow hackers to deploy malicious code and exploit these vulnerabilities. The exploit could be used to gain access to business sensitive documents, stored passwords, photos and emails.

Steps for Mitigation

The immediate exposure to these exploits are minimized if your IT department or Service Provider is diligent on keeping up with patching as they cannot be exploited remotely. They require an existing security breach to activate, up to date patching will help prevent any long-term compromises.

Ensure your IT department or Service Provider has patched your hypervisors and operating systems with the most recent security patches specific to these exploits. Many vendors have already released these patches while others are in progress.

Ensure you have the security monitoring systems in place to prevent attacks which provide the initial access to systems.

Ensure your Cloud Service Providers address vulnerabilities at the hypervisor level. Many Cloud Service Providers have already began patching for the exploits. Your Cloud Service Provider will address the underlying infrastructure/hypervisor level, however, you are still responsible to patch and update the operating systems and workloads in the cloud on that hypervisor. 

Known Vulnerability Patches

The following patches are examples of vendors that have released patches for Meltdown; however, additional patches may be available for your assets.

  • Apple released the macOS update on December 6, 2017. 
  • Google released the Chrome OS update on December 15, 2017. 
  • Microsoft released Windows 10 and Microsoft Server 2008, 2012, and 2016 updates on January 3, 2018.
  • Microsoft released other updates on January 9, 2018.
  • Linux is currently working on patches and have already released several variants. 

Contacting IT Authorities

If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact IT Authorities at 1-866-587-5211.

Save on Cloud Service Costs | Cloud Consulting | IT Authorities ©

By now, you have heard of, if not already taken on, to move...

Save on Cloud Service Costs | Cloud Consulting | IT Authorities ©

Key Planning Behaviors that Maximize Cloud Benefits

By now, you have heard of, if not already taken on, to move your mission critical applications in the Cloud. At IT Authorities, not only do we recognize the benefits of Cloud Services, but also how to best cater them to your specific business goals, whether that being more cost efficient, scalability to meet customer demand, or your holistic disaster recovery model.

Unfortunately, you may be under the assumption (as most are) that Cloud Services are a “set it and forget it” solution. Instead, the Cloud is an “elastic” environment; it should be customized for the best performance and cost-effective use for your business. However, maximizing the elastic and scalable benefits of Cloud Services requires the upfront planning and experience of a Cloud consulting & management provider.

So, what are the elements we feel you should know about the Cloud, and how can IT Authorities assist your business through cloud consulting & management services?

Financial Benefits of Cloud Services

The first and most well-known benefit of cloud migration is the reduction or elimination of upgrading and expanding your physical infrastructure. For example, instead of purchasing more servers and infrastructure when you need additional computing power for your mission critical applications, you can quickly spin one up virtually.

Spinning up additional compute power is an incredible asset in times of need, but that move is only cost effective if it is properly managed. When we look at benchmarks from companies that have moved to the Cloud, 93.2% of them have not seen the cost or time reduction benefits.

The quick addition of a new server during busy or seasonal times is convenient, but can be a financial black hole if these workloads are not closely managed with adjusting workload compute consumption. This often occurs with businesses who have peak seasonality, and who’s needs tapper off at different times in the year.

Partnering with IT Authorities keeps that elasticity alive. We keep a pulse on your Cloud spend, monitor your Cloud resource needs, and look out for your well-being. Our Cloud providers of choice are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure; our sole job is to get you to the cloud platform, and maintain your status once there. We don’t want you to spend unnecessary dollars on space, speed, or personnel whose time could be better spent innovating for your business. Instead, we are here to ensure that your Cloud solution makes financial sense for you.

What if My Business Has Not Performed a Cloud Migration?

The Cloud might seem like an all-encompassing solution for your business, and, you might be reassured, now, about the cost of cloud hosting and computing. But what about that initial migration? Even more important than the cost reduction over time, is uncovering the unforeseen implications that you could see upon initial cloud migration. These are potential issues that will affect your business now and in the long run, and require a well thought out plan. Enter IT Authorities: here to bring you peace of mind while migrating to Cloud Services, no matter your industry or business vertical.

