4 Productivity Improvements Coming to Windows 10 in August

The big Windows 10 Anniversary Update is coming on August 2, and more than 350 devices will be eligible for the upgrade at no cost. If your organization is using Windows 10, several new features are on the way that should help your teams be more productive and efficient.

Windows 10 Improvements

Here are four new features to look for:

Ability to access Cortana from the lock screen.

This is a feature I’ve been waiting for, as it has several practical applications for workplace environments. The update will allow users to access Cortana (Windows’ virtual assistant) without unlocking their laptops, tablets or mobile phones.

So, for example, if you’re in a meeting, you can have Cortana set a reminder, track flights, launch programs or look up information online, all without touching the device. You can also have Cortana send notifications across your Cortana-enabled devices. So if you look up directions while using a meeting-room computer, Cortana can send it to your Windows phone, too.

This feature isn’t a game-changer. It’s similar to what Amazon has already done with Echo, and what some Android devices can already do. But it will save time and make life a little easier, and I’m all for that efficiency.

Use Cortana to remember specific info.

I expect this feature to be a win for business travelers. Cortana will now be able to save and recall specific information, such as:

  • Where you parked your car at the airport
  • A frequent flier number
  • An address, phone number or other contact info
  • Essentially anything you ask it to remember

For those who are more visual, Microsoft says you’ll be able to add photos to make these reminders more visually memorable. Let’s say you’re at a trade show, and someone snaps a photo of you with some other industry players. You could theoretically use Cortana to save the image with the names of those reps, so you can recall them more easily when you eventually contact them after the trade show has ended.

This is another handy feature that ultimately saves time and makes common tasks more efficient.

Windows Ink.

Some of you may already have early access to Windows Ink, but in August, it goes mainstream. On Windows 10 devices, you’ll be able to use a stylus to take notes, sketch on top of images, create sticky notes, or draw out ideas.

You’ll be able to make notes virtually anywhere on the screen, or add them to a full page of sketches. Certain apps will have ink-specific capabilities, such as creating routes in Maps or using the handwriting feature in Office.

Power efficiency improvements to Microsoft Edge.

Several updates are coming to Microsoft’s Edge browser, but the one that sticks out to me is the power efficiency improvement.

Microsoft says that updates to Edge will significantly improve battery life. The browser will now use fewer CPU cycles, consume less memory, and will minimize the drain from background applications.

Time will tell just how significant these battery life enhancements are, but I look forward to any improvement in this area. The longer that teams can keep working – on the road, in meetings or simply while they’re away from workstations – the more productive they are.

One final note: If your organization hasn’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet, you may want to consider it soon. Microsoft is ending its free upgrade offer on July 29, just days before the Anniversary Update becomes available.

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Are Email Disclaimers Needed?

Those disclaimers that many people attach to their emails serve only to annoy email recipients and detract from messages. Once used mostly by lawyers and financial institutions, email disclaimers are now ubiquitous.

Email Disclaimer

What’s Wrong With Email Disclaimers?

They are wordy, and no one pays attention to them; in addition, most people find them distracting, annoying, and, since they are most likely unenforceable – unnecessary.

How Email Disclaimers Began

Before we had email, technology brought us the fax machine to send and receive documents. Lawyers immediately fell in love with this machine as a cheaper alternative to using messengers and national or international delivery services such as FedEx or UPS. But, as with all new technology, there were bumps on the road to universal acceptance of the benefits, since sometimes errors occurred due to users’ mistakes, and faxes were delivered erroneously.

To counter misdials (fax machines use phone lines), a first sheet, called the “cover sheet,” was added to every lawyerly fax – and soon almost all industries followed the attorneys. The cover sheet named the intended recipient and included instructions as to what to do if you were not the intended person to whom the fax was addressed. The cover sheet included lots of legal jargon. The message was clear – failure to destroy the fax and forget you ever received it could result in drastic legal action, but the warning is written with so much legal jargon people have a hard time understanding it. When fax usage declined as a result of reliance on email, legal firms decided to include the cover sheet as an addendum to emails.

