An IT Consultant is Your Organization’s Hidden Weapon

Every company is looking for that competitive edge that will bring their business over and above what competitors have to offer. How can you keep your business thriving in a way that is sustainable and long term, instead of trying quick tricks that will eventually fizzle out?

An IT consultant is a hidden weapon that is well worth the investment. Someone in this role can sharpen all of the skills of your company and help you shine, while giving your business the technological backbone it needs to stride into the future with confidence. IT consultants bring in long term solutions that are tailored to your company, ensuring that everything they introduce works well with your identified goals and plans for the future.

Save Money and Time

Most businesses want to increase profits, reduce expenses, promote productivity, and cut down on wasted time. The easiest way to do this is to bring in an IT consultant to streamline and improve your technology.

You may be wasting hours every week without even knowing it. This loss of time might be caused by outdated tech or problems that could be easily solved with common system improvements.

An IT consultant will evaluate all of your systems and determine what holes need to be plugged. They will also identify services that could be expanded. In the end, you should see cost savings and increased productivity as your staff receive the tools they need to work smarter, not harder.

With optimized IT systems, you should experience fewer tech troubles. You will spend much less time dealing with outages and slow processes. This could save you hundreds of work hours, reducing frustration for staff, and leaving more time for the business operations that matter most.

A Unique, Necessary Role

Even if you already have a robust IT department, without a dedicated IT consultant on board you are missing a key player on your team. IT consultants go above and beyond a technical understanding of computer networks. They also know how these technologies and systems affect your business operations in every area.

IT consultants marry technical skills with business know-how. This means that they can find the tech solutions you need and explain why they are necessary in a readily understandable manner. They will have the IT expertise, business sense, and communication skills to show you how IT improvements will impact your company’s success, now and in the future. Their proposed solutions will give you an edge over competitors and keep your business moving forward.

Boosting your business success can be as simple as bringing an IT consultant onto your team. You can do this either for a short-term evaluation and implementation process, or as a long-term resource that ensures that your company and its technology are optimized to be as efficient as possible. We all rely on technology. Keep yours at the cutting edge by leveraging the knowledge and skill of an IT consultant.

Compete like a Triathlete with the Help of an IT Consultant

Triathletes are some of the most elite competitors out there. They are well-versed in three different sports and good enough at all of them to be considered among the best in the world. Instead of focusing on a single discipline, these athletes must perform all three sports at a top level, giving their all to every area. It takes incredible dedication and focus to become a triathlete!

Your company needs to do the same to be successful. You need to be good at everything you do.

Triathletes use many strategies to reach their elite level. For many, a great coach makes a big difference. A top-level coach will advise athletes on what techniques to employ to get the results they need. They benefit from years of experience and an ability to see the big picture, assessing what is working for the athlete and what could be improved.

Companies can hire coaches, too. Some of them are known as IT consultants. The right consultant can turn a business from amateur to elite.

The Benefits of an IT Consultant

IT probably plays a significant role in your business, whether you realize it or not. A well-functioning IT system is the backbone of most companies. It keeps lines of communication open and data flowing while protecting businesses from intrusions.

Done well, IT should barely be noticeable. It is a means to an end; a system by which you achieve your goals. It should solve problems without causing new ones and there should be no gaps in your system. Everything you have implemented should have its place and be performing efficiently.

This isn’t always the case!

An IT consultant will evaluate systems you have in place. They will use their expertise to determine whether or not your IT is performing as it should.

It may already be obvious to you that there is a problem. If smoke is coming out of a device or you need to reboot your machines every time you send an email, the IT consultant will rectify these issues quickly.

They might also recommend such changes as a better backup system, more robust protection from threats and intrusions, or bringing your technology up to more recent standards.

While asking further questions about your business, an IT consultant will discover any and all ways that your technology could be improved. Their degree of investigation and intervention can raise your company to a new level of success.

It’s quicker to perform an overhaul of your IT than it is to become a triathlete. Your IT consultant will work rapidly to make all of your systems efficient and effective. They will take great pleasure in streamlining your IT, saving you both time and money in the long-term.