Of course, we monitor Cloud workload activity and ensure you have all the compute resources you need on an ongoing basis. But what’s much more essential than just migrating your applications to a Cloud platform is your mission critical applications, and their Cloud performance. Working with the Cloud Consulting team at IT Authorities means a seamless transition of your workloads and apps during a migration to the cloud. We conduct an audit of those core applications to determine if they are written and configured to be Cloud functional before the migration process even begins.

IT Authorities Cloud Consultants architect a comprehensive Cloud solution based on your business’ goals, trends and demand through a series of key activities:

  • Identify the correct Cloud provider(s) based on your business’ security and redundancy requirements
  • Map each business mission critical application to Cloud resources (compute, storage and network)
  • Collaborate with your dev/ops teams to ensure your applications are Cloud ready
  • Design the most efficient Cloud elasticity demand model that aligns with your specific business needs
  • Develop the Cloud workload automation and monitoring specifications
  • Construct the comprehensive Cloud migration strategy tailored to your business
  • Develop a comprehensive, predictive Cloud cost model

IT Authorities has the Cloud expertise and experience to ensure Cloud and business goals are realized.

What’s Next for my Business and the Cloud?

It’s important to understand that scalability and computing power are no longer about your infrastructure; they are about utilizing a platform that lets you realize the maximum benefit of your mission critical systems. Whether you have already made the migration and are not seeing the benefits, or want to make the shift but are unsure how your business will respond, IT Authorities is the right partner.

For any additional questions regarding the Cloud, or to start a conversation about migrating your business to Amazon or Azure, contact IT Authorities today!

Does Your Managed Service Provider Deliver? | IT Authorities ©

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a dime a dozen...

Does Your Managed Service Provider Deliver? | IT Authorities ©

Not all MSP’s Are Created Equal

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a dime a dozen. Most of them promise their clients the same, high-level services. In fact, if you complete any internet search for MSPs, you’ll probably see results such as, ‘24/7/365 Help Desk’ and ‘professional management of your network and devices,’ or the even more popular ‘laptop and server patching.’

So then, if all IT managed service models claim to be the same, why choose one over another?

IT Authorities was recently placed in the top third of Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Not only do we cover the basics of what the other guys and gals do, but we also take an enhanced approach to supporting your business.

We handle all the mission critical workloads so you can get back to running your core business, innovating, and generating more revenue.

24/7/365 Enterprise Help Desk

IT Authorities offers an Enterprise Help Desk. Our skilled engineers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Unlike regular help desks or call centers, however, when you pick up the phone to dial IT Authorities, you’ll have a much different experience than you might expect, based on previous interactions with other Managed Service Providers.

When IT Authorities answers your call, we are already ingrained in your business, taking the time upfront to learn your mission critical applications, and how to fix and update them. We are also armed with thousands of knowledge based articles, written by our best and brightest, who have worked on the most severe and timely issues. Whenever application, network, or cloud issues might occur, our team rises to the challenge to proactively mitigate issues.

You won’t be transferred (again and again, and again) to someone who can fix your issue. Instead, you’ll get an engineer on the phone in 9 seconds whose time-to-resolution is an average of 10 minutes.

With IT Authorities, you can be sure everything is will run smoothly.

Risk Transfer of Mission Critical Business Functions and Apps

Your IT staff is so busy firefighting daily issues, that they have little time for strategy, innovation, or to move your company forward from a technology perspective. IT should be an enabler of your business, but the strain of daily issues bottlenecks your employees. When you partner with IT Authorities, you have an opportunity to get the most value out of your people.

By teaming up with IT Authorities, you can transfer the risk of hardware malfunctions, system redundancy, and IT issues onto us, therefore ensuring network availability, and access to mission critical business apps. The application and business impact of all IT problems is on us; we are accountable for being sure your business runs, so your team can focus on the big picture.

Real Time IT Reporting with Vision

IT Authorities has a lot of values, but we primarily pride ourselves on our transparency. We want you to know exactly what is going on with your business, and the steps we are taking to ensure success. The most immediate way we can execute this, is with Vision: our business intelligence reporting platform.

Using this software, you will have real-time status updates, available on any browser, and on any device. This tool makes it easy to navigate through tickets, trends, and company-wide issues. Sort by day, time, topic, location, department, and any combination of the above for proactive planning and more meaningful insights.