But, most of the time, disclaimers are not enforceable!

Not Enforceable?

That’s right. Disclaimers try to establish a contractual agreement between the email sender and the wrong recipient. But, since the contract is one-sided and not agreed to by the recipient, it is a unilateral contract, which are usually unenforceable.

However, for lawyers, disclaimers do carry clout when used to inform the misaddressed recipient that the email does not establish an attorney/client relationship. In 2012, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a plain English disclaimer can avoid the formation of an attorney/client relationship. In addition, in IRS Circular 230, the Internal Revenue Service mandates a disclaimer.

Ryan Calo, at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, said:

“In most circumstances, they would not be legally binding. What the disclaimers are trying to do is establish an agreement between the sender and its recipient that gives rise to a duty of nondisclosure. That’s just like any other contract. Both parties have to agree to the terms of agreement. There’s nothing in the act of simply receiving a message that would give rise to an agreement to keep the contents secret. The net effect most of the time is just to put you on notice.”

While the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that disclaimers are effective to avoid the establishment of a lawyer/client relationship, other courts have limited their usefulness.

In 2007, the New York State Supreme Court ruled in Scott vs. Beth Israel Medical Center Inc. that even the inclusion of an email disclaimer in legal emails sent to the wrong party is not privileged simply because they had a disclaimer.

While most lawyers and others who deal in highly confidential matters (bankers, brokers, health organizations) know that their disclaimers may be worthless, they continue to use them for added protection. The thinking is that even if disclaimers are of little use, a little protection may go far in a court case.

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Microsoft’s New Business-Centric Future: The LinkedIn Purchase

The $26 billion dollar purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft should be viewed as more of an indication of Microsoft’s new direction than as any change to the LinkedIn system. Hopefully, this is the case, because while Microsoft has been, at best, a volatile performer since its heyday of the 1990s, LinkedIn has steadily increased its market share, brand and profits.

LinkedIns Perspective

Not including stock options to insiders, LinkedIn was able to report a $99 million profit in Q1 2016, with the machinations leading up to this success making the company ripe for acquisition. Although LinkedIn is certainly profitable, it does not have the extended reach that Microsoft has to include its platform in mobile commerce and the cloud. The deal makes sense for LinkedIn, because its cornering of the SMB market now gives Microsoft the ultimate Rolodex to grease the wheels of commerce for its new future.

And Just What Is This New Future?

Microsoft plans to reposition itself fundamentally as a company centered around selling services to businesses instead of consumers. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the 433 million members of LinkedIn are now basically a built-in audience for its new Office 365 up-sells and the like.

Microsoft and LInkedIn

The dominance that Microsoft displayed in the early 1990s over the PC market is virtually gone. Well, Microsoft still has that monopoly; however, the monopoly that PCs had over the populace has waned. Microsoft lags a distant third or fourth place in virtually every new consumer communications format behind Apple, Google and other competitors, so its switch into the B2B services world is a timely and prudent shift.

The Future of LinkedIn

If Microsoft knows what is good for them, they will leave the base functions of the LinkedIn platform alone. Microsoft must remember that although it will be functioning as the huge distribution network for LinkedIn services, the core value of LinkedIn was solid well before the acquisition, and it continues to be quite solid afterwards. To the baseline user, the LinkedIn experience should not change much. We should see different levels of premium services, however, that will sell the expanded distribution of Microsoft’s powerful network as tools to connect businesspeople with each other. LinkedIn already introduced this tiered paywall structure with a successful subscription option. Despite its shortcomings in the consumer market, Microsoft has similar success in its own B2B efforts. The two brands should be able to come together to offer value to users and shareholders alike, if past trends are any indication.

{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.

Notice Anything Different About Google?

Latest Changes Leave Industry Scrambling For Position in the Search Engine Rankings

If you are a business owner who uses technology as part of your digital marketing strategy—and in this day and age, what business doesn’t—you’ve probably noticed that Google has made some pretty substantial changes to its algorithm and search quality parameters over the last few months.