A hard-working, smart IT system should improve your entire company’s bottom line, not least of all by increasing productivity for your staff who, will at last, have the tools they need to complete their work tasks efficiently.

Much as the coach operates to get the most out of the triathlete, the IT consultants at Techneto will push your company toward success, allowing you to shine in competition. Contact us today to find out more.

3 Reasons You Wish You Had Automatic Backups

Everyone knows just how important backups are to a business. If your data is replicated somewhere, you can restore your computers in the event of an accidental deletion, a misplaced file, or an outage that brings down your system. If not, you may never be able to recover that vital information.

You can take a lot of pressure off your company by using an automatic backup system. A system like this ensures that backing up takes place regularly, on time, every time.

Automatic Backups: Cut Down on Mistakes

Making sure an entire company’s data is safe is a big job for anyone. If you leave manual backups in the hands of someone on staff, you are putting a lot of pressure on them to remember to do the job right. Something is likely to go wrong eventually. People get caught up in other tasks, make simple mistakes, and run into errors, leaving your backups compromised.

Automatic backups remove those weaknesses. The program backs up your data without needing human input. It does not face the same issues with human error, therefore, and can substantially reduce the risk that something is forgotten or done improperly. By saving your company from mistakes, an automatic backup system will save your company time, money, and headaches in the future.

It’s Easy to Back Up on the Fly

Some business files are updated by users on a regular basis. If you are relying on your staff to make a manual backup every single time they edit a file, the odds are that sometimes people will forget, leaving you with an outdated backup.

An automatic backup program can be set up to sync your files as soon as they are altered. The latest version of a document will always be in your backup location. This means that your system can be up to date all the time, without human intervention.

You Can Restore Your Data – in Full – After a Disaster

Following a disaster, you’ll want to be able to access your data backups and get your business up and running as soon as possible. However, if your manual backups are not in good shape, or worse yet, haven’t been done at all, you might have to consider building your business back up from the ground.

This might sound unlikely, but it happens every day to firms that fail to prepare. It’s a sobering moment, realizing that there is nothing you can do now that the data has been lost. Loss of critical data can cripple a company completely.

With an automatic backup system, you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing all of your information is ready and waiting for restoration after a disaster. If you’re using automatic syncing, you’ll be able to restore your data to the point just before the disaster hit.

Whether you’re dealing with a fire or flood, a power outage, or a human threat, you’ll be glad that the latest versions of your files were automatically backed up in a separate, secure location. You will be able to focus on steering your business through the disaster, which is always easier when you have all your data at your fingertips. Get in touch with Techneto to learn about getting your business hooked up with easy automatic backups.

Ransomware: the Game Changer for Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery has always been an important consideration for any company working with data. In previous eras, however, simply having a backup was enough to get through an outage. Afterward, you could be up and running quickly enough to mitigate any significant impact.

Now that ransomware is running rampant through business technology, it poses a significant problem for companies making their disaster recovery plans. It is essential to guard against ransomware. This is the type of threat that can cripple your business for good.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious programming that gives an intruder control over your company’s data. He or she corrupts not just the data on your local computer or server, but the data across any accessible backup servers. You will then receive a message informing you that you can only have the key to release the data if you pay a ransom.

Obviously, this is terrifying. Or at least, it is if you have not made any plans to address the possibility of a ransomware attack.

Disaster Recovery Considerations for Ransomware

The goal with disaster recovery for ransomware is to fix the vulnerability, restore your information, and get back to business as usual, all without having to pay the ransom.

It’s not enough to make regular backups of your data. If an intruder could reach your backups and encrypt them alongside your regular data, they are not going to help you in a crisis.

The solution to that problem is to keep your backups entirely separate from your regular computer system. If an intruder cannot reach them, they cannot be affected by ransomware. The ideal is to have backups saved in a completely different location, using credentials other than those you normally use.

In the event of a ransomware attack, you can restore your files from a secure backup. It if has been physically separated from the rest of your information in advance, it will not be affected by the ransomware attack.

