it challanges

4 Major IT Challenges of Small and Medium Sized Business Owners

These days, technology has come to play a major fundamental role in the success or failure of most businesses. Gone are the ancient, obsolete ways and poor systems of operating and running a business. It’s hard to keep up with the changes, even as an IT Professional, but if you don’t embrace these new technologies, then you’ll have a hard time staying competitive on the market.

For instance, thanks to the Internet many businesses have been able to outsource their customer service operations to foreign virtual assistants who have been able to handle customer relationship issues seamlessly for these firms while they concentrate on other core areas of operations.

Thanks to mobile technologies, communication lines in business transactions have become faster and much easier. Today’s business deals have been initiated and concluded at a much faster pace.

Take a look at Cloud Computing, which could yield countless benefits as long as it’s implemented properly and it can greatly reduce IT complexity.

The cost of modern technologies.

Research has shown that despite the numerous advantages, technology and IT solutions tend to offer small and medium sized businesses over their competition, many business owners often drawback from using them whenever they think about the costs of acquiring these technological products for their businesses. Other challenges they often face include know how – the knowledge and ability to pick and use the right technical solutions for their business and security.

it expenses

In-House our Outsourced IT Support.

Many feel they have very meager resources to implement these IT solutions and other technological upgrades in their business, because they just believe they don’t have the required finances needed to pay an in-house IT support group or hire an expert IT consultant solely dedicated to serve their business. Deciding whether building a dedicated IT support team or hiring an IT expert as a consultant is not always easy, both options have their advantages, but most of the time Outsourced IT offers greater flexibility.

The problem with one size fits all IT Solutions.

Thus, finance has always been one of the major critical IT challenges most small business owners have faced.
For some other entrepreneurs, it’s the burden of selecting and employing the right IT solutions. There are an overwhelming number of tech solutions on the market today which leaves many business owners spoiled with choices and makes decision making that much more difficult.

Paying for unused services.

This also tends to be a serious problem for most business owners as many often find some of these solutions totally irrelevant to their business needs because they have been developed by programmers who have little or no idea about the major issues they often tend to face in the process of running the business that these products try to solve. As a result, some business owners’ even end up frustrated using IT systems they may don’t even need.

Best It Solutions

However, implementing the right IT systems and software solutions can give businesses a competitive edge in the marketplace. Overcoming these challenges is not always easy, but with the right IT partner it should be straightforward.

Implementing the right IT Solutions can give your business a competitive edge

We often advise small business owners to do a bit of research and discover the IT solutions they need to fulfill their business goals.  When you know exactly what you need, you end up saving a lot of money. And in today’s IT world, there are several free apps and online services that small business owners can start using right away, which still offers some huge benefits in many instances that even some paid apps cannot give. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please give us a call: 305-741-4601 or contact us.

Before you go, check out what “Google Apps for Business” could do for you.

windows xp

9 Things You Must Do If You Intend To Stick To Windows XP

It’s no longer news that Microsoft will no longer continue servicing Window XP users by providing regular updates or defense for that product after April 8, 2014. What we expect to hit the headlines is the numerous bugs and attacks, users of this product are expected to face on a daily basis.

According to a security vendor F-Secure, here are nine things die-hard XP users can do to protect their machines from such expected attacks.

Tip #1: Do not install any third party software you do not use or need at the moment and quickly uninstall any if you already have them installed. The older the installation, the more vulnerable it will be to attack.

Tip #2: Uninstall and disable all browser plugins for third party software. Turn off all your default settings and set your browsers to always ask you what to with PDFs and other software instead of just opening them by default.

Tip #3: Patch your Microsoft office fully if you have it installed on your machine to reduce its chances of endangering your device by exposing it to external attacks.

Tip #4: Always make use of an anti-virus like McAfee, Bit Defender, Avira and the rest and ensure that your installed firewalls are regularly updated.

