Two IT Shifts That Will Impact You in 2019

Two IT Shifts That Will Impact You in 2019

Knowledge is power.

Every year brings changes and developments in technology. We, at ITonDemand, are continuously focused on providing the highest quality service and a comprehensive security solution. This means looking ahead proactively for how these developments impact our clients and their digital landscape.

There are two shifts occurring in information technology that we predict will broaden their impact in 2019.

  • Hybrid Cloud Approaches and;
  • Heightened Information Security

Hybrid Cloud Approaches

“Cloud is not for everything or everyone,” our Director of Partner Development, Steve Condit, writes. “The cloud has been the buzzword for almost a decade now. The idea was introduced to allow companies the ability to save on internal server infrastructure as they could host them in the cloud.”

Hackers have been encrypting data stored in cloud services.

MIT identified this as one of the 6 largest threats to worry about. 39% of businesses have faced a ransomware attack, the average payout = $2,500

The reality is a cloud-only strategy has proven to have drastic effects on user experience, as the cloud hosted services are still very dependent on the internet and can be susceptible to ransomware attacks.

Best practices use a hybrid cloud approach for service delivery. This utilizes the cloud for what it does best and retains local infrastructure for what it does best. This hybrid of local and cloud services provides improved security and accessibility.

Heightened Information Security

“Security is always a hot topic, but 2019 shows to increase in security remediation and prevention tactics,” Condit said. “More government and industry-specific compliances are expected to hit the market, which calls for a deeper look into every businesses approach to Information Security.”

2018 showed us the damage that data loss and breaches can bring to a business. Stemming from Facebook’s continuous data loss throughout 2018, public opinion has grown increasingly wary of data security. The largest US data breach of 2018 came from Marriott who lost 500 million records.

staff workingHow is ITonDemand changing in 2019?

With ITonDemand’s team focused approach to service delivery, we look to make great strides to deliver the best experience for our partners.

Advanced customer documentation and process driven strategy will prove to deliver a more consistent level of service across our entire team. This will improve both the productivity, security, and experience of our partners.

We look forward to the changes, challenges, and growth that come in 2019.

Curious about how we can make a more productive and secure 2019? Let’s get you in touch with one of our IT experts.

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ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

Are You Operating a Data Silo?

Are You Operating a Data Silo?

Clear communication within your company is important. Clear communication with your clients is vital. If you are operating in a “data silo” you are muddying the communication both internally and externally.

But are you operating a data silo? You may not even understand the question. It’s not exactly a common term, after all.

Data silos cripple your business’ ability to understand your clients. So what is a data silo and how can you beat it?

What is a Data Silo?

A data silo is a lot like an actual silo from a farm.

Farm silos are built to hold barley, wheat, and any other grain to keep them dry. More importantly, though, they were used to keep them separated to prevent the spreading of any potential infection.

Picture your digital systems and even your different departments as these silos. Each has incredible amounts of useful information in databases that other departments aren’t able to access. We see “silo mentality” in almost every organization and 97% of executives agree, it’s bad for business.

For example, the average small business uses 14.3 different systems, each with its own information.

How do they get there in the first place?

A lot of reasons, frankly, and not all are bad.

Some are put in place for needed security. Extending access unnecessarily can bring with it the additional risk of a data breach. This was the case with Nashville Metro Public Health when an information security error led to patient information being exposed by one or more of their 500 employees. Data Silos might be necessary to protect sensitive information.

Others that are more common and detrimental to business are built due to technical restrictions in one-sided software. In this case, a lack of access hinders the productivity of your team and can make it difficult to meet client expectation.

In the case of marketing departments, silos can segment information gathered from email campaigns and restrict it from impacting social campaigns to maximize ROI.

So how can I beat “silo mentality”?

The first thing necessary to eliminate data silos is a top-down initiative. Everyone from executives down to IT staff needs to be onboard with an organizational effort to integrate data.

Data silos prevail without a useful and intuitive enterprise integration system in place. File sharing allows open access to information. Adding this type of system to your information structure allows the system to be more flexible, having a wider variety of features when integrating programs.

Remove your limitations

Data silos limit your companies ability to know your customer but they also limit your companies ability to know itself. They don’t empower those with the information but bottleneck progress on your most necessary tasks.

Odds are you are operating a data silo. The question is: what are you going to do about it?

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What is an MSP?

What is an MSP?

Businesses are switching to MSP-style services. ITonDemand takes this approach because we know you have enough to focus on in your business, without having to worry about IT issues.

So that leaves one question:

What is an MSP?

MSP stands for Managed Service Provider.

Think of MSP’s as Casper, the friendly IT ghost. MSP’s monitor and manage the different information services of their clients, whether it be email, backup services, or providing help desk access. They are able to do this remotely, eliminating the overhead of adding employees or an IT department. This is huge for your budget because you can anticipate upcoming expenses.

At ITonDemand, we also offer onsite support to our clients for additional issues that may arise.

Services

Here are some services that MSPs provide:

  • Application monitoring/management
  • Helpdesk
  • E-mail
  • Security
  • Storage
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

MSP’s provide these services while making sure they are always up-to-date and functioning properly.

This “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” mentality lets you focus on business and not wondering if the receptionist’s Microsoft Office is up-to-date.

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1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

Office 365 Delivers New Tips and Training To Your Users

Office 365 Delivers New Tips and Training To Your Users

Notice: If you receive Office365 through ITonDemand, you and your staff will start receiving emails from Microsoft as part of a special Microsoft Partner program.