Avoiding Ransomware

Ransomware often goes undetected in its first stages. Here, intruders typically make small changes. They might corrupt specific files so that by the time they’re in full-fledged attack mode you have no way to fix things.

Be Prepared

Being prepared is the best thing you can do to combat this kind of attack. Train your staff on best practices for Internet usage, including how to avoid potentially malicious links and emails. Ransomware attackers often gain access through unwitting employees who don’t mean to open up the system to harm.

Educate Your Staff

Make sure that everyone understands what they should be doing to protect the network, and why it is so important. If someone thinks they may have introduced a risk, make it known that they should contact someone in IT immediately so the problem can be assessed.

Maintain Your Software

Keep software updated and patched, as these updates often address security bugs. Left unfixed, these weaknesses could provide unwanted access to your data.

Think Ahead

Finally, ensure that you have a full disaster recovery plan in place so that if the worst happens you can take known steps to mitigate problems quickly.

In today’s world, backup alone is simply not enough to protect your company’s precious data from emerging threats. Leave it to the team at Techneto to keep your data secure and easily recoverable in times of uncertainty. We’ll always have your back.

The Value of an IT Business Analyst

What is an IT business analyst, and how can bringing one on board help your company become more successful?

Much like a regular business analyst, an IT business analyst looks into your company’s policies, practices, and goals. Once he or she fully understands the scope of your business, he or she will create custom solutions to bolster your business success.

For an IT business analyst, however, this process is specifically focused on your information technology. They will look at how IT is working for your business, or how it is failing, and what can be done to make your IT foolproof.

Focused Problem-Solving

An IT business analyst acts as a problem solver. They use their expert knowledge in technologies and IT trends to keep your business moving forward. They will focus on how to best serve your clients and how to improve your chances of long-term success.

Expert Communication

While many of the people in your IT department may not have a front-facing role, the IT business analyst is invaluable as a communicator. In the process of analyzing your business, they will communicate with various employees and departments. They can explain how improvements to the IT department can help everyone in the company achieve their goals.

It takes a lot of skill to discuss potentially complex IT issues with staff who may have little to no understanding of IT or technical jargon. A good IT business analyst can do just this. They can give a voice to IT departments that find it difficult to express their needs or thoughts. In this scenario, non-IT employees will have someone to approach about IT issues, using simple language that does not require training to understand!

Cost Savings

When you hire an IT business analyst, you are likely to make your existing internet technology work smarter. This will save you time and money. You are also hiring someone who can determine what steps should come next in developing your IT to take your business to the next level.

The Bottom Line

An IT Business Analyst is also useful, because they approach your business from a balanced perspective. They care about using IT to its best advantage, but they approach their work with a business mind. You won’t need to worry about loading up on technology that your company doesn’t need. The IT Business Analyst will ensure that your company is taking the appropriate measures to serve clients and staff.

You will enjoy all of the benefits of a business analyst when you work with a specialist IT business analyst, including conflict resolution between people and departments. Just like a general business analyst, an IT business analyst will also provide you with an excellent roadmap for the future of your company and innovative solutions that are designed to launch your company to its next phase of success. They will always be focused on IT, which you will appreciate, since businesses are increasingly preparing for what the future holds.

IT makes up a large part of your company, whether you are a small business or a conglomerate. It informs the ways you speak with your clients, the ways you communicate in-house, how you track orders and sales, and the ways you protect your business and its data from threats.

Optimize this hugely important department by partnering with the business analysts at Techneto, and you’ll see positive repercussions throughout your business.

5 Qualities of an Outstanding Business Analyst

An outstanding business analyst can help your business soar to success. These people play a key role in helping your company be the best it can be. They delve into your business to understand every aspect of what is working, and what is not. By carefully analyzing every part of your company, a business analyst should be able to tailor strategies specifically to your business, its goals, and your vision.

How can you know that you’re working with an outstanding business analyst? Look for these five qualities as a good indicator that your BA knows what he or she is doing.