Vision not only holds us accountable for your mission critical issues, but also your Dev/Ops teams, and 3rd party vendors. No longer will you have to wait on reporting that is no longer timely, or relevant by the time you receive it. This analytical data is visible in real-time.

Time to call IT quits with your other MSP

These reasons only scratch the surface of what makes IT Authorities stand out against other Managed Service Providers. Of course, we’re biased, but we do recognize that the impact of using ‘just any’ MSP for your business and mission critical applications can be detrimental to growth and revenue.

Call us today to stop firefighting and start innovating. No one knows your business better than you, so let us think on your behalf when IT matters most.

Should You Outsource Vendor Management? | IT Authorities

Without a way to manage vendors, track vendor performance...

Should You Outsource Vendor Management? | IT Authorities

Without a way to manage vendors, track vendor performance, and control costs, organizations have no way of making strategic decisions necessary to ensure productivity and efficiency.

Don’t let your organization make the same mistake. Many companies have difficulty assessing their third-party vendor contracts and management at any given point in time. Think back to the last time you may have carried out an audit on your third-party supporters or contracts (if you’ve ever done one since the start of the engagement.)

Chances are, you found significant issues such as expired contracts, discontinued services, or workers who no longer work at the company but still have access to your systems and more.

Being able to optimize the vendor management process means being able to access relevant data and analyze it for potential gaps and opportunities for improvement.

Outsourcing Vendor Management

By outsourcing the management process to a team vendor management service experts, you can drive the most value from your vendors without having to do more work. These services help businesses select the right vendors, ensure the right contract, mitigate vendor risk, and establish metrics to track vendor performance.

That way, you can stay focused on your responsibilities while having peace of mind that your vendors are doing their jobs.

The Business Value Of Vendor Management

Outsourcing vendor management also enables organizations to better meet their business objectives as well as avoid service delivery failure.

Without proper management in place, it’s impossible for you to know whether or not a supplier it meeting quality standards. When you don’t have the time or resources to measure and track vendor performance, then you should consider outsourcing this role.

With a vendor management solution, you’ll always get the quality services you deserve. Your outsourced provider will perform objective assessments of deliverables and provide actionable feedback to encourage vendor efficiency all-around.

Additionally, with the right vendor management software, you’ll have access to metrics and reports that show you whether or not your vendors are keeping up with their end of the deal. This will allow you to provide input on future projects and deliverables for continual improvement.

At IT Authorities, we act as your dedicated infrastructure management and support provider. That means we ensure the reliability and efficiency of your systems from every possible angle. If you’re ready to keep your vendors held accountable to you at all times, give us a call today!

Top 5 Traits To Look For In A Managed Service Provider

A managed service provider can be a lifesaver. In addition to...

Top 5 Traits To Look For In A Managed Service Provider

A managed service provider can be a lifesaver. In addition to saving you from having to execute dozens of complicated and time-consuming tasks on your own, these helpful industry experts are the ideal partners for scaling your business and creating across-the-board cost savings. Here are five non-negotiable things to look for in any network management team you hire:

1. A Focus on Partnership

The best managed service provider (MSP) will view your relationship as a partnership. A partner that understands your business goals is better equipped to help you improve your business strategically.

What’s more, an MSP who is willing to conduct an in-depth discovery phase to understand the entire landscape of your company can develop solutions that are tailored to your business, infrastructure, and services.

Seek a provider who works in your industry and genuinely understands your niche. This will create a stronger partnership and an increased level of efficiency down the road. Additionally, while seeking the right provider, it’s crucial to not base your decision solely on the salesperson, brochure or the company website as these are elements that could be misleading. Take the time to physically tour their office and witness first hand their bench strengths and quality of actual resources on hand.

2. A Commitment to Documentation

Make sure the MSP you hire or look at has strong documentation strategies in place. Your company is going to encounter unique situations that don’t always have a textbook “fix,” and it’s essential that your MSP can document them as they crop up.

Documentation makes a problem easier to solve and gives your company the context needed to avoid the same issue in the future. What’s more, an MSP that has a good documentation strategy in place can look back at the logs to observe problems your business has encountered before, and develop a plan to cope with it in the future.