Tip #5: Windows XP usually comes with the Internet Explorer browser, but cannot support the latest versions beyond IE 9 thus making the security features available in IE 10 and 11 obsolete for it. It’s highly recommended that you install another current browser like Mozilla and make it your default browser.

Tip #6: Install the latest updates which happen to be the final ones for Windows XP so that your machines can start this new unsupported phase of their lives free from the latest known malware or attacks.

Tip #7: Always Isolate your XP machines by placing them on separate networks so you can easily protect your modern devices from any attack which might result from your vulnerable XP devices.

Tip #8: Always place your computers on trusted networks behind a NAT router which often acts as a firewall for hardware.

Tip #9: If you can afford it, just consider upgrading your devices to a supported operating system to save yourself the hassles.

In conclusion, Windows XP installations are much more difficult to repair once they have been compromised than other known operating systems which make it a matter of necessity for anyone running his systems on such an obsolete system to consider these tips that can easily help prevent his devices from being exploited.

small-business-backup

Basic Tools Needed For Small Business Backups

Many small business owners overlook the need of keeping multiple regularly updated and synchronized copies of a businesses data. In fact majority of them wait for a disaster to strike before they partaking any back up measures. Unfortunately, by then it is already too late. To avoid such situations, we will introduce the basics tools offering small business back up solutions.

1. Portable Storage Drives
One of the most important technologies to be ever invented were external storage devices. They come in different physical and memory sizes. The choice ranges from flash disks, pen drives, memory sticks, compacts disks to hard disks. Once you’ve acquired the device of personal choice, its time go choose the preferable back up utilities. All operating systems come with a default tool. Functionalities of such utilities include configuring external drives as centralized network backup points. If by any chance you don’t wish to use the default utilities, plenty others can be easily acquired from open source or proprietary software platforms.

2. Backing Up On The Cloud
Another backup tool available at the disposal of a small business is the cloud. Numerous platforms such as Amazon, CX, Drop Box, Sky drive, Carbonite and many others offer superb storage solutions. You are only required to subscribe for the services at a fee determined by the space you need. The other requirement is constant Internet connectivity, to facilitate uninterrupted data synchronization.

A cheaper alternative to web based clouds, is a LAN(Local Area Network) cloud. This can be easily set up on a local server using softwares like S3 and Citrix CloudStack among many others.

Now the big question at this point is, which set of tools are best to serve the needs of a small business? Many experts would advice using both, a decision I strongly agree with. This because one will serve as a fail safe alternative for the other in case of any technicalities

If you have any comments or question, please drop us a line or contact us.

online collaboration

How To Work Together on a Document with Google Drive (with video)

Online Collaboration is easier then ever, thanks to tools like Google Drive. There is no need to email files back and forth all day. If you wish to work together on a document with a remote co-worker for example, all you have to do is:

1. Head over to Google Drive

2. Create or Open an existing document.

3. Click on the Share button on the upper right corner and invite your co-worker.

You’ll see all the changes and edits in real time. In my opinion Google Drive is way underutilized in today small businesses. Give it a try and you’ll see productivity increase for sure.

Take a look at the short tutorial and let us know what you think.

If you need help setting up your business with Google Apps, feel free to contact us.

or Visit our home page to learn about IT services.

collaboration software

6 Collaboration Software that Small Businesses Need

Small businesses need collaboration software to ensure that there is a smooth flow of communication within the organization and an excellent way of sharing information. Most businesses today rely on teleworkers and contractors to keep their business going.

Collaboration software will enable a company or organization to have the following:

1. Smooth and fast transfer of accurate data
2. Well-managed projects
3. Easy and fast access to important data and documents when employees or partners need them
4. Better flow of work
5. Improved handling of invoices

Nowadays, there is collaboration software that are purposely made for small businesses. Using the cloud platform, pricing for the software is based on the number of people who are going to use it. Organizations with few employees will spend less than those that have many employees. Read more