Data protection and cybersecurity are hot topics these days – and with good reason. Your data and your client’s data are your most valuable assets that you need to protect. Which method should you take in ensuring they’re safe? The cloud or an on-premise hardware like an external drive/server? Let’s break down some of the major factors you’ll need to consider before making your final choice. (more…)
Finding a career you love can be a daunting pursuit, especially when you’re just graduating college. You want something that’s going to be fulfilling, exciting, and – sometimes most importantly – will help you pay your bills and loans. It can feel like Cinderella, carrying around a glass slipper throughout the town and trying to find the exact right fit. However, there may be an answer right in front of you: a career in information technology.
Even if you don’t have an IT-related degree, there are plenty of options within the field to build a career for yourself. Everything from digital marketing to business development can align with IT and don’t require you to be some “super hacker” like movies will lead you to believe.
Opportunity to Work in Large Organizations
For young graduates looking to start their careers at a large organization, IT provides a great way to get your foot in the door. The bigger the company, the more vast their IT needs. Not only will you get to work with new and exciting tech, but you’ll be able to get valuable workplace experience. Learning how to work with a team and familiarizing yourself with the infrastructure of a company is invaluable and not something you can necessarily get in school.
Chance to Travel
There’s a myth that once you’re working in IT, you’re tied to a cubicle staring at a screen. In reality, working in IT can often mean flying out across the country and even internationally. If you’re working at a larger enterprise company, it’s common to travel between different company offices to work with their teams. Plus there are conferences designed specifically to train IT professionals on the latest trends, often picking exciting locales like Madrid or Las Vegas to host their guests. You’ll be seeing more of the world than just the scenery on your desktop background.
Relatively, IT is a young industry but it’s here to stay. As IT embeds itself into nearly every facet of business – from point-of-sales to payroll – you can rest assured that it will exist for years to come in some form. Since these roles are so vital, IT jobs offer competitive pay. The average salary for an IT Specialist is quite impressive, and that’s just one of many jobs under the IT umbrella. The instant ramen days are over.
Being on the Cutting Edge of What’s Next
Aside from all of these tangible benefits, working in IT can be incredibly rewarding. It’s all about being on top of the next big evolution in technology and finding new ways to do business. You’ll be working in a field that’s built on innovation, so you’ll hardly have to worry about stagnation in your job. With new technology constantly emerging in automation and CRMs, you’ll get the chance to explore new ways of doing your daily task.
Think a career in IT might be right for you? ISOutsource is currently hiring savvy minds to join our team. Check out our job listings today and see if there’s a good fit for you. We just recently opened up new offices in Spokane and Couer d’Alene, giving you more opportunity to find a job near you.
IT is more than just preventing computers from going on the fritz. Among its numerous advantages, ultimately IT can be adopted by companies for better marketing results. As the world relies more and more on technology, many companies can’t afford to fall behind. Staying on top of the marketing world will ensure the company is successful. Using an investment approach to IT can be very beneficial for a company. While many companies still feel one way towards IT, embracing the concept proves to be a crucial business strategy to improve your company’s success.
Using IT for target marketing can improve any company’s bottom line. It cuts down the costs of conducting research and allows the company to focus on their customer base. Not only that, but they can expand their network to include more people. Using the analysis from targeting marketing will help a company’s success.
Positions in Advertisements
Advertising can become absurdly expensive and getting the best positioning on an ad will increase the chances of people learning about the company. While some products are geared directly to one group, advertisement placement will increase exposure. More people will see the ad and, if they can spot a name quickly, it increases the chances they’ll look for more information.
Knowing where your client base is located will ensure your company knows where to place their products. For example, placing a store where the product is available, but difficult to reach won’t help drive customers to the location. Using IT to map out specific areas with the target audience will ensure success in the long term.
Make the Price Right
Pricing different products can be difficult, especially for small business owners. Most consumers may associate lower prices with lower quality, but this is not always true. Using IT to create pricing points from competitors will allow a small business to understand what quality a product is and how it’s priced. This can be a simple advantage to gaining more support from your customers.