SEO

The latest change courtesy of Google’s PPC division left marketing teams scrambling to figure out what the tech giant’s next moves would be. Since January of this year, the following changes have taken place in Google’s SEO algorithm and in their search quality guidelines:

1. Say goodbye to right-hand PPC Ads in the Search Engine Response Pages (SERPs)—and prepare for fewer organic listings on the first page.

You may have noticed that Google’s AdWords ads are no longer—they now appear within the actual search results part of the page, with a fourth ad now appearing above the fold (the break in the page).

This may not seem like a big change to some, but depending on the users screen resolution, in certain cases not even a single organic search result will make it onto Google’s coveted first page. Compare this outcome with previous SERP functionality where 3-4 organic results would display, and you can see why marketers are struggling to figure out how to rework their clients’ ads to regain effective positioning within SERP.

2. The bartering system between bloggers and businesses is now off-limits.

Google issued a warning to bloggers that publishing links as a form of exchange for free products and services would be prohibited going forward. Less than a month later, the search engine began issuing penalties to blog sites that disobeyed its directive.

3. Top 3 Google ranking signals are revealed.

Google announced that the article intelligence signal RankBrain was the #3 ranking signal, preceded by link quality and content quality—in no particular order.

4. Google camouflages the text color of PPC ads with organic results in SERPs.

Starting in Europe around mid-April, Google changed the color pallet associated with its AdWords labels in SERP. At first, this seems like a simple facelift for the platform—but when you look more closely, you’ll notice that the paid ads now blend more easily with organic results. This could be an attempt by Google to make paid ads less distinguishable from the results that rank naturally.

5. Panda joins the core algorithm.

Google confirmed that Panda is now one of its core ranking parameters. Panda measures the quality of a site and allows the search engine rank accordingly.

6. Google starts sending out PageSpeed notifications to protect site users.

Google began warning site owners that outdated PageSpeed software could expose site users to vulnerabilities associated with malware and other hacking exploits.

7. Toolbar Pagerank is killed off.

Industry experts agree that PageRank is likely the reason black hat link building became popular, where paying for links became a commonplace practice among businesses seeking to increase SERPs. PageRank is also likely responsible for creating ranking inconsistencies in Google’s early years.

The Toolbar Pagerank item was removed from Google’s browser in 2016, but this seems a bit of a formality—the function hadn’t been updated since 2013 anyway.

Google has, however, confirmed that it is still using PageRank internally to assist with the ranking algorithm.

8. Non-mobile-friendly sites become the new black sheep.

Since the spring of 2016, Google has been issuing warnings to site owners if their sites aren’t mobile-friendly. The warnings even show up directly (to the owner) in mobile search results.

9. Search quality ratings parameters are updated.

In spring 2016, Google updated their Search Quality Ratings Guidelines. Changes to the guidelines include:

  • De-emphasizing supplementary content.
  • A renewed emphasis on Local.
  • A heightened focus on mobile–friendly sites.

{company} is your local industry expert for all things IT and we know the right people for you to speak with regarding Google and SERPs. If you are looking for information on keeping your business’ website relevant according to the latest Google algorithm updates, contact us at {phone} or send us an email at {email} for more information.

What Your Website Must Have

What every website must have is, as the French put it, a raison d’être. Your reasons for investing time, resources and money in a website go way past vanity publishing and into the realm of ROI. The latter stands for “return on investment,” and it is, coincidentally, the French word for king.

Websites

If ROI reigns as the main reason for your web presence, you’re going to need three things: visitors, stayers and successful calls to action, which, in turn, transfer to followers, fans, sales and referrals for additional ROI.

Luring visitors

According to InternetLiveStats.com, more than a billion websites are on the Internet. The number increases daily, so your chances of being found by surfing consumers depend on your strategy for being found.

It is simple, really. Search engine optimization, or SEO, isn’t dead yet. That’s because search engines are still out there. They seek out and return links to what users are asking about or looking for. Search engines still need to use programming and algorithms to assign value points for ranking results on their hit parade.

Your website must have an up-to-date SEO strategy that includes best keyword employment as well as web crawler penalty avoidance.

