Why Should I Do a Technology Assessment?

why should I do a technology assessment | ISOutsourceWe’ve talked previously about how to do a technology assessment and how to parse through the results. But there’s another key component that we haven’t looked at: why even do a technology assessment in the first place? As with anything in your business, nothing should be done arbitrarily and a tech assessment is far from just another thing to scoot to the bottom of your to-do list. It’s a crucial process in determining your the tech needs of your business. To put this into perspective, we’ll show you why a technology assessment can give you vast insights all across the timeline. (more…)

Cloud ServicesMuch like an actual cloud, the cloud is hard to grasp. For those who don’t work with it regularly, It feels amorphous and indefinable. You’ve probably heard enough buzz to know that it’s something worth investing in for your business, but it’s hard to pull the trigger if you’re having trouble understanding exactly what it’s going to do for you. The scope of the cloud is massive, so let’s look at just a few features and how they alone can have a dramatic impact on your day-to-day operations and bottom line.

Safe Data Storage

This is a feature that most understand about the cloud – being able to host all your data. But it’s more than just an expensive, confusing thumb drive. When you’re working with large amounts of data, especially with clients and customers, you need to make sure everything is safe and organized. Hosting your data on a private cloud server does this for you. You can adjust the settings so only those who need it can access the information. No trying to search for that external hard drive or sifting through someone else’s computer trying to find that document.

Apps, Apps, Apps!

Enterprise apps are quickly moving over to the public cloud via Amazon Web Services and Azure, such as the renowned SAP environment. Just like there’s an “app for everything” on your phone, the cloud takes it further to having an app for, as Janet Jackson once said, “any time, any place” (including thunder and rain!). These apps are crucial in helping with data migration, deploying applications for your customers, managing your CRMs, etc. There are quite literally limitless possibilities.

Containers

The cloud isn’t just about what other people have built for it – it’s what you can build as well. If you have developers on site, the recent addition of cloud containers can be a game changer for them. Containers allow them to manage software code for their cloud apps, allowing for seamless collaboration as they work to make your business even more efficient.

Costs

Not only are these solutions massively beneficial to your business, they’re surprisingly cost effective as well. Instead of investing in bulky, expensive hardware that will get outdated and need to be replaced every few years, you can invest in something scalable like the cloud. You’ll lose the maintenance costs as well and even have more room in your office. You only have to pay for the features and functions you actually use as well, customizing your cloud experience only to what your business needs – these can be adjusted later on as well as your business grows.

Still mystified by the cloud? That’s okay. ISOutsource is here to help. Our team of experts have a firm understanding of this still emerging technology and can help you get the most out of it. It may be tempting to stick with what you have and what you know works, but you’ll also be missing out on a wealth of opportunities that can help make your business better, faster, and stronger. Reach out to us today and we’ll help you get there.

Remote Team TechnologyWe’ve talked at a high level about how technology can help you communicate in remote workplaces, but what does that look like in practice? These apps and software platforms put those core concepts we previously discussed and make them tangible. Each offers transparency into your business and assists you on your goal to effective coworking even when you can’t be in the same office – or even the same country. (more…)

Technology in Remote WorkplacesWelcome to the world of telecommuting. Thanks to technological tools, you have the option to let workers have a home office. Remote workers have a benefit of taking on their job duties from the comfort of their own homes rather than trying to make it to the office on time every morning, spending more money on gas for the long drive into work, catching a cold, calling in sick or worrying about whether they can pick up their kids from school at 3 p.m. (more…)

IT Objectives | ISOutsourceAs a business owner, you’re always thinking about growth. Sometimes that means improving your on-site technology, other times it means outsourcing work that your team isn’t equipped for. Cutting costs can help in the short-term, but generally this will have a greater effect on a company’s bottom line for the future. If you’re committed to long-term success rather than these types of Band-Aid solutions, consider prioritizing these IT objectives in your business. (more…)

Virtual Tech Support with IsOutsourceThe phrase “virtual tech support” alone may sound like science fiction to some. Having your tech support offsite can save you a lot of money and stresses for your business. But it also may raise some concerns as to best practices. How do you keep a consistent and successful tech support team when they’re not even in the same room as you? It’s easier than it may sound, but it does take a little bit of preplanning and setting parameters. Here are a few to consider as you work toward efficiency with your virtual tech support. (more…)

Risk Management When You Outsource ITWhenever a new factor is introduced to a scenario, there’s a high propensity for risk and confusion. It’s that concept that may keep a lot of businesses away from outsourcing their IT departments – the idea that bringing in an outside team can disrupt the way things are already done. Thankfully, there’s less to worry about than you might think, if done right. Here are some core ideas to implement as you look into outsourcing. (more…)

 

Technology Assessment - ISOutsourceAs you may have guessed from its name, a technology assessment is the process of auditing your current technology and how it affects your business and environment. It’s a simple enough concept to grasp, but one that’s seems surprisingly hard to execute due to its vagueness. Where do you even begin? And what does it all even mean after you make it through the process? To answer these questions, ironically you’ll be entering a process that involves asking even more questions. Here’s a quick rundown of what to consider as you do your own technology assessment.

