5 Reasons to Centralize Your Tech Stack

5 Reasons to Centralize Your Tech Stack

After working with several businesses, we always notice a trend: a lack of centralized tools. 

Most businesses have applications like Zoom, Slack, Google Drive, etc.— all these tools are great on their own, but you end up having to track tons of licenses. This makes your tools way harder than they need to be (and more expensive). 

So, here’s 5 benefits of centralizing your tech stack into a single suite: 

1. Reduces Redundancy

What if: instead of hopping from app to app, you could just have all your tools and documents in one place? You end up allowing yourself more time for task management by consolidating your workflow into one system. This helps you manage files easier for you and your team. 

Microsoft 365 has risen in popularity due to its comprehensive toolkit for teams. You get messaging, video calls, document collaboration, and more with it. Teams across the world are progressively making the switch to a centralized stack instead of spending so much on multiple licenses. 

2. Information Sharing

Collaboration is key. Especially in today’s remote work environment. 

We all know the feeling- you consistently reach out to team members to edit a document. Once they share it with you, you make edits and send it back. This slows down your workflow and it becomes an outdated way of collaboration 

A central tech stack gives you the ability to work on projects or tasks due and make live edits (such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs). Rather than storing data on someone’s computer or in a silo, use tools that enable your team to work at maximum efficiency.  

3. Eliminates Downtime

Lost a device? Did your computer get hacked? Whatever the case be, losing your data slows down your business and puts you at risk.  

When you centralize your tech stack, you never worry about losing your data since it’s stored in the cloud. The Microsoft Suite lets you store all your documents and tools on a protected cloud-based software. 

Someone loses their device? No problem—it’s all on the cloud. 

4. Standardizes Your Internal Operations

More efficient and standardized processes should always be a goal for your business. When all of your applications are in a central stack, you decrease guesswork and increase productivity. 

The more simple the better. 

5. Reduces Your Costs

Tools like Microsoft 365 and the Google Suite make it easy for you to have a plethora of tools (documents, video calling, chats) without paying for tons of licenses. 

More productivity means you can take on more projects. 

Better efficiency means paying less for more. 

All your expenses are condensed and cost-effective. 

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What to do about Windows 7 End-of-life

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Windows 7 End-of-life

In case you are unaware — Windows 7 is coming to an end.

Microsoft has planned for this for a long time. However, most users have not it seems.

According to web analytics vendor, Net Applications, Windows 7 actually saw its user share increase to 38.4% of all personal computers worldwide at the end of February.

You may think that Microsoft forcing an update is purely cosmetic, or just operational. But if your organization is dependent on compliance, such as HIPAA or PCI, you will need to replace all affected devices. Without security updates and patches, workspaces will no longer be secure. But don’t take our word for it-

“Today, [Windows 7] does not meet the requirements of modern technology, nor the high-security requirements of IT departments,” says Markus Nitschke, Head of Windows at Microsoft Germany.”

With this many devices needing to be updated worldwide, it’s important to have a plan in place and move decisively. Because in addition to Windows 7, Server 2008 and Exchange 2010 are also making their exit.

What is the next step for your organization?

Understand that this is a necessary budget expense for most organizations. If you were unaware of this coming transition, you may not have planned for this expense. This is the time to expedite decision making. We are anticipating nation-wide device shortages as we get closer to 2020 and EOL. Contact our IT experts to help make a transition plan for your organization.

(For our clients — we will reach out to you regarding the transition, if necessary.)

Once you have reached the decision point and are ready to proceed, it may still be a few weeks at minimum before you have the new hardware in place. Taking proactive measures will ensure that there is no lapse in compliance or security.

If you have any questions, reach out to our IT experts to discuss how ITonDemand can help.

PHISHING

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

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Office 365 Delivers New Tips and Training To Your Users

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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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Introducing TipsonDemand

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Understanding technology doesn’t have to be difficult. At ITonDemand, we are all about making your technology work for you. To help with that, we have started TipsonDemand.

What is TipsonDemand? 

TipsonDemand is our series of 30-second videos that we release on social media that focus on easy, actionable, pieces of tech advice. Each week, we present an idea, new technology, or security tip meant to make technology that much simpler.

What will I learn?

Subjects can range from knowing how to protect yourself through the ongoing data privacy debate to what to look for while shopping for your next computer. If you have a specific question, you can always email, message, or comment on a video for us to get your answer (or fill out the form to the right). Like ITonDemand on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to see these videos every Friday. You can also find them archived on our website here.

Submit an Idea for a Future Tip

How would you generally categorize your question?

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The Dreaded Lost or “Rogue” Window

It happened again.  I plugged my second monitor into my laptop and started up a how-to video.  After unplugging my second screen, I now can’t find the video or the window where the video is playing.  I’m stuck with listening to the audio and have no way to find, watch, or close what is called “a rogue window”.

I’m not the only one that has had this problem. The HelpDesk at ITonDemand is regularly faced with questions and problems like this.   We hope to answer some of these common issues over the next few weeks but in the meantime let’s dive into the rogue window.

What Causes A Rogue Window?

A rogue window occurs when it shifts off of the computer screen, leaving you unable to pull it back. How does this happen? And more crucial, how do you get the window back?

How to Geek has a great, easy-to-use guide that covers what to do when you have a rogue window.

Rogue windows usually occur when laptop users hook up to a second monitor or screen. This connection to the second monitor can become unreliable. Especially if you use an older Windows OS and disconnect the laptop before turning off the “extend desktop” setting.

Rogue windows also happen on the latest systems like Windows 8 and 10, designed to be multi-monitor friendly. These new OS systems have an app that, “moves a window” off screen without bringing it back.

Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Right click on the Taskbar, the icon to the right of cortana on Windows 10.
  2. Click “cascade windows” or “show windows stacked”.
  3. This gives you access to all open windows including rogue ones.

The keyboard fix:

  1. With your mouse, select the off-screen window
  2. Press shift and right click the taskbar button
  3. Click “move” command from the taskbar menu.

No go forth and tackle your rogue windows with confidence!

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On October 24th, a new cyber threat was released. It is called Bad Rabbit. Bad Rabbit targets Windows machines, impersonating as an Adobe Flash update. After initial infection, it attempts to spread itself through your network. Once it has spread, it begins to encrypt commonly used Microsoft Office files, pictures, video, and emails on the infected workstations. These files can only be unlocked after the user pays a fee in Bitcoin to the rasomware’s authors.

The imitation Adobe Flash Update screen (almost an exact copy of the real Flash update) can be seen below:

The following is an example of Bad Rabbit’s lock screen and ransom note:

 

We at ITOnDemand are monitoring the situation. We have taken the necessary steps to make sure that our partners are protected. Please contact us immediately if you feel that your computers or network have been compromised.

For more information about Bad Rabbit, please see the following link.

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