An Excellent Communicator

Business analysts have to communicate all the time. They must do so clearly and effectively. He or she will be communicating with people at all levels of your business, from part-time workers to stakeholders, so they need to be able to tailor their messages to each person. They also need to be able to translate all of the information they receive into something that is easy to understand so that all the relevant parties can follow their strategies.

Always Asking Questions

Since the role of a business analyst is to look deeply into a company and identify its strengths and weaknesses, you should expect your business analyst to be investigative. An inquisitive approach is best. If your analyst is acting like they’ve seen it all before, you should consider a second opinion.

A business analyst should consider every aspect of a company. They ought to ask questions beyond the obvious. This is the only way to get to the root of what may be troubling a business.

Easily Handles Conflict

In trying to discover what is making a company experience problems, a business analyst is likely to run into conflict. This might be interpersonal or between departments of a business. He or she needs to be able to address that conflict in a constructive way. To be productive, they need the skills to mediate these kinds of problems to be productive.

Decisive Leadership

A business analyst may propose big changes to your company. If this happens, you need them to do so in a confident, decisive way. When the business analyst has made their plan, they ought to stand behind it. If your business analyst isn’t experienced enough to be confident about their ideas, it will be hard to convince others in the company to go along with the new strategies.

A Researcher and Innovator

Business analysts cannot rely on repeating the same tricks to get a company running smoothly. They should always be on the lookout for new technologies, new strategies, and new solutions.

As the business world changes, companies need to hire business analysts that have kept up with innovations, new ways of thinking, and the changing demands of consumers.

Find out if your business analyst has recently undergone training or undertaken research to stay on top of the latest industry trends. They should have a balance of experience, tried and tested wisdom, and receptiveness to new approaches. Businesses differ greatly and a novel approach may turn out to be the best one for your company!

Your business analyst might suggest making significant changes to the way you work. This can be both anxiety-inducing and exciting. At Techneto, we’re more than just IT guys. We’re true business analysts who understand the value of technology from a business perspective. Our analysts satisfy the five points above, so you can have greater peace-of-mind whenever you partner with us.

If IT Services Were Delivered by General Maximus

Great societies thrive on superior infrastructure in the same way that a human body relies on a skeleton. This was certainly the case with the Roman Empire, which grew to an unbelievable size by relying on its extensive network of roads. Having great bones is never enough to sustain an empire (or a business, for that matter) forever. The people in charge, the underlying philosophy, and the competent management of all the moving parts are what really keep great organizations going.

Though almost entirely fictional, the 2000 blockbuster Gladiator told a compelling story about what can happen when the greatest powers begin to fall apart from the inside despite having all the resources to succeed, and how sometimes even a single force for change – in this case the fallen general Maximus Meridius – can serve as a wakeup call. Businesses aren’t nearly as huge as the Roman Empire, but there are certainly themes from the movie that can be applied to your organization.

The beginning of General Maximus Meridius’s story is a brutal allegory for Rome’s emerging failures; Marcus Aurelius, a wise and prudent emperor and a champion of noble ideals, is murdered by a jealous son – leaving Maximus, Aurelius’s heir apparent, cast out and left for dead. Under the rule of the new Emperor Commodus, Rome loses touch with everything it once stood for.

Of course, the troubles that afflict businesses aren’t nearly as bloody or dramatic, but they can spell doom just the same; an excellent business model can begin to lag behind or fall apart.

Just as Rome’s problems began to become apparent to the world, however, Maximus resurfaced in grand fashion. Becoming a hero of the people in the Colosseum allowed Maximus to expose Rome’s underlying corruption and ultimately duel Commodus for the future of the empire.

Imagine, for a moment, that your business is Rome and Maximus is an IT specialist who delivers exceptional IT services; there’s no blood and no broken bones, but whether through neglect or by means of some run-in with malware, your business is struggling and in desperate need of IT services that had once been dismissed. There’s no cause for fear; your own Maximus Meridius is a phone call away. He’s wearing a polo instead of armor and laid down his sword to carry a laptop, but he brings all the redeeming qualities of the Roman original.