Though many people may not have a lot of respect for IT, the truth is that it can be a beneficial tool to help drive a company’s success. It is a low-cost way to introduce a product to the community, and mapping out certain areas will increase the success of those products. IT should be viewed as an investment opportunity rather than something that only exists to help the computers run properly. Now is the time to embrace IT and ISOutsource can help. One of the best ways to start is by guiding you through a technology assessment and plan, building a foundation for your IT and the growth of your business. Interested? Give us a call today.
Information Technology (IT) is essential for a functioning business in the modern era. But it can also be overwhelming and confusing for those who haven’t steeped themselves in understanding the interconnectivity between all your devices and systems. It’s why we’ve urged small business in the past to outsource their IT. But there are multiple different types and approaches to IT to consider. Even if you have an on-site IT team, an independent IT consultant can help build out your business and help you achieve better results and efficiencies with your business.
Strategic IT is the use of information technology to play a crucial role in an organization’s business plan by boosting efficiency, making new opportunities, and connecting with customers. Sometimes these opportunities are hidden in plain site, other times they need to be unearthed or even intentionally carved out from your current structure.
When you’re constantly running to keep things afloat and running on time, it can be hard to take a breath and rethink your strategy. That’s where an independent IT consultant can come in. They’ll work alongside your staff to help you define your goals and direct you to the right IT to make them a reality. Or maybe you already have the right tools in place but aren’t using their features to their full capacity. It can be hard to tell without someone guiding you. Bringing in the extra pair of hands and eyes is the best way to find out what you can be doing better and how to prepare for what’s ahead.
Operational IT is when IT is used to support the functions of the business with things such as accounting software, e-mail systems, and electronic storage. When you’re working with limited resources, if you have an IT staff they’ll understandably focused on your products and services and less on internal efficiencies. Maybe it’s something that’s been on their to-do list, but keeps getting pushed back due to other pressing concerns and timely deliverables.
Having an IT consultant come in and assess your current software, CRMs, and other IT platforms can shed light on issues you might otherwise never have time to identify. You’ll end up with a business that works faster and more effectively without randomizing your employees. Your internal processes can be the Achilles’ heel of your business or the thing that helps you succeed. An independent IT consultant with a mind for operational IT will help get you to the latter.
Ready to bring on an independent consultant to help bolster your business processes and strategy? ISOutsource’s team of experts are ready to jump in and help. Whether you need a single person to provide direction or a whole team to help execute your vision, our flex sourcing options are a great way to get your business ahead. Reach out to us today.
At it’s core, information technology is any technology that powers the storage, processing, and information within a business. That sounds vague and overarching, because it is. IT is an all encompassing concept that covers all your devices and platforms such as computers, software, websites, servers, and more. As you can likely infer from this broad definition, IT is more crucial in the modern era than ever before. But what does it look like in practice?
Keeping It All Connected
The key to IT is developing a system that keeps everything interconnected and running seamlessly. You’re probably already using some forms of IT with your email or data management (especially if you’re running an ecommerce site). However, having systems that run completely independently from one another can become a headache over time. The ability to move data from one platform to another shouldn’t be a luxury, but something that you build as an essential component of your IT. The more interconnected your IT, the better producitivity for your and your customers.
Continual IT Maintenance
IT isn’t something you can set up once and let it run without supervision. Because it’s such a crucial component of your business, it demands your attention. There are internal glitches that will need to be addressed, as well as external security threats that you’ll want to guard yourself against. Having staff on site to make sure everything’s running smoothly and working with your non-IT staff to meet their needs is crucial.
Not just that, but being able to keep track of it all can be demanding on its own. The sheer amount of data that even small businesses collect can be overwhelming. Without someone to implement the structure and having the ability to wrangle it all in is invaluable. You’ll only ever accumulate more data, which means there will always be work to be done.