Documentation also serves the incredibly important purpose of keeping your company up-to-date about what’s going on with your managed services. This allows you to work with your MSP to create a plan for more streamlined execution and a lower error rate in your various workflows.

3. A Proactive Managed Services Model

A good managed service partner should always be proactively monitoring and anticipating the next problem. If a provider is only offering static monthly reports on what’s running smoothly and not what is potentially at risk, they aren’t proactively managing your network.

While your network management team should fix problems as they occur, it’s more beneficial to anticipate a problem and proactively take steps to avoid it, or in a worst case, have a solution ready before it happens.

Your company also needs a partner that’s planning for your organization’s growth instead of waiting for the change to happen and then playing catch up. While many MSPs favor the latter approach, the former is more effective and can help reduce the rate of incidences in your managed services.

4. MSP Industry Experience

Finding a partner in your niche isn’t always possible and, at times, service providers will lean on industry tools to help them manage your network. Look for a partner who has the experience that your company deserves. After all, a partner that understands your business needs inside and out is invaluable.

It’s also crucial to find a partner that customizes industry tools to your business instead of shoving your company’s network into an out-of-the-box software. This helps ensure that your network is designed for you and you alone, and stands to increase productivity and efficiency across the board.

5. Dedicated Account Manager

Most partners will ensure that you have an account administrator, but are they dedicated to you and your company? Look for a partner that delivers an account manager that works as your personal concierge.

You should have someone dedicated to your business that understands your needs, your landscape, and is available anytime you need them — especially if it’s an emergency. This one-on-one support is the cornerstone of a good network management team and can help you get more bang for your buck from the industry experts you hire.

The Case for Great MSPs

When it comes to finding a managed service provider to oversee your network, it pays to find a good fit. While each company needs different things, MSPs who possess these five traits will generally perform well and help your business grow.

To learn more about hiring a network management team for your company, contact IT Authorities today!

3 Project Management Tips For The New Year | IT Authorities

In 2017, is your company sticking to the way things have always...

3 Project Management Tips For The New Year | IT Authorities

In 2017, is your company sticking to the way things have always been by just piecing random technology together? Do you have an old IT network that you hope will carry you another year? If this is your company, it’s time for a resolution involving your IT project management.

Establishing a plan will save money and time – two things any good new year’s goal includes. If you don’t know where to start, no problem. Here are three tips for project management that will help you make 2017 your most productive year yet:

You Can’t Conduct IT Project Management

If You Have No Plan To Manage.

During this phase, your company should identify its IT needs and goals, then establish a timeline.

Has your mortgage company discovered new accounting software that will save time and money by streamlining multiple applications into one? Without creating a plan, you might just purchase the software, install it, and expect your employees to adapt. If the software is much newer than your computer systems and its user interface isn’t initially intuitive, you might experience decreased productivity.

With a plan in place and proper project management, these situations are completely avoidable. A properly managed project would call for research on the new software first, followed by purchasing and installing new equipment. Training and quality assurance would take place before closing the project.

Don’t Go IT Alone

Project management can be done as a learn-as-you-go process, or by hiring a knowledgeable professional. Too many companies recognize the need to update technology while failing to understand the value of getting it right the first time.

A manufacturing company could have a brilliant plan to install Wave 2 wireless technology, but if the project ends with blazing fast internet for employees and no connection for expensive manufacturing equipment, money and time will dwindle until the problem is solved.

Hiring an IT engineer to oversee a facility’s wireless upgrades drastically minimizes the chance for critical, last-minute fixes. No plans are flawless. But project management done right involves monitoring and adjusting as needed to meet deadlines.

Don’t Wait On Project Management

Every moment your employees spend shouting at their computer because of crashing, their productivity decreases. Each time your Wi-Fi goes down, you lose access to your valuable data on the Cloud. Every time your old hard drives fail, you must find your spare backups and hope they are up to date.

The number of IT problems your office is facing won’t decrease until you start making plans for improvement. Ignoring problems might seem like a good way to save money, but what if these problems are the reason your company doesn’t have money to spare on IT upgrades?

If your 2016 plans for project management consisted of half-measures and quick fixes, but you’re tired of hindered productivity, turn things around in 2017.

Our team at IT Authorities can make your dreams a reality.

Let’s get planning.