IT services are a quintessential part of any organizational philosophy, and forging ahead without taking the necessary precautions can be disastrous. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be hackers, malware and device failures lurking around every corner, and in a perfect world, Marcus Aurelius would have continued to rule and passed Rome on to a proper leader. Sadly, the world isn’t perfect, and just like Rome, your business needs its Maximus.

If your business is falling behind and in need of rescue, Techneto has been waiting to give you a helping hand. Give us a call and we’ll send in your own personal Maximus – though we’d really appreciate it if you didn’t make him fight a tiger.

A Look at Whether CEOs Should Be Held Accountable for Data Breaches

Should company executives be held accountable for data breaches? It is a question currently being asked in business and legal circles around the world. The threat of digital security breaches is quickly ramping upward as we hurtle forward into the age of the Internet and the computerization of just about everything.

About One-Third of IT Managers Support Holding Executives Accountable for Data Breaches

A recent study performed by the market research company Vanson Bourne shows that there is moderate support amongst IT managers and office workers throughout the United Kingdom for holding executives accountable for meaningful data breaches. The details about the Vanson Bourne survey are as follows. Questions about cyber security and CEO accountability were asked of 250 information technology decision makers and 500 office workers throughout the United Kingdom. The responses to the survey are a clear sign that IT experts have sympathy for executives who are blindsided by a digital attack that exposes sensitive data to malicious parties. After all, modern day hackers are willing to go to great lengths to access private data.

CEO Data Breach

The bottom line is that cyber attacks are becoming a regular occurrence across the world. Large organizations are especially vulnerable to digital hacks. Nearly one-quarter of IT decision makers at large companies believe that their company will be hit with a cyber attack within the next three months. As these attacks continue to increase, more and more people will echo sentiments like those expressed in the above referenced VMware survey. IT departments can only do so much. In many instances, relying on outside IT security expertise is necessary to handle all of the fall out from these increasingly complex cyber attacks.

An Alternate Take on the Survey’s Results

Some will take the data provided by the Vanson Bourne study and argue that executives from the ranks of the CEO to the board of directors and C-suite should be held more accountable in the future. There is some credence to the argument, as the survey results do show that nearly one-third of IT leaders believe that executives should be held accountable. If this percentage continues to increase in the future, there will likely be a groundswell of support for penalizing executives whose organizations suffer a significant digital attack that results in a data breach.

An Ever-Evolving Threat

The survey’s results also show that IT decision makers are concerned about their organizations’ ability to stay up to date with the complexities of the highly dynamic digital world. Nearly 40 percent of respondents answered that their organizations’ vulnerabilities will remain under threat, as their defenses can’t adjust quickly enough. It is no longer acceptable to be reactive when it comes to the prevention of data breaches and other digital attacks. Organizations must be proactive to safeguard their sensitive data or, eventually, executives might be held accountable for large-scale data breaches.

Possible Solutions

Allying with IT security experts is the best way to proactively protect private information. Some recommend a software-driven approach to IT that incorporates security measures into just about every aspect of the system. Executives should not hesitate to spend the time and resources necessary to train their employees on digital security matters. A whopping 55 percent of the Vanson Bourne survey respondents answered that an organization’s cyber security is indeed under threat due to employee carelessness or ignorance.

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Determining an IT Budget for Your Business

How to Do It and Why It Is So Important

When it comes to IT support, most business owners and managers aren’t exactly sure how much money should be budgeted. The unfortunate truth is that IT challenges are hard to predict. As a result, most executives find it somewhat difficult to predict the amount of money that will be necessary and when it will be required. Let’s take a look at this complex issue to help you figure out the proper amount of your company’s budget to devote to IT.

Budget

A Brief Explanation of IT Budgets

A company’s IT budget represents the funds reserved for an organization’s information technology systems and services. This figure includes salaries / wages for IT personnel, compensation for outside IT professionals, costs for back-office systems and the creation / maintenance of company-wide services. Add in the costs of IT hardware expenditures, and the amount of money spent on IT can pile up rather quickly. After all, most companies need numerous laptops, desktops, smartphones, other mobile devices, routers, servers, networking equipment and a data center.