Browsers arent the only game in town

If your website is the muscular arm for your advertising efforts, you’re probably more interested in local promotion. The site’s URL beams local users instantly to where you want them to go, so you need to get that URL out there. Place it on your business card, paper ads, at the end of your signature on emails you send, and anywhere else potential customers can see it.

Then there’s social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, which can be a treasure trove of referrals from friends, followers and associates. Linking your website to your social media presence, and vice versa, is ROI writ large.

Keeping visitors

Proceeding to the more subjective realm of website must-haves, it is important to remember that you have maybe 3 to 8 seconds to stop the web surfer from clicking away. It is known as “sticky content,” but it is really nothing more than good design, natural and interesting content, and avoiding silly practices such as adding outbound links that carry off your customers.

Much has been written about good website design, and it begins at the home page. The crux of the matter is that your website has to tell visitors immediately who you are and what you do. It must also be uncluttered and easy to get to where the visitor wants to go.

Finally, don’t forget the mobile crowd. Smartphone and tablet users won’t stay on a site that is not mobile-friendly.

Including interesting stuff

Your website may be a monument to great design and have all the bells and whistles you paid the designer for. In the dog-eat-shark world of e-commerce, however, you have to keep barking and moving, or your presence can gradually sink to the bottom of the pack.

You keep your website out there with the up-to-date content that the browsers just love and reward. A periodic and timely product news update or website blog are must-haves. The former keeps your constituency up to snuff on how you’re staying on top of your niche heap. Well-written blogs with nicely placed keywords and links back to your product pages demonstrate a level of thought leadership that will impress fans, potential customers and supporters.

Dont forget the CTA

CTA — which means for “call to action” — can nail prospects and ease them through your sales process with clear and easy-to-follow steps. Adding links such as “learn more” at the end of the previously mentioned news items or blogs can shepherd visitors into becoming buyers, and buyers to become fans, who will, in turn sing your praises.

Finally, since every website needs just a little bit of shameless self-promotion, we need to mention that {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.

10 Tips on Password Security for Businesses

Computer password security holds great importance for businesses in a wide range of industries. If hackers guess or gain access to passwords, they could potentially steal your company’s funds, read private messages or use customer data for illegal purposes.

Password Security

These tips can help you prevent such disasters:

1. Train employees to develop complex passwords and handle them properly. For instance, staff members should know not to write these words on sticky notes or save them in a Word document. Urge office workers to use codes that contain a combination of at least eight letters and numbers.

2. No one should choose common passwords like “123456” or “qwerty.” Hackers easily guess them because so many people use these codes. In the same manner, it’s best to avoid facts that criminals might find on personal websites or social media pages. A few examples include marriage dates, birthdays, favorite activities and nicknames.

  • Avoid popular movie names
  • Longer words boost security
  • Don’t use names of pets

3. A computer science instructor at Carnegie Mellon University recently warned people about the placement of certain characters. Most users arrange them in predictable locations. As Wired Magazine reported, the instructor said, “Put your digits, symbols and capital letters spread throughout the middle of your password, not at the beginning or end.”

4. Even when you and your employees use highly sophisticated passcodes, hackers can still intercept them with keyloggers. This malicious software records every keystroke and transmits it over the Internet. You may reduce the risk by installing anti-spyware utilities. Remember to scan each computer on a regular basis.

5. Don’t download any unnecessary software. It’s not worth risking a keylogger infection to install a fancy screensaver. Legitimate software websites don’t always succeed in detecting the viruses that malware distributors “bundle” with certain programs. Be sure to establish a strict download policy and inform staff members about it.

6. Never use the same password to secure more than one account. This will worsen the consequences if a criminal guesses the word or accesses it by hacking into a database. When hackers infiltrate email accounts, they can use password retrieval functions to gather login details from additional services.

7. If you write down passwords, keep them in a locked drawer. Consider recording them in a small notebook rather than on an obvious piece of paper. An alternative is to to install a high-quality password manager, software that creates complex passcodes and securely keeps track of them, according to PC World.

