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  • The Importance of IT Consulting for Businesses

    ​Information Technology (IT) consulting is an area that primarily focuses on 'advising' corporate enterprises and businesses on how to best use their IT department in order to meet imperative business objectives and aims. Not only do these consulting services provide valuable guidance, but they also implement numerous strategies on behalf of the corporation, boosting overall business efficiency.Consequently, IT consulting proves to be an imperative part of running any mid-to-large sized businesses and is also becoming vital for smaller businesses nowadays. This is mainly because in order to stay competitive, businesses must have an IT system that supports their goals. And, this is exactly what IT consulting does! For more information, let's take a look at a few benefits of IT consulting for businesses. Collective Technology Expertise When you partner up or hire an IT consulting service, you are typically purchasing 'collective technology expertise'. This is mainly because IT consulting companies have a huge pool of highly trained IT experts that have experience in more than one field of expertise. They have great knowledge regarding strategy and planning, businesses analysis, and have a full understanding of IT. Therefore, this expertise can prove incredibly useful in utilizing the right resources at the right time and in the right place in order to increase business efficiency. Attracts Qualified Employees One of the main benefits of consulting is that it helps come up with useful solutions to IT related problems, hence allowing the IT department and related functions to run smoothly and efficiently. This could be the usability of companywide technology, software, intranet, document management, inventory management, or the CRM system. Consequently, a smooth running business helps retain and attract other employees, as people will be more content and happy at work. Competitive Advantage over Businesses Proper tools, expertise, and experience bring us to the next benefit – faster deployment and completion of projects! Consequently, if your projects are being deployed and completed more correctly, quickly, and thoroughly, you will gain a competitive advantage over other businesses.This is mainly because having the right consulting firm also helps you leverage latest technologies to deliver inventory and ecommerce information in a way that leads to better user experiences. And this means you will be gaining more business, hence a boost in overall productivity. Time Efficiency and Cost Savings Let's face it: employees are generally happiest doing what they do best. For this reason, they usually get frustrated by distracting tasks that aren't included in their job description. Therefore, these employees cannot work on fixing IT problems, as they don't have any knowledge regarding the subject and will only waste valuable time and resources.Conversely, if you outsource IT tasks to a consulting company, your employees can focus on doing their job. And the IT consulting will be responsible for handling all IT related issues and problems, hence leading the better time efficiency and cost savings! Other benefits of IT consulting for businesses include HR flexibility and savings, demand-based resources, reduced operating expenses, improved productivity, and reduced downtime. Do you want to receive these benefits as well? If so, then make sure to follow the abovementioned tips. 

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  • Top 5 IT Monitoring Tips for Small Businesses

    ​The IT department is one of the most important and crucial constituents of a modern day business environment. Breakdown of the IT network or its components directly results in the failure of communication between employees and customers. This is where IT monitoring comes in, which serves as your eyes-and-ears and alerts you regarding any potential issues with your network.It helps small businesses keep track of contract due dates, hard drive space, software installations, printer supplies, and just about anything else that relates to a network. This not only helps businesses stay on top of potential problems, but it also allows them to address these issues as quickly as possible. Are you having trouble monitoring the IT of your small business? If so, then follow these top 5 tips: 1.Review IT Goals When it comes to successfully monitoring the IT of your business, it is imperative that you review your goals and business needs. Usually, small businesses choose to install a third-party IT monitoring application, but for the best results you should hire an IT company to deploy a network monitoring solution particularly tailored to the needs of your business. Once deployed, the IT monitoring solution will alert you when the toner gets low, devices lose connectivity, disks are removed or added, or when the disk space is low, allowing you to immediately address these problems. 2.Select the Right IT Monitoring System Small-to-medium sized networks usually require a single IT monitoring system in a central location. Depending on the size of your network, however, this may vary. For this reason, once you have selected the right IT monitoring solution, make sure to install it on more than one server. This works incredibly well for those businesses that have a network distributed across multiple sites. But, don't forget to decide who will have access to each part of the IT system and will determine its appropriate access permissions. 3.Replace all Old IT Equipment with New Ones In order to enhance the efficiency of the IT monitoring system, small businesses are required to replace decaying, aging, and downright broken IT equipment with new components. This is mainly because old equipment can cause downtime across the board and unexpected outages, hence hindering the performance of your IT. Of course, you might resist by looking at the cost of replacements, but it would be unwise not to do so. 4.Underpin it All – Monitoring All Your Key Assets Once your IT monitoring system has been setup, it is imperative that you underpin all important assets to ensure the healthy and proper functioning of business processes. This may include monitoring individual stations, hardware and supplies, system software, web traffic, Windows services and even antivirus software. Keep in mind that prioritising the most vital areas of your IT network with the biggest pain points can go a long way in ensuring better stability. 5.Support and Training Employees In order to ensure the IT monitoring system works well with employees, you must give them training regarding how the solution will work. Clearly define all rules and regulations that apply and employ staff capable of fulfilling more than one role in the IT department. So, if you are facing trouble monitoring your network, then follow these IT monitoring tips mentioned above.