 

On Nov. 29th, 2018, Microsoft will start to send these emails. These emails will be tips and training information from Microsoft on their Office 365 suite. 

 

What you can expect

Microsoft will send out regular emails that provide training and tips “aimed at helping users increase their productivity”.  These emails will only be for services that the users have enabled. 

 

 

Value

We believe these tips and training provides value to your staff and we are eager to leverage our longstanding Microsoft Partnership and pass those benefits along.  

 

As always if you have questions regarding these settings or would like some help with the Office 365 service, please feel free to reach out to our helpdesk team.

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The Ugly Truth about Downtime Costs and How to Calculate Your Own

The Ugly Truth about Downtime Costs and How to Calculate Your Own

(Updated 3/20/19)

Every business wants to reduce its costs.

But what if avoiding technology upgrades to reduce expenditures was actually increasing them?

According to Gartner, The average cost of network downtime is around $5,600 per minute. That is around $300,000 per hour. For any business, $300,000/hr is a lot on the line.

Beyond the monetary costs, IT downtime can wear on your business’s productivity levels. Every time you get interrupted, it takes on average 23 minutes to get refocused on your prior task

Network failures and power outages aren’t the only culprits when it comes to downtime either. Other top factors include:

 

  1. Outdated Software and Hardware
  2. Hurricanes and Floods
  3. Human Error

So how do you know where you stand when it comes to downtime costs? Here is a simple way to calculate how your business could be affected:

IT Downtime Formula

 

Cost of Downtime (per hour) = Lost Revenue + Lost Productivity + Recovery Costs + Intangible Costs

Lost Revenue

You need to calculate the amount of revenue generated per hour by your business. This would be the revenue per week/40 hrs. An important component to figure out your lost revenue is your business’s revenue dependence on uptime.

Uptime is time/percentage your site is up and operational online. For example, if you are an e-commerce store and solely sell online, you are 100% dependent on the internet for your business’s revenue. You will need to estimate the percentage amount of your revenue that is dependent on uptime.

Lost Revenue = Revenue/hr x downtime(hrs) x uptime(%)

Example: If my revenue is $3,000/hr and my network was down for 2 hours and my uptime percentage is 30% my lost revenue would equal: $1,800/hr

Lost Productivity

Due to down servers, employees are unable to perform their jobs. But their salaries are a fixed cost and do not change even during the downtime.

To calculate the productivity lost, you must first calculate each employee’s salary/hr. Then, estimate the percentage of productivity that is dependent on uptime and this could be different across employees.

(Uptime, remember, is simply the time or percentage your site is up and operational.)

This percentage is known as the Utilization Percentage.

Lost Productivity = Employee Salary/hr x Utilization % x Number of employees (with same Utilization %)

Recovery Costs

These are the costs accrued while fixing the issue. They can include but are not limited to:

  •  Repair services
  • Replacement parts
  • Lost data recovery
  • Other costs due to loss of data

These may not be as tangible at revenue and productivity costs, but they are equally as important when deducing your real downtime costs.

Intangible Costs

These are the costs that can sting the most for the long-term. These occur when downtime damages your reputation or your brand.

These costs ultimately affect businesses that rely heavily on uptime. Including intangible costs into the Total Downtime Cost Formula gives a better understanding of the long-term consequences that can occur due to downtime.

A Real World Example

In March of 2019, the Nordic metals firm, Norsk Hydro, suffered a ransomware attack called LockerGoga that shut down its global operations. This left their 35,000 employees around the world unable to progress with their work. At this point, they are still working to calculate the financial impact of the attack, loss of wages, productivity, and stock price drop.

Final Cost

Once you have calculated each separate cost, you can now finally plug them into the main formula and tally up your total downtime cost.

Does the number surprise you?

If you are ready to end the risk of downtime, contact us now to find out how our IT solutions can minimize that risk and fit seamlessly into your business. 

.

PHISHING

Download our infographic and learn how to identify a phishing scam when you see one.

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More Partner, Less Vendor – That’s the best relationship

More Partner, Less Vendor – That’s the best relationship

There is an important difference between being a client and being partners:


client engages the professional advice or services of another.

Partners work together to further a business’s mission.

 

Whoever you work with should be looking for partners, not clients. A strong partner will understand your mission and focus on helping you reach your goals. We outlined this distinction in an earlier post on the partner model vs. the provider model. 

 

In our opinion, here’s what makes an IT service provider a great partner:

 

  • Partners are there for you before the start.

    A great partner would first conduct a site survey, which is an assessment of your IT environment. This includes your hardware, software, and network connections. This allows them to know exactly what your business needs to perform at optimal levels.

     

  • Partners offer what you need when you need it.

    We get it. There is a lot of new technology out there. Figuring out what technology is best for your business can be a daunting task. Having a great IT partner takes that weight off of your shoulders. They know what will work for you, and what won’t. 

     

  • Partners regularly check-in.

    Conducting regular check-ins for IT is crucial to the success of your business. They go beyond making sure all your systems are running properly. Routine Check-ins are also great for discussing new trends, upgrade opportunities, and the return on your IT investment.

 

  • Partners think transparency is key.

    Transparency is vital to the success of a partnership. Even though technology jargon can be tricky, a great partner would keep you in the loop. They would be there for any questions, concerns, or interests you may have about your IT services.

 

All in all, handing over the reins of your IT operation is a serious decision to make. But having the right partner allows you to step away from mundane technology issues, and refocus on the essential parts of your business.

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ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293