This guide was created so that business owners, office managers, and IT departments can provide it as an educational resource to showcase some of the most basic IT security practices that can be implemented in your workplace. We recommend printing this out and handing it out to your staff for maximum results.
Paradigm Computer Consulting Blog
What one organization considers a disaster might be much different than what another business might see as disastrous. Perhaps one sees the loss of a few hours and a few files as something that can be recovered, while another sees every lost moment and each iota of data as a catastrophe. Whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be able to do two things: first, gauge how serious a given data loss disaster is, and secondly, establish what must be done to get back in action following said disaster.
There’s no denying that digital records have quite a few advantages over paper documentation. Benefits of ‘going paperless’ include simplified search capabilities, more efficient storage, heightened security and automated backup capabilities. There are plenty of sources around the Internet that discuss making the switch to paperless documentation, but to keep your business documents safe, it is better to know what you’re getting into.
When tablets first hit the market, the general prediction was that they would eventually replace PCs as the de facto device for computing, However, based on their steadily declining sales, this prediction seems to be a little off base--but, why? A closer examination provides some insight into why tablet sales have dipped.
Data backup. It’s something that all businesses need, but not all businesses know how to approach the implementation of it. This is largely due to the tendency to underestimate how disastrous data loss scenarios can be for their business. You know how it goes; it’s impossible, until it happens. Thankfully, you can significantly reduce the damage done by data loss incidents with a little bit of preventative, proactive thought and a comprehensive backup system.
Smart organizations are always looking for ways to improve how they do business. Digital transformation is a way for businesses to get the most out of their technology by improving workflows and overall efficiency. What does digital transformation look like and how can you implement it in your business?
Businesses today rely heavily on software solutions to function, and so these solutions need to be on-hand whenever and wherever a business opportunity may arise. As a result, mobile solutions have risen in importance, despite the continued need for what a desktop has to offer. To meet both these requirements, we recommend a convertible ultrabook, also known as a 2-in-1 device.
While news sources might lead the layman to believe that most issues facing the typical SMB come from cyber criminals lurking online, the reality is far less dramatic. However, this misconception makes these issues no less serious, and still things to prepare for. Let’s review some of the most common causes of technological issues in the office environment.
- Lack of Strategy and Compatibility: When two high-ranking decision makers aren’t on the same page, troubles typically ensue. Simply put, sometimes the goals set by administration don’t match up with those of IT, and vice versa. This situation can often prolong the time projects can take, or throw the entire project into disarray.
- BDR Shortcomings: The worst time to consider what to do in the face of a data disaster is after one has struck your business. However, many small businesses are neglectful in their precautionary preparations, assuming that the chances of disaster are too low to make an investment into a backup and data recovery solution. While this might save them in the short term, they jeopardize their financial future by exposing their business to the expensive repercussions of a data disaster.
- Unknown Root Causes: In IT, it is not uncommon for a minor issue to be indicative of a much larger, more problematic concern. It is also common for these larger concerns to go unnoticed as the minor side effect is repeatedly resolved without any further digging. As a result, the larger concern may be more difficult to resolve when it eventually is noticed, causing a much larger drain on a company’s resources.
- Waiting for an Issue to Occur: While there is wisdom in the motto, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” it simply doesn’t apply to a business’s technology. Proper care and maintenance can help prevent critical issues. Many issues of this type demand total attention from your staff and prevent productivity until they are resolved, most likely at a much higher cost than it would be to simply prevent them.
- Legitimate Security Issues: Even though there are far more ways for things to go wrong due to internal complications, no business can disregard the threats that are lying in wait to snatch sensitive information once the opportunity presents itself. Yet many small businesses are lax in their security solutions, assuming that their size will prevent them from being targeted. However, their lack of adequate protections allows viruses and malware to do their worst with ease, as cyber criminals have no problem with snagging low-hanging fruit.
- Troubles for Users: If the technology that employees use to complete their work can no longer provide the operability that their responsibilities require, a business will feel the results. These results usually take the form of decreased employee productivity, morale, and time well spent.
Clearly, while the threats posed by malicious entities online shouldn’t be underestimated, these common issues can not be ignored if a business wants to stay in business. However, by setting a standard for your daily operations to follow, you can keep your company from being tripped up in these issues.
Paradigm Computer Consulting can help. We have considerable experience in helping businesses take the necessary steps to circumvent these issues, preventing downtime and lost productivity. Give us a call at (603) 647-8614 to learn more.
New technology paves the way for businesses to leverage their resources in exciting ways. Of course, it’s impossible to take advantage of these benefits if you don’t even know these new technologies exist. Therefore, to help you achieve an edge over your competition, consider how these four new technologies can enhance your business model.
Smart Virtual Personal Assistants (SVPAs)
Think of SVPAs as virtual executive assistants. These "predictive intelligence" apps use voice recognition to sort through personal data from email messages, address books, calendars, and task lists in order to anticipate the next logical step and drastically boost daily efficiency. Apple, Google, and Yahoo all recently acquired SVPA apps to integrate into predictive products, from mobile apps to smart speakers, helping users get tasks done even before they would remember to do it otherwise.
Security and Privacy Solutions
A perennial on Webbmedia's list, privacy concerns remain top-of-mind for wired Americans. According to a Pew Internet and Society poll, 91 percent agree that consumers have lost control of their personal data. Adobe, Dropbox, and Snapchat have experienced major password breaches, and Target and Home Depot had credit card data from millions of customers stolen by hackers. To address these system breaches and reduce the widespread public mistrust, companies are looking to spend more resources on password security and encryption management. To assist with this, Twitter released Digits, a two-way authentication service that sends one-time confirmation codes via texts, which will be offered to mobile apps.