8. Require staff members to update passwords at least once every year. Hackers find it harder to breach systems with login details that change regularly. This also limits how long they can have undetected access to an account. However, don’t expect people to change passcodes every 30 or 60 days. Such policies often promote weaker passwords.

9. If you have control over the login procedure, don’t allow users to try a dozen different passwords. Some hackers use software to automatically guess a variety of letter and number combinations, so it’s wise to limit how many times a person can guess before contacting an administrator.

10. Avoid setting an employee’s email address as his or her username for a separate account. Criminals can often gather these addresses by browsing websites, reading newsletters or contacting a business. Although they still need to obtain or guess the password, finding a username is the first step toward hacking into an account.

Password security demands considerable time and expertise, but it’s worth the effort to prevent costly breaches. Many different businesses trust {company} to keep them up to date on the newest IT tips and developments. To learn more, please dial {phone} or contact {email} today.

3 Technology Game-Changers That Improve Your Sales

The lead generation landscape is quickly evolving. Once upon a time, your sales team was the go-to experts on your product or services. However, easy access to information online arms buyers with information that is pertinent to their decision to buy or not. Technology has empowered customers. It can empower your sales team as well and help you generate more sales for your business.

Real-Time Performance Tracking Empowers Managers and Improves Sales

If your business is like most sales-driven organizations, you receive performance reports about your team a few days after the fact. In some cases, organizations may have a lag of a month or better. Armed with information about an employee’s performance 30 days ago, managers attempt to have a performance review, which all too often, require sales team members to attempt to remember what they did wrong on a specific day and why. The truth is, the answer given will likely not reflect the truth because they simply don’t remember. As a result, managers can’t effectively conduct performance reviews. In many organizations, this scenario plays out month after month.

Real-time performance management dashboards help managers increase their effectiveness. By partnering with an IT company who can create real-time performance dashboards that alert managers when individuals are not meeting their daily targets, you arm your managers with the ability to take action immediately. Hourly data about employee performance allows managers to determine the root cause of the problem. In turn, both managers and team members can create a workable solution to improve that particular employee’s performance from that day forward.

sales technology

Additionally, dashboards provide managers with a host of performance metrics to analyze. With more than one performance indicator reporting about your team’s performance, your managers can offer your team members a holistic strategy to overcome daily sales challenges, which increases sales.

A Custom-Built CRM System Helps Your Sales Team Regain Control

Google’s search bar empowers buyers with knowledge. Research shows, with more robust search options, buyers are 70% along the buyer’s journey. These days, buyers no longer rely on your sales team for expert advice, to get information about features, or to determine what problem your product or service solves. As Google experts, buyers have undermined your sales team’s strength—your sales team no longer controls the conversation. Without control and the ability to guide buyers through the buyer’s journey, how will your team achieve brand awareness? How will you influence a buyer’s consideration and their final decision?

A custom-built CRM system is the answer. CRMs help you improve your customer’s experience and provide you with a wealth of data. More importantly, a custom-built CRM helps your sales team work with informed buyers. Instead of using a CRM that incorporates features your team will never use, a custom-built CRM is designed based on your organization’s needs. A CRM tailor-made for your business will help you seamlessly integrate leads from organic search results, content marketing, video marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing. Furthermore, your team can target leads based on an array of intelligent datacollected. With more information about your leads, your sales team can dive in at any point of the buyer’s journey for any particular lead.

Improve Communication and Generate More Sales

With every interaction with customers, it’s important that your sales team is guiding customers towards your goal—a sale or an impression. Unfortunately, with limited time, it’s difficult for sales teams to keep customers engaged. As a result of this, many sales teams miss profitable leads. Furthermore, potential customers expect you to meet them where they are at when it comes to communication. For instance, they may want you to discuss features in an email. Or, they may want you to talk about how your product meets their needs in the comment section on a blog post. By keeping your communication with your clients in silos, you lose your power, which is fueled by the information you know about your product.