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  • How to Create a Backup and Recovery Plan

    Nothing can be more frustrating for a business than to deal with the loss of critical data that couldn't be protected due to a fire, theft, or a natural disaster. This is one of the main reasons why creating a backup and recovery, or in simple words 'Disaster Recovery Plan', is imperative. That's why in this article, you will learn a few tips on how to create a backup and recovery plan to ensure business continuity even in the worse possible circumstances. Create a List of all Business Threats When it comes to creating a backup and recovery plan, it is important for you to understand the threats your business faces. Keep in mind that your business is susceptible to a range of disasters and you need to consider the impact of everyday problems, such as hardware and server failures as well. Therefore, start by creating a list of all the threats, needs and requirements of your business. The key to this is to look at larger concepts i.e. potential alternative sites, data backups, and redundancy of power and equipment. It isn't necessary to drill down exact items, but just look at all the troubles and problems your business faces generally in terms of data security. Knowing what might strike and how it will impact can help you create a backup plan that works best for your business. Identify Failover and Redundancy Probabilities The IT administrators of your business should work together with IT security professionals in order to detect potential weaknesses within the organization. This way, you can factor how often power and equipment failures occur and what steps you can take to ensure business continuity. For instance, in case of a power failure, the best option is usually to purchase a generator to ensure systems can operate during power outages or fluctuations. Partner with a Cloud Service Provider for Backup As businesses become more dependent on technology, you certainly cannot expect to work with the traditional backup programs and software to protect business data. In fact, you have to go the extra mile and adapt cloud solutions to increase security of data. Your data will be backed up online automatically, thus keeping your data safe even when a hardware or server fails. To move your data to the cloud, consider contacting a reputable service provider that offers a purpose-built cloud specifically for data protection and backup. This means the provider you choose must use the latest security tools and enhancements to ensure your business data is protected from both external and insider threats. Test Your Plan with Regular Drills Once you have identified all issues and problems and create an effective backup and recovery plan, test the plan with regular drills. This way, you can prepare your teams before a real disaster occurs and it can even help you determine the viability of your plan. Additionally, it will also point out potential issues in your plan, thus making it easier to detect areas that require improvement.So, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, creating a backup and recovery plan won't be a problem.

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Website Optimisation

    In the past few years, we have seen a rapid growth of mobile usage across different segments of numerous industries. Smartphones are dominating the cellular markets and every single person now is seen using different smartphones to explore the world online. This is one of the main reasons why it has become vital for businesses to invest in the best quality solutions to optimise their website for smartphones and tablets. In this article, you will learn all about mobile website optimisation, its importance, and benefits: What is Mobile Website Optimisation? The times have changed as compared to when people could only depend on their laptops for optimal mobile connectivity. But, since many websites still aren't designed to account for different load times and screen sizes, it is important that businesses invest in mobile website optimisation. This process converts your website's page speed, site structure and design to suit smaller screens and operate efficiently to make sure you're not inadvertently chasing away mobile users. Importance of Mobile Website Optimisation According to recent reports, there are about 182.6 million individuals at present who are using smartphones in the US alone. This growth is expected to reach 220 million by 2018. Therefore, the rise of mobile technology has made it imperative for businesses to have an optimised presence on mobile devices as well. Besides, if a company's website is not exactly mobile user-friendly, Google will automatically reduce its page rankings because of the higher bounce rates. Do you want to shift your website to mobile as well? If so, then here are some useful tips to keep in mind when designing a mobile optimised website: Keep the design as simple as possible. This way, you will be able to bring out a more professional look, which is imperative for increasing your SEO rankings. When creating a mobile website, don't forget to add a location and time information. This will make it easier for people to track your business. Don't overload your mobile site with lots of information. Instead focus on adding less information in clearer format to promote lesser loading times. Make sure to implement QR codes into your mobile website, as it is the latest trend in mobile website optimisation that is known to boost web traffic. Why You Should Optimise Your Website for Mobile Mobile Users are Different – Mobile users have different objectives than desktop users. Therefore, if they click a full-sized website that is intended for viewing on a PC, they are most likely to turn away. Nevertheless, by creating a dedicated mobile website that is much easier to view and read on smartphones and tablets, you will be able to attract mobile users as well. Greater Online Exposure – One-quarter of the global searches conducted online are performed through mobiles. Therefore, by creating a mobile optimised you will be able to gain higher search engine rankings mainly in Google, Yahoo, and Ask.com, thus resulting in greater web traffic allowing you to achieve higher conversions. More Visibility due to Social Shares – We now live in a world where social media is everything. Therefore, by creating a mobile website you will allow users to share information easily, thus leading to great visibility online. So, if you want your website gain more users that will ultimately purchase a product or service your business offers, then perhaps it's time you invest in mobile website optimisation as well. 