Internet of Things
Thanks to the Internet of Things, the world we live in is now surrounded by an unprecedented number of devices with the ability to communicate directly with one another, similar to how the Nike FuelBand connects to the coffee maker. These devices will become a vital part of our day-to-day home, work, travel, and shopping experience. The implications on how IoT devices can enhance the productivity and connectivity of businesses as only limited by imagination and the ways that these vast networks can be secured.
Looking to make the workday more efficient, a new slew of services combine the best of email, instant messaging, social media, and cloud storage into one platform for collaborating with co-workers. Salesforce's Chatter and Microsoft's Yammer are currently two top players in this space, and with the launch of apps like Facebook for Work, the race to further socialize the office is far from over.
If you can see ways that any of these four technologies can enhance the operations of your business, then Paradigm Computer Consulting can walk you through what it takes to implement these solutions. Or, there may be additional new technologies available that you don’t yet know about, simply because you’ve not been introduced to them. To get your business caught up with the latest and greatest technologies, have a conversation with Paradigm Computer Consulting today by calling us at (603) 647-8614.
Though network security is a necessity, it’s difficult to plan for every single possibility. Small and medium-sized businesses have trouble accounting for the many threats that lurk on the Internet, as security often requires a professional’s touch. As experts ourselves, we’ll discuss the many security solutions available to your organization, as well as what your best option is.
Let’s say that you're on a business trip. As you travel, you decide you may as well get a bit of work done. You pull out your laptop and are pecking away, and that’s when you notice a growing feeling of nausea rising in your stomach. It gets so bad that you finally have to put the laptop away, having accomplished relatively little, before you are sick.
It’s no secret that one of the best ways to improve your business’s operations is by investing in quality technology solutions. However, as is the case with any type of organizational spending, IT expenditures are subject to change. After a brief hiatus, Gartner predicts that next year will be another big year in which organizations invest heavily in new technology and IT systems.
Whether you like it or not, millennials (those reaching young adulthood around the year 2000) make up a significant portion of the workforce. Appropriately leveraging their skills is going to become a big part of succeeding as a business, but millennials are known for their tendency to hop from job to job as opportunity calls. How can you keep your top millennial talent from jumping ship? You can start by offering the latest technologies.
If your business is still on the fence about implementing a cloud solution, we don’t blame you. Moving to the cloud can be a daunting task, and you don’t want to jump the gun and make such a big decision on a whim. It’s important to understand why businesses move their data to the cloud in the first place, as well as what the different types of cloud solutions are and what they can offer your unique business model.
Analytics play a major role in today’s business world, but they are also pivotal to the development of artificial intelligence systems. One of the expected qualities of AI is machine learning, the ability for a system to identify and learn from trends. Yet, this extremely practical aspect of artificially intelligent systems may have its uses in a business setting.
Technology can be a constant pain point for businesses of all kinds. Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology solutions, it’s tempting to cave in and purchase the latest and greatest innovations in the industry. Yet, does your business have the time to do so, let alone the budget? Progress can be stymied by a lack of funds and personnel, but it doesn’t have to be.
More often than not, businesses are stuck in two situations. Depending on the state of your IT environment, you either have plenty of time to implement new and innovative solutions, or you have, quite literally, no time to even consider new technology. Both situations come with side-effects that could negatively affect your organization’s operations. For example, you might have time to implement new technology, but are you ignoring the day-to-day maintenance of your internal systems?
The latter can also be a major problem. If you’re spending all of your time responding to emergencies, when can you implement new technologies that can potentially improve the functionality of your business? When you can’t even handle the solutions you already have, what’s the point in implementing new technologies? Unless you can find a way to strike a balance between the two, any efforts will be both fruitless and wasteful.
One of the best ways that your business can innovate without sacrificing functionality is by taking advantage of outsourced IT solutions from Paradigm Computer Consulting. Whether you’re in desperate need of a new workstation or server, or need to implement a solution on a large scale, like cloud computing or virtualization, our trusted technicians can help. If your team can’t keep up with maintenance, we can take over this responsibility while they innovate and create new solutions for your organization.
Better yet, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting top-of-the-line technology assistance for your organization’s systems. More often than not, businesses have to cut corners in order to make ends meet with their technology maintenance, which could include allowing end-users to service their own workstations. This is a hazardous practice, as having inexperienced users performing in-depth maintenance could be both time-consuming and risky.
You can save time and money by allowing an outsourced team of technology professionals to work with your critical systems. Not only will you see a return on your investment in the form of better-functioning technology, but you’ll also be able to rest easy, knowing that your systems are being maintained by qualified professionals who want to see you succeed.
If your business would rather implement its own solutions, that’s fine too. We can sit on the sidelines and handle maintenance for you so that you don’t fall behind. Regardless of what the internal status of your IT is, we are sure to have a service that’s a perfect fit for your business.
Hosting an in-house IT infrastructure may give you the reassurance that all of your servers and network equipment are being cared for properly, but it’s important to realize that your time is better spent elsewhere, like running your business. If you’re unsure if you’re providing the necessary maintenance and management for your mission-critical hardware solutions, virtualization can present a valuable opportunity.
Businesses rely on hardware, like workstations, servers, mobile devices, and more, to keep operations moving forward. However, managing these knowledge-intensive machines can demand time and resources that are finite for SMBs. If you’re challenged by the management and deployment of hardware, let us guide you through the process of doing so.
Let’s say that your team is deep within the throes of productivity on a major project, and even the slightest hiccup will knock off their momentum and derail all progress. What would happen if the software they need to do their job suddenly became unusable, or settings on their workstation get changed without their knowledge? Without a reliable IT department, you might be out of luck.
You may have heard about the Internet of Things in passing, but do you truly understand the nature of these connected devices, and how they will affect your business in the coming years? The Internet of Things is a major trend that needs to be addressed if your business plans on succeeding in the near future.