Your organization can make great strides in meeting ongoing sales goals by focusing on conversation management. Conversation management is essentially the ability for businesses to maintain conversations with customers, regardless of where the conversation originates. Information technology can help you solve this problem, which will ultimately lead to more sales. By creating software that integrates social media platforms and telephone and email conversations, you can have one seamless conversation with potential customers.

With buyers already at 70% of their buyer’s journey once they reach out to you, it’s important that you have a multi-pronged plan to overcome sales obstacles. Leveraging technology to improve your business sales is the best way to regain control over the buyer’s journey. {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.

5 Favorite Social Media Analytics Tools for Small Business

Developing a solid social media presence is critical to small business success. When you invest time in creating and posting quality social content, it’s important to know how effective that content is in driving measurable business results. You need to analyze clicks, engagement, likes and other tangible data and then modify your social strategy based on this information.

Social Media

Although each social media site offers built-in analytics, you might want to consider a third-party option that offers more detailed insights. Here are five great social media analytics tools that fit within the budget of most small business owners. Some of these tools offer free plans. Those with fee-based options provide trials so you can test their advanced analytics before purchasing. All fees are accurate as of mid-2016.

1. Buffer

Buffer is a popular social media scheduling tool that also displays detailed analytics. With the Buffer free plan, you can view basic analytics for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. For example, Buffer lets you know how many retweets, likes, mentions or clicks each Twitter tweet receives. If you upgrade to Buffer for Business (starting at $99 per month), you can view more detailed analytics, such as charts, tables and engagement analysis.

2. Quintly

Quintly is an all-in-one social media analytics solution that analyzes data from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. It offers a free account for a single user that reports on Facebook only. If you want to analyze more than just Facebook or include multiple users, you can upgrade to a paid account, which starts at $129 per month. In addition, Quintly also enables you to analyze your competitors and key influencers on social media.

3. Google Analytics

Knowing how many visitors your website receives from each social site is another useful metric to track. You can do this for free using Google Analytics, available to anyone with a Google account and website. The Network Referral report, for example, provides detailed social traffic information. You can click a specific site, such as Twitter, to see the exact pages Twitter users viewed on your site.

4. AgoraPulse

In addition to social media scheduling, monitoring and contest management, AgoraPulse also offers detailed analytics and reporting. This tool analyzes audience, engagement and brand awareness for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with pricing starting at $29 per month. AgoraPulse exports this data to PowerPoint with colorful, detail-rich graphics suitable for professional reporting. Free options include a Facebook Page Barometer to benchmark your page performance and a Timeline Contest Manager for Facebook.

5. Iconosquare

Detailed Instagram analytics are Iconosquare’s specialty. This tool analyzes your Instagram community, content, engagement, hashtags and competitors and lets you know the best times to post. Iconosquare sends its customers email reports and also enables you to download data for further analysis. Pricing starts at $4.90 per month.

Final Thoughts

With so many options for analyzing your social media results, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. To start, check out the free analytics that come with the social sites you use, such as Facebook Insights or Pinterest Analytics. If you need more advanced reporting, decide which social accounts you want to analyze, the metrics you want to measure, and your budget for external tools. Try out prospective tools to determine whether they suit your needs. When you find a tool you like, consider switching from a monthly plan to an annual plan for substantial savings.

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

Redefining Your Core Values through a Proper IT Partnership

Many companies believe that an IT partnership is in place strictly to maintain the technical integrity of the business hardware infrastructure. The truth is that you need a much wider array of talents in your IT partnership if you are going to run a successful business in the modern landscape. Here are some of the core values that your IT partnership should address.

Core Values

Productivity and Performance Challenges

Aside from simple network integrity, your IT team should proactively seek out performance bottlenecks and opportunities to increase productivity. Because your IT partnership is usually connected to your communications network, your business continuity and your supply-side expenses, real-time tech upgrades put money in your pocket and retain market share along with keeping out malicious hackers.

Finding Technology Service Gaps

More of your IT network is customer facing than ever before. If you cannot keep up with the accelerating changes in the market, then your competition will take your market share based solely upon speed of communication. For instance, many aspects of your network must work in tandem in order to maintain the four second load time for your landing page that marks the difference between winning and losing online. If your IT partner cannot pinpoint and fix the problem that causes a delay like this, then you stand to lose ground in the marketplace.