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  • Why Choose Web-Based Applications over Desktop Ones

    The internet has been dominating the world for quite some time now. Social media has taken the world by storm and the development of numerous web-based applications has made it easier for businesses to perform crucial tasks with just a click of a button and a fast internet connection. This leaves us asking one question: are web-based applications actually better than desktop ones? Well, let's take a look at a few benefits of using web-based applications to find out: No Installation Required One of the main benefits of using web-based applications is that it never requires lengthy installation processes and doesn't consume any hard drive space. All applications are virtually stored on the cloud and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, even through your smartphone, tablets and laptops. Not to mention, all web-based applications deliver desktop-like look and feel and functionality, without loss of performance of hard drive space. Free Maintenance and Upgrades Desktop applications can somewhat get incredibly inconvenient, due to their need of installing the latest upgrades and security updates every few days or months. Conversely, web-based applications don't require any installation and since they are hosted by a web host, all updates and maintenance checks are performed automatically. Therefore, this eliminates the need to individually patch upgrades on each computer in an organization. Accessible Anywhere, Anytime Web-based applications work the same way people access their emails from a browser. You simply choose the app you want to use and voila! You are using the app, without any hassle of installation. This means, you don't only have to depend on computers to access numerous applications. In fact, you can even access web-based applications through mobile devices with an internet connection. Therefore, these applications offer the ultimate convenience. Easy To Customise and Use When compared to desktop applications, the user interface of web-based applications is easier to customise and edit. Therefore, you can easily update the feel and look of the applications or customise the presentation of information to different user groups with just a click of a button. This in turn provides businesses the opportunity to improve interoperability, as web-based applications make it possible to rapidly integrate enterprise systems, thus improving work-flow and other processes. Adaptable To Increased Workload Desktop applications completely rely on your computer's hard drive space, processor speed, and RAM in order to run efficiently and effectively. This means, if an application requires more power to perform tasks, you need to upgrade your computer or laptop consequently. Conversely, web-based applications will only require the server hardware to be upgraded. Therefore, as the workload of your business increases, new servers can be added to system in order to enhance the performance of applications. Provide more Security As mentioned earlier, web-based applications are typically deployed by a web host. Therefore, they are maintained and monitored regularly by experienced server administrators that handle all issues and problems with the app and provide the latest security upgrades. Therefore, web-based applications are more effective and efficient, as compared to monitoring hundreds of client computers, when using desktop applications.As you can see, there are many benefits of using web-based applications. Therefore, if you want to receive these benefits mentioned above, then perhaps it's time you shift from desktop to web as well.

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  • Tips on Improving IT Security

    ​The implementation of Information Technology (IT) to daily human activities has made an incredibly positive impact on all spheres of life. It is because of this reason that IT is not only being utilised by businesses, but also many other areas including communication, work, leisure, education and health. However, sometimes the IT of your business can give security issues. This is what makes it imperative to utilise the best security features to ensure your data stays protected 24/7. So, follow these useful tips on how to improve IT security. Upgrade Your Operating System Let's face it: when it comes to security, Windows XP is completely useless. From a security standpoint, even the latest upgrades for the XP operation cannot improve IT security. This is mainly because the operating system is outdated (over a decade old). Therefore, a move to the latest Windows 7 or 8.1 on the PC's of your business is long overdue. However, when upgrading to Windows 7 or 8.1, make sure to opt for 64-bit, as this version is harder for the bad guys to compromise. Start with the Basic Security Features Virus protection, encrypted pages, and password security for documents, email, and network sites are the basic security features of every computer in a business. Therefore, if you don't have them implemented, make sure to apply them immediately. While doing so, read about the current attacks and apply the latest security software patches and updates regularly to stay ahead of hackers or potential internal and external threats like viruses and Trojans, etc. Implement the Use of Standard User Accounts The first account you step up on a Windows PC by default gains all administrator rights (even if the account is not necessarily named 'Administrator'. Therefore, many people frequently use this administrator account for their daily computer activities like checking Facebook, Hotmail and Twitter, which leaves them vulnerable to a myriad of threats. To prevent this from happening, be sure to implement the use of standard user accounts on all the computers in your office. Monitor the Scheduled Security Tasks in Place Once you have implemented the basic security features and installed the latest updates and security patches, you can still be a victim of attacks. This is what makes it imperative to invest in the latest IT monitoring software to review all details daily. Therefore, be sure that the IT department of your company is monitoring your IT network constantly to prevent attacks or minimise issues before they cause great damage to your business. Monitoring IT networks can also help find loopholes in your system and find solutions to close them up. Get the IT Security Procedures in Writing People can naturally become complacent, even if they understand all security procedures in place. Therefore, be sure to put all your network security policies, rules, and regulations in writing, so that every employee follows it. This will ensure your IT network stays safe at all times and will also allow you to make changes when needed. As a side benefit, potential customers or clients will know that you are serious about security matters, including their confidential data too.So, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, improving IT security won't be a problem.

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