Adopting IT Advancements
Your business isn’t static and neither should your IT be. As the devices in your home continue to get more advanced, business-level technology moves even quicker. Being on top of the next trends and advancements is crucial to your success as a business and your business growth. While it can seem cheaper and save time to keep with the archaic systems your business has used for years, denying progress can actually be detrimental to your profitability. Upgrading can mean faster speeds and more seamless interaction between your systems, which means more time to dedicate on new business and other projects.
Not all upgrades are worth your time though, and it can be hard to tell what’s useful and what’s just another sales pitch trying to get you to buy something you don’t need. Having an IT specialist on your staff can help identify what actually will be worthwhile. Someone who is intimately familiar with your business and data can better address your needs than a salesperson.
Outsourcing Your IT Team
As you can tell, having IT specialists on staff can be a make or break for your business. They’re absolutely crucial. However, if you don’t have the resources available at the moment or are not quite ready to bring someone on full-time, you still have options. ISOutsource provides essential support for business looking to take advantage of everything IT has to offer. Reach out to us today and we’ll help you develop a plan that’s right for your business.
Your business needs your customers. Without them, you’d just be a team of people who hung out in an office space all day, working endlessly on something no one would ever see. Even if you already have a core base of people who use your products or services, you’ll need to focus on growth to ensure the longevity of your business. How do you do that in the technology industry? Investing in your tech support.
Better Service Means a Better Business
As a company, you should be aiming for excellence at all levels and with all of your departments. Just as it’s essential to invest in innovation and technology for growth, your tech support should as well. Think of it as another limb of your work. It isn’t something completely separate that you can think about later. By taking your tech support seriously and ensuring it’s up to the same standard that you hold your products, you’re taking the first step to a business poised for growth.
The point of tech support is to help your current customers use your products better. It’s not something people often want to use, but if they have an issue then you’ll need to be prepared to help them handle it. Tech support is often the only part of your company that people will engage directly with. If they have a positive experience and feel like they can depend on you when they need it, you’ll earn a customer for life.
Build Your Reputation
Tech support gets a bad reputation for many people, often associating it with long waits, awful hold music, and representatives on the other end of the line who don’t seem eager to help. If you can subvert these tech support tropes, your customers will notice. Build a reputation for having great customer service and word-of-mouth will work in your favor. People love to share their good and bad experiences – it’s why platforms like Yelp exist. Keep this in mind with your tech support by training your staff to be courteous, efficient, and – most importantly – complete and total experts in your field.
Outsourcing Tech Support
Do you want to build up your tech support team, but don’t feel like you have the resources to deliver the level of service your customers deserve? That means you’ve already got the right mindset to do right by your customers. To alleviate that need, maybe it’s time to think about outsourcing your tech support.
ISOutsource provides flex sourcing services to help you accomplish just that. Our staff of experts can work with you develop a plan that does tech support right. We can also come alongside your team to help provide extra hands to handle whatever issues come up through your customers. Don’t let tech support fall to the wayside while you work on developing your products. A good business means happy customers and a good tech business means excellent tech support. Ready to turn your help desk into a valuable resource? Give us a call or shoot us an email today.
The cloud has caused a lot of confusion for the general public. It’s the brunt of jokes in media that no one knows what the cloud even is. Now you’re looking into it for your own business only to find out that there’s a “public cloud” and a “private cloud”? How much more complex could it get?
Thankfully, it’s actually a much easier concept to explain than it may sound. Understanding the difference between the two versions of the cloud is the key to figuring out what’s best for you and your business.
What is the Public Cloud?
When you think about “the cloud”, chances are you’re probably thinking about the public cloud. This is the category for big names like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, etc. Basically, it’s using a third party company’s platform to store and share your data over the internet. While the name is “public”, you’re not necessarily making your data available for anyone to see. It just means users can access it anywhere with an internet connection. This is especially handy for companies that are always on the go and makes it easier to share materials with your clients.