Ensuring the Security of the Business

Hackers are working overtime to cause problems in all operating systems, not just PCs. If your infrastructure or customer-facing business is based in the mobile world or on the Apple platform, you now have the same problems as any company that uses Dell or Lenovo. The security of your business is paramount; without the ability to protect your data and intellectual property, none of the other features that your IT team comes up with will mean anything. Make sure that you have a partner that proactively searches out new protection techniques to keep you ahead of the curve of the tech underworld.

Your Business Continuity Strategy

Life happens; however, your customer base simply has too many choices for you to sit down and cry about it. Your business should continue no matter what disaster or unexpected event occurs either internally or externally. Backup servers, mirrors, tiered password structures and use of the cloud are just a few ways that an IT company can help you create a plan for business continuity that ensures your customer facing features never go down. Business continuity also applies when things are going well. Many seasonal businesses experience breakdowns because of positive spikes in activity. Do not lose out on your best sales opportunities because you are not ready for success.

Taking Proper Blame

If you are trying to perform all of your IT duties in-house, then you truly have no one to blame when something goes wrong. Although this may seem like a childish way of thinking, when it comes to technology, placing blame is essential to localizing the problem and fixing it. One of the best reasons for outsourced IT is that you can quickly locate the source of a problem. Make sure that you choose a team that takes responsibility and minimizes the finger-pointing that goes on in many in-house IT departments. You will find problems more quickly, and you will be able to respond with a finality that ensures stability.

{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.

How Investing in IT Will Help Your Business in 2016 and Forward

Business TechnologyNew technologies and business philosophies are driving revenues in the modern business landscape, and your investment in them will determine your place in the 21st-century market. Here are just a few of the ways that investing in IT will help your business in 2016 and beyond.

Real-Time Project Management

Agile portfolio management and process analysis give you the ability to redirect efforts in your business quickly based upon the new whims of your client or in response to unexpected events. The modern consumer expects instantaneous service, and whether they are right about their needs or not, they have too many choices for you to worry about if the changes they want are justified. A priority in your network should be placed around agile development or one of its older cousins, the waterfall. In order to incorporate this, you need a stable system with interdepartmental reach that can also synchronize quickly with the standard software/hardware in your industry.

Data Deduplication and Entity Management

Making sure that your customer records are up to date and properly managed helps you both on the supply side and the customer-facing side of your business. First of all, you gain the trust of your customers when they know that you are organized enough not to send them three emails for the same campaign because your records have duplicates everywhere. Your salespeople will maintain a higher morale, because they will not have to worry about apologizing for calling the same customer twice with the same pitch because your CRM platform has no entity management.

Your IT system functions off of the data within it, and if you have a property managed CRM platform, your entire system runs more efficiently. Stable IT is also necessary to protect the records that your customers trust you with. You may avoid huge insurance and legal costs with the right IT security and infrastructure, costs that would otherwise take your business completely under.

Platform Stability

Once a customer decides to invest in your products and services, nothing is more frustrating than a 404 screen. Investing in IT ensures that you do not lose the customers that your marketing efforts bring in. It is 90 percent more expensive to get a new customer than it is to maintain an old one, and a stable platform helps to save you this 90 percent.

You also give yourself room for improvement with a stable platform. The less time that you have to spend making adjustments to your internal workings, the more time you get to spend with your customers in the field and on social media. MarketWatch reports that you need to be on social media at least six days a week in order to maximize sales, so invest in the IT stability that will allow you to do this.

Marketing

If your platform cannot keep up with the consistent changes in the major search engine algorithms, then you will lose the visibility and the ubiquity that you need to establish your brand. This has as much to do with your IT as it does with the keywords that you choose. Do not let your IT end up as the bottleneck while the thousands of dollars that you are spending on SEO, SMM, Facebook ads, Pinterest pictures and Twitter visibility go to waste for no good reason.

{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.