What Do We Already Have?

Before anything else, start inventorying the assets your company has. This alone can be pretty enlightening – discovering tools you didn’t know your team was utilizing or tools you thought you had but don’t. You’ll want to use a loose definition of technology here as well to get a complete inventory. This means recording not just software and apps, but everything from digital cameras to printers as well.

How Do We Currently Use Our Tech?

Once you know what you have, it’s time to begin soul searching. Looking at each item, you’ll want to define how it’s used and what policies you have in place for each piece. If you don’t have a policy in place for some of your tech, why not? Interview the stakeholders in your business to find out exactly how they’re using certain tech in their jobs. How are you using something compare to the industry standards? This will answer some tough questions right away, especially for defining what software or services you no longer need.

What’s Missing?

Part of a good technology assessment is also looking at your website and all other outward facing digital materials. When you assess this, you’ll want to contemplate how these could be improved or better maintained. Knowing your gaps and weaknesses will give you guidance as you take your next steps into improving your technology.

What Do I Do Next?

This the big one. But by this point in the process, some of the answers may be more or less obvious. You’ve looked at what you have and what you don’t, so now it becomes a matter of prioritization. With that also comes assessing your budget. You may find that you have a lengthy wish list of new tech and upgrades you want but not the funds to make them happen. That’s okay – lots of business face the same hard choices. You’ll need to begin the process of taking this information and figuring out what needs to be immediately addressed, what fits into your pressing business goals, and what can wait.

These are tough calls to make and can be hard to make on your own. We can help. Outsourcing your technology assessment can give you a fresh perspective and our experts can give you definitive direction in deciding where you need to take your tech next. Give us a call today.

Improve Your Productivity with Chat Clients

 

Chat Clients ISOutsourceIn a modern workspace, seamless communication is key. We’ve talked a bit about this previously in terms of mobile strategy, but mobile is best paired with tools that allow you to interact with your team quickly and on the fly. This goes beyond email toward something faster. Enter chat. These aren’t the AOL chat rooms from the Internet of yore – they’re a vital way for you and your employees to communicate within a closed network. Even when you’re in the same physical room, using a chat client can be great to keep a document of your conversations for future use and reference. These three different clients below are helping businesses across the country maximize their productivity. (more…)

How Mobile Devices Fit Into Your IT Strategy

Mobile IT StrategyThe age of mobile is in full effect. If you thought 2016 saw people glued to their devices, just wait till you see what 2017 has in store. This isn’t just about people playing Candy Crush or posting pictures of their babies on Facebook — it’s about new tech having a major impact on your business. Coming up with a plan for incorporating mobile devices into your IT strategy is just as important as the adoption itself.

Securing Your Wireless Connection

Before you thrust your IT strategy fully toward mobile, you first need to consider the implications it will have on your wireless connection. More users latching onto your wifi means more risks for security breaches. Encrypting your network is crucial, and an outsourced IT team can help you ensure that you won’t be susceptible to any attacks or unwanted users.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Before you invest in a mobile strategy, it makes sense that you’d like to have a “trial run” of sorts first. That’s why many businesses opt for a BYOD policy. This is a great way to find out how your employees will actually use mobile devices in the workplace by having them use their own instead of investing in brand new gear. That said – you’ll want to set some parameters and procedures before you have everyone walking around with their home tablet.

With personal devices come the dangers of personal data. Make it clear that you don’t want to know about your employee’s private life and also don’t want them using their devices for personal use when on the company network.

Protecting Your Data

Why limit your employees to not using their devices for personal web browsing and apps while in the office? It’s about protecting one of your most valuable assets: your data. But it goes beyond your employees. Moving toward a mobile friendly office means opening yourself up to new security threats.

Start by explicitly keeping track of what devices have access to your network. Only those who’ve been vetted should be allowed access to your business critical files. For those using personal equipment, verify that they have their devices security functions enabled. These can be as basic as having an unlock passcode setup or as thorough as encrypting the data on the device. It’s a conversation that requires a level of comfortability and respect between both parties.

Mobile adoption is becoming increasingly popular and essential, so you don’t want to get left behind. But you also want to make sure you do it properly. ISOutsource can help. Our essential support team can help get you up to speed – fast. Give us a call today.