Because you’re not hosting the cloud yourself, you’ll rely on the security measures of the provider. The very nature of the public cloud, sharing data with others over the internet, makes you more susceptible to breaches. What you make up for in convenience, you lose in potential privacy. However, cybersecurity for the cloud is continually advancing so you’ll likely not have to worry about an attack on your data.
What is the Private Cloud?
As the name might imply, the private cloud is for internal use only. It’s hosted on your company’s own intranet or on-premise server. With the private cloud, you can share documents, utilize apps and protect your data without worrying about intrusion from outside entities or a third party managing your system. The private cloud is especially great for maintaining sensitive information – particularly if you’re hosting client data.
By going the “I’ll take care of it myself route”, the drawback is… having to take care of it yourself. That means any maintenance or issues that arise, you’re solely responsible for and can’t call your host to take care of it for you. Taking this route can be a huge benefit for your company’s privacy, but make sure you have the proper staffing in place to handle it as you go.
Another Option: Hybrid Cloud
So, you want the best of both worlds? The security of the private cloud but the flexibility of the public cloud? Thankfully, there’s a middle ground – a hybrid cloud solution. We’ve championed hybrid cloud adoption previously as an emerging IT trend and it’s easy to see why companies are jumping on board. A hybrid cloud option merges together both public and private cloud systems. You’ll still need the on-premise hardware that’s needed for the private cloud, but you can use an encrypted connection to utilize it with your third-party public cloud services.
The security of the the hybrid cloud is still being heavily debated by IT professionals. You won’t have the same peace of mind that you would with a simple private cloud solution, just by the very fact that you’re opening it up to interact with the public cloud. However, for larger businesses trying to scale while protecting their data, the hybrid cloud has become a popular middle-ground solution as technology catches up with businesses’ needs.
Feeling more confident about what cloud option is right for you? Or maybe you have more questions about which model is right for your business? ISOutsource can assist you by auditing your business’ needs and give you a roadmap to implement the cloud in a way that will work best for you. We specialize in cloud services, so you’ll know you’re in the right hands. Give us a call today.
When you’re heads down on a project, it can be hard to come up for air and ask for help. You’re so focused on getting everything done that it seems like a waste of time to step away for a second and assess if you have everything you need. However, outsourcing talent to work with you on your projects can save you loads of time and stress. Here are some factors that might signal that you need project support.
Volume of Work
One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re in over your head is to just look at the numbers. If you have more work than you can realistically divide between your IT staff, that’s a problem. Typically, this is a sign that your business is booming, which is good, but if you can’t make the deliverables on time then you’re going to be in a predicament that you don’t want to be in. There’s the old phrase “many hands make light work”, and that still applies in the modern era with new technology. There’s a lot you can do with automation and the right skillset, but at some point you’ll reach max capacity to take on work and need to reach out for more help. (more…)
It must be nice, being able to have a budget dedicated toward building out the core teams of your business. For many small businesses, this is a luxury they simply can’t afford. It’s a hard place to get stuck in. You want to make that next leap up in the food chain, but your funds just won’t allow it. That’s why outsourcing is often perceived as being a luxury for enterprise companies.
Let us indulge our inner Morpheus for a second: what if I told you that outsourcing actually is a viable and smart strategy for small businesses? This is especially true for your IT team and support. It may seem contrary to what you’ve previously heard, but outsourcing can be key to taking that next step in your business. Here’s how.
Outsourcing Reduces Costs
Let’s get the money out of the way first. Outsourcing goes well beyond that old adage of “you gotta spend money to make money.” In fact, it’s really about spending less money. When you’re working on a small budget and trying to build your business, you’re often looking for ways to cut back costs without sacrificing your long term goals. Along the way, you’ll also find that one of your biggest costs is hiring your staff – especially full-time employees with benefits. Outsourcing is an effective way to bring in the manpower you need to get work done without worrying about draining the payroll account.
This can either mean fully outsourcing your IT team or maybe you have a small team that needs some additional support. Especially with IT, you can find yourself needing all the help you can get to keep up with the increasing demands of ecommerce, maintaining apps and your website, etc. An outsourced employee or team can help keep these functions moving forward.
Scale for Your Needs
But you also might not always need that much support. Say you hit a busy season so you hired on another full-time employee. What happens when things slow back down again? Will you be able to afford keeping that person on? That gets messy really fast. With outsourcing, you have the luxury of living in the moment. While we’ll always advocate for utilizing outsourcing to strategize for the long term, we also know that there’s just times where you won’t need as much support and don’t want to pay for it. Outsourcing makes this easy, clean, and with a whole lot less awkwardness.
Expertise You Need
Trying to become an IT expert overnight isn’t going to happen. There’s a steep learning curve, even for the most savvy of business owners. And even if you have an IT department, there may be blind spots in their own training that they’re not equipped to handle. Rather than try to wing it and hope for the best, bringing in an expert will ensure you get exactly the support you need. An outsourced IT expert will be able to point you toward tech to grow your business, offer critical advice for maximizing your practices, and gear your efforts toward ROI and efficiency.
Small businesses think can’t have it all due to their size and scale, but with outsourcing you can. ISOutsource is happy to support you as your build your business and fill in those gaps that you need. You’ll save money in the long run and prime yourself for success. Give us a call today.
As a business owner, every move and decision you make comes with the subtext of how it’s going to grow your business. Whether that’s a new hire, a new office space, or new policies. Chief among these, especially today, is new technology. If you even glance at TechCrunch or Gizmodo, you’ll know that there’s new emerging software and apps popping up every day. Who has the time to go through it all and assess what’s worth investing in for your business?
Instead of trying to grasp the entire world of emerging technology, lets look at just a few different advancements that you should absolutely be using now. Some may sound more daunting than others, but they can all provide you with immense value and that coveted, allusive ROI. Here are some great tools and solutions to start with.
A Robust CRM Platform
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are essential to your sales team. That’s not an overstatement, either. In 2017, if you’re not using a CRM then you’re pushing a boulder up a hill during a snowstorm. Services like Salesforce and Oracle Netsuite give your sales reps immense insight into their own work with lead tracking, collecting data on prospects, and building funnels that will lead to closing deals. These platforms can be a bit overwhelming at first if you haven’t used one – massive dashboards with so many settings and functions that it’s hard to figure out where to start. However, it becomes much more intuitive as you go along. Plus, dealing with the learning curve is much better than staying behind the times and letting your competition swoop in on your prospective clients and customers.
Your business is not tethered to tangible tools. In fact, it’s almost better the less physical tools and devices you have to deal with. As we’ve discussed before on this blog, cloud services like AWS and Microsoft Azure give you more fluidity in your business. Being able to work via the cloud allows your employees to work quickly and efficiently. There’s no more trying to track down files or even needing to keep everyone tethered to a physical server. The cloud is meant to scale, meaning you can continue to upgrade and build it out as you go without having to do a serious overhaul and pausing activity. It’s great for your clients too, using the public cloud to give them access to critical assets without any headaches.
Project Management Tools and Apps
Do you hate email? We all do. Cluttered inboxes are the death of productivity and the bane of business growth. How are you expected to take on more clients when you’re still struggling through piles of email threads? We’re not talking about spam either – it’s easy for vital emails to get lost in a barrage of communication. That’s why project management tools are becoming even more essential. Apps and services like Basecamp allow you to organize and prioritize your myriad projects. They allow you to zoom out far enough to see what all your colleagues are working on, but also zoom in on your personal to-dos. It streamlines communication and turns all those complicated threads into sleek, streamlined processes.
Sold on these ideas but not sure where to start? We can help. ISOutsource can come alongside your business and help install and implement these new technologies into your business and help you prime them to get the best ROI. Interested? Drop us a line today.