Why an IT Budget Is So Important

IT budgeting is growing in importance as our reliance on digital devices increases. Information stored on paper is going the way of the dodo bird. Nowadays, information storage and retrieval are rapidly shifting toward the Internet and computing devices. It is clear that IT will only continue to become more ubiquitous as time progresses. Organizations that fail to institute a realistic IT budget will find that they are not properly prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. A faulty budget or the complete lack of a budget can damage a company’s finances and even threaten its viability as a business.

How to Create an IT Budget

IT budgets are typically presented and managed by IT power players within a company, yet a small group of IT specialists should not be solely responsible for the creation of this budget. Allow everyone, from the head of your IT department to line managers and consultants, to provide input in order to construct an accurate budget. After all, IT employees and consultants will have to operate within the constraints of this budget throughout the next year. Therefore, they should not be excluded from building this critically important spending plan.

Do not delay the formulation of the budget until a month or two before it is due. Begin work several months in advance so you have ample time to analyze the previous year’s IT budget and this year’s costs. You will need plenty of time to study these figures and pinpoint spending areas that can be either reduced or reallocated.

As you ponder what sort of IT budget is appropriate for your business, consider what its purpose really is. A well-conceived IT budget is an honest numeric manifestation of your organization’s IT strategy. The budget should be easily understood so that it can be communicated between co-workers. If executed properly, the IT budget should not be “kicked back” for major revisions. A comprehensive assessment of last year’s IT costs along with anticipated costs for the upcoming year should set the table for the creation of a detailed IT budget that predicts future costs with accuracy. Do not use this document as a “wish list” for the funding of IT projects. The budget should reflect existing savings strategies and generally tell a story that serves as a guide to your organization’s overarching IT strategy. Ideally, it will be divided between major spending categories and appropriate subcategories. It is also prudent to allocate components of your IT budget to areas of the business that the IT department supports. Do not lose sight of the fact that it might be possible to charge expenses right back to those specific departments.

Professional IT Services That Improve Your Bottom Line

{company} is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks and news. Contact us at {phone} or send us an email at {email} for more information.

Did you know that the cloud can help you get paid?

Do you have a lot of old, clunky hardware that eats up tons of space, power, and maintenance fees? The cloud has proven to be a revolutionary IT solution that provides efficiency and capability that simply isn’t possible when limiting your IT infrastructure to a physical setting.

Cloud Computing

Want to take your business beyond the physical world? Contact {company} today at {phone} or {email} to talk about cloud solutions.

Through a method known as “virtualization” — the creation of a server, phone, application, or other IT system aspect in a virtual form through the cloud, instead of actual physical hardware — the cloud can offer a range of cost-saving benefits. That’s why it’s so important for you to weigh your options when it comes to hosting your technology:

  • On-premise: This model of IT infrastructure is the most traditional style, in which the IT systems are hosted on-site at the business’ location. The reality is that on-site systems tend to cost much more than the alternative; depending on the particulars of the set up, the business often has to pay for the storage, power, maintenance, and other ongoing costs that come with hosting their own systems.
  • Cloud: On the other hand, you have cloud-based solutions, through which your IT resources are configured by a provider and accessed by your staff online. By setting up a server on your premises, or hosting through an off-site data center, the provider develops a comprehensive cloud service for your business. The primary benefit of this model is that your ongoing maintenance costs on-site are reduced, as well as that your third-party provider manages the system for you.

How Can The Cloud Help You Get Paid?

The key to saving money with the cloud is how it allows you to minimize hardware and maximize capability. {company} can develop a unique cloud solution for your business that specifically meets your needs. Whether you need us to set up physical severs on your site and provide cloud technology for backup purposes, or if you’d prefer a more robust cloud configuration, we can ensure that you get precisely what you need to improve your business.

Contact {company} today to discuss how our cloud solutions can enhance the way that you do business. Call us at {phone} or send us an email at {